Just in time to give the 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.
It's a great win for your efforts over the last months–everyone who wrote letters, signed petitions, and turned out for the Solar Road Show as we rolled down the east coast from Unity College towing one of the Carter panels. We were disappointed that day that the White House wasn't prepared to go solar, but very happy 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 the president will wake up every morning and make his toast by the power of the sun (do presidents make toast?), which will be a constant reminder to be pushing the Congress for the kind of comprehensive reform we need. And remember, President Obama's not alone: tomorrow, Maldivian President Mohammed Nasheed and a crew from Sungevity will be putting solar panels on their official residence. It's a trend!
The first account of the day's news, from Associated Press reporter Dina Cappiello, noted the efforts of 350.org to make this happen. In particular, I'd like to salute Jean Altomare, Amanda Nelson, and Jamie Nemecek, the three young women from Unity College who made the trip and who made an impression on the White House. They remind all of us why we'll be working hard this weekend–and why, when the day is done, we'll be putting down the hammer or the shovel and picking up the cellphone to call our leaders. You never know what will happen when you ask for change.