Sunday, September 12, 2010

Jimmy Carter's Solar Panel Stays off White House Roof

It is probably just as well that Bill McKibben was unsuccessful a couple of days ago in his effort to have Barack Obama place on the White House roof one of the thermal solar panels that Carter had put on the roof when he was president only to have Ronald Reagan a few years later take them down. To many Americans the association of Jimmy Carter with energy policy brings to mind having to make personal sacrifices like turning down the heat in winter and wearing thick sweaters to keep warm. Americans won’t even pay higher taxes to support costly wars so forget about lowering the thermostat. Jimmy Carter had a profound grasp of our energy problems back in the 1970s and how we should overcome them. When Ronald Reagan came into office it is was like returning to the Stone Age when it came to environmental issues, which for many Americans still seems to be the best place to be. Reagan thought trees were a major source of pollution. Now we have global warming deniers. Just because time passes doesn’t mean intellectual thought has to progress. Apparently thousands upon thousands of scientific peer-reviewed papers showing that global warming is real and that it is largely caused by humans means nothing to minds frozen in time, obsessed with denying the scientific reality. Better to believe some talk show host who never took a physics or chemistry course but claims that the vast majority of climate scientists are dead wrong. Bill McKibben and others who correctly comprehend the danger posed by global warming certainly have their work cut out for them to get this country off the suicidal path that the deniers are keeping us on.

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