Sunday, 27 May 2012

Jimmy Carter predicted the failure of solar power already in 1979

Former president Jimmy Carter does not always get the credit he deserves for some of the predictions he made during his brief tenure as US president. Carter  e.g. already in 1979 foresaw the future for the solar panels he had installed on the White House roof:  

Carter predicted that “a generation from now, 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
It turned out that Carter was spot on, with regard to the first alternative in his prediction: 
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History recently accepted a solar panel that was once installed on the White House. The panel was donated by Unity College in Unity, Maine, during a ceremony July 21. 

“Solar America,” an initiative undertaken by President Jimmy Carter’s administration, was established three decades ago. On June 30, 1979, 32 solar panels were installed on the roof of the White House above the Oval Office to heat water in the staff kitchen, which was often used by President Carter. The panels were removed in 1986 during the Reagan Presidency
The National Museum of American History press releaseAugust 18, 2009
Fortunately, Carter´s successor Ronald Reagan had his priorities right also on this matter
President Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, and one of his first moves was to order the solar panels removed. It was clear Reagan had a completely different take on energy consumption. "Reagan's political philosophy viewed the free market as the best arbiter of what was good for the country. Corporate self-interest, he felt, would steer the country in the right direction," the author Natalie Goldstein wrote in "Global Warming." 
George Charles Szego, the engineer who persuaded Carter to install the solar panels, reportedly claimed that Reagan Chief of Staff Donald T. Regan "felt that the equipment was just a joke, and he had it taken down." The panels were removed in 1986 when work was being done on the White House roof below the panels. 
Already in the fall of 2010 the Obama administration promised to install new solar panels on the White House roof. But now, almost two years later, there are still no solar panels there ...
On the other hand, one cannot blame Obama for wanting to avoid calling into mind a president who was voted out of the office after just one term ....

And in general, during an election year Obama hardly wishes to be associated with one of the greatest energy failures of our time

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