Sep 08 2010

McKibben Calls On Obama To Reinstall White House Solar Panels

solar panelsIn 1979 President Jimmy Carter installed solar panels on the roof of the White House. The act was part of his revolutionary energy policy announced in 1977 to call on the American people to reject fossil fuels in favor of alternative energies in the wake of a major energy crisis. But less than ten years later, a new president, Ronald Reagan, reversed many of Carter’s pro-alternative energy policies and removed the White House solar panels which were symbolic of the growing American environmental movement of the time. Sixteen of the panels were later donated to Unity College in southern Maine in the 1990s. Now, Bill McKibben, renowned environmental activist, author, and co-founder of, has challenged President Obama to reinstall the solar panels during an appearance on The David Letterman Show on August 31. He and several students from Unity College are hauling Carter’s solar panels on a biodiesel-fueled road trip from southern Maine to Washington, D.C. McKibben’s trip will culminate in DC on September 10, 2010, one month in advance of an international day of climate action. Over 38,000 people have signed a petition supporting McKibben’s efforts. Even the president of the Maldives—a small island nation vulnerable to sea level rise—has pledged to help install the solar panels on the roof himself on October 10.

GUEST: Bill McKibben, one of the nation’s leading environmentalists, an activist, and author of many books including The End of Nature and Deep Economy: the Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future. He is also the founder of

Find out more about the Global Work Party on 10/10/10 at

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  1. […] Listen to Part 1 of our 3-part series on Solar Energy here: […]