Obama says no to Carter solar panels

14 Sep

A few months back I posted an editorial about whether Obama should put solar panels back on the White House roof.  A few days ago, Obama rebuffed Bill McKibben, an environmentalist who tried to persuade the President to put one of Jimmy Carter‘s original solar panels back up on the White House.  Read a NYTimes piece about it here.  Long story short, the pres, through a few-aids, said, “no thanks.”

This is the sort of story that will raise hay among environmentalists, among right-wing anti-environmentalists, among renewable energy advocates, and so forth.  But let’s be clear–it’s a non-story. Carter’s solar panel are more than 30 years old.  If Obama is going to go solar on the White House, he should (and hopefully would) go with a state-of-the art system–something that would highlight the latest in PV and/or thermal solar tech. It makes absolutely no sense for Obama to run with an antiquated technology.

Whether or not Obama should promote solar tech of any kind by sticking on the White House roof is another question.  But I hope the McKibben story doesn’t get blown out of proportion.


2 Responses to “Obama says no to Carter solar panels”

  1. Anonymous July 31, 2011 at 12:46 am #

    I did not follow this whole story, but I can think of one good reason to put (a few) 30-year old Carter panels there: the fact that they ar estill working after 30 yeras will be a great illustration of one great fact of PV solar: it can last very long, very reliably, and provide quasi-free energy long after the initial investment (or loan) has been repaid.
    This could encourage people to adopt PV panels, as a way to start installing now th eclean infrastructure that will be clean AND super low-cost by the time our children use them in 20 years…

  2. Rojelio September 15, 2010 at 9:06 pm #

    Okay, it would be silly to put Carter’s panels up. But I don’t get why he doesn’t put the biggest baddest PV system up and maybe a windmill or two while he’s at it. He’s always claimed to be a proponent of renewable energy. We see the boost gardening got when Michele Obama started a garden. What’s wrong with this guy anyway? He’s turning out to be some kind of Wall Street puppet rather than the leader we need right now.

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