links about us archives search home
SustainabiliTankSustainabilitank menu graphic

Follow us on Twitter


Posted on on October 7th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (

from Bill McKibben – <>
date Tue, Oct 5, 2010

Just in time to give this weekend’s Global Work Party a White House-sized boost, the Obama administration announced this morning that they are going to put solar panels on the First Family’s living quarters, returning to a tradition begun by president Jimmy Carter and abandoned by Ronald Reagan.

{We note the fact that, AS PROMISED BY ENERGY SECRETARY Dr. STEVEN CHU, THE PANELS WILL BE SET ON THE WHITE HOUSE LIVING QUARTER’S ROOF BY SPRING 2011 ONLY – WHICH SIGNALS TO US THE 25 LOST YEARS SINCE PRESIDENT REAGAN UNDID THE START IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION OF DECREASE IN THE PETROLEUM DEPENDENCE THAT CARTER SYMBOLIZED. The action will take place only at the start of the third year into the Obama Presidency, after the mid-term elections, and with a new composition of US Congress in place.}

It’s a great win for efforts over the last months–everyone who wrote letters, signed petitions for our “Put Solar On It” campaign, and turned out for the Solar Road Trip as we rolled down the east coast from Unity College towing one of the original Carter panels. We were disappointed that day that the White House wasn’t prepared to go solar, but are now very happy and honored that they took our suggestion to look into the matter seriously.

Solar panels on one house, even this house, won’t save the climate, of course. But they’re a powerful symbol to the whole nation about where the future lies. And President Obama will wake up every morning and make his toast by the power of the sun, which will be a constant reminder to be pushing the U.S. Congress for the kind of comprehensive reform we need.

And remember, President Obama’s not alone: tomorrow, Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed and a crew from Sungevity will be putting solar panels on the Muliaa’ge, the “White House of the Maldives”. It’s a trend!

Of course, both of these initiatives are perfectly timed to lead into this weekend’s Global Work Party, when 6127 carbon-cutting events (and rising) will take place in 187 countries.  If you haven’t already gotten involved, now is most definitely the time to join an event near you–or register your own.

The first account of the news from the White House, from Associated Press reporter Dina Cappiello, noted the efforts of to make this happen. In particular, Bill McKibben salutes Jean Altomare, Amanda Nelson, and Jamie Nemecek, the three young women from Unity College who brought the Carter solar panels to Washington DC, and made such an impression on the White House.

They remind all of us why we’ll be working hard this weekend for the Global Work Party–and why, when the day is done, we’ll be putting down our hammers and our shovels and picking up our cellphones to call our leaders.

You never know what will happen when you ask for change.


Bill McKibben for the Team

P.S. from McKibben: Victories like this should be shared.
Click here to spread it on Facebook,
and click here to post about it on Twitter.

To join on Facebook go and follow on twitter by visiting

To join their list  visit is an international grassroots campaign that aims to mobilize a global climate movement united by a common call to action. By spreading an understanding of the science and a shared vision for a fair policy.
What is 350?
350 is the number, coined by scientist Dr. James Hansen and that other leading scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Scientists measure carbon dioxide in “parts per million” (ppm), so 350ppm is the number humanity needs to get below as soon as possible to avoid runaway climate change. To get there, we need a different kind of PPM-a “people powered movement” that is made of people like you in every corner of the planet.
As we posted earlier 10/10/10 activities are programed in 254 countries and we attach here one example that reached us today:

1010 ACTIONS: 10/10/10 Global Work Party – The activity this Sunday at one place in Indonesia.

The Climate Project Indonesia in collaboration with The Body Shop Indonesia would like to invite you to the 1010 ACTIONS: 10/10/10 Global Work Party.

Date: Sunday, October 10th, 2010, 4pm-8pm.
Place: Barcode at Le Codefin Kemang, Jalan Kemang Raya 8 (Across Kemang Food Festival)

– 1010 Actions Submission Centre
– Eco Fashion Show by CARE
– Environment Short Films Screening
– Green Sunday Market
– Carbon Calculator Booth
– Live Music by Syncope

The party will be hosted by Nadine Zamira, Miss Indonesia Earth 2009 and Ariseno, TV Producer for Green Campaigns
The fashion show will feature a collection of fashion items using sustainable material presented by Y.M. Adhimiharja for CARE
The models are Miss Earth 2009 finalists

This global work party is supported by Green Radio 89.2 FM, Evolver, Barcode, Bike to Work, CARE, Engage Media, IESR and individual supporters to TCPI.
Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a comment for this article