Saturday, February 13, 2010

Shedding Some Light: Solar Panels at the White House

Bob Herbert, the latest New York Times columnist to sing the praises of China, writes about China's role as a leading producer of environmental technologies including solar power. Here is how the article begins:

It was primarily a symbolic gesture. Way back in 1979, in the midst of an energy crisis, Jimmy Carter had solar panels installed on the roof of the White House. They were used to heat water for some White House staffers.

“A generation from now,” said Mr. Carter, “this solar heater can either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken, or it can be a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people, harnessing the power of the sun to enrich our lives as we move away from our crippling dependence on foreign oil.”

Ronald Reagan had the panels taken down.

Ah yes, Carter was leading us into the 21st century until that neanderthal Reagan took us back to the Dark Ages. And so it goes.

Except Herbert omitted one crucial piece of information. Solar panels are back at the White House and have been since September 2002. This means solar technology was restored to the White House during the administration of George W. Bush.

I suppose it was too much of an inconvenient truth for Mr. Herbert.

No comments: