This July,Â 350.org joined with the solar panel company Sungevity to launch a new effort to encourage President Obama to put solar panels on the White House and encourage other world leaders to install panels on their iconic residences. Since then, tens of thousands of people have signed the “Put Solar On It” letter to world leaders.
“Panels on the White House will remind every visitor to Washington that every roof in America should have solar panels for electricity and hot water on them,” said Bill McKibben, 350.org founder. “The President’s panels will do as much good as the wonderful organic garden that the First lady planted on the South Lawn.”
The campaignâ€™s scoreboard has already checked off on one world leader: President Mohamed Nasheed, who recently committed to make the low-lying MaldivesÂ the first carbon neutral country, has already pledged to put up panels on his home.
A Solar Road Trip
In 1979, Jimmy Carter installed panels on the White House only to have them taken down a few years later by President Regan. Carter’s original panels ended up on top of the cafeteria at Unity College in Maine.
This September, 350.org and group of Unity College students will take one of the panels on a biodiesel-powered road trip through Boston and New York on their way to the White House where they hope to deliver the panel back to President Obama and encourage him to get a new set for himself. The students will host press conferences along the way in Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. Some of the original team of White House installers will join the presentations.
Media and the public will be able to follow the road trip which will feature:
- Twitter feed from the road
- Daily YouTube video updates
- High res video from press conferences in each city
- Interviews with the solar road trip team, 350.org founder Bill McKibben, and the original White House solar panel installers
â€śNothing replaces legislation that really cuts carbon,” said McKibben. â€śBut one way to build support for those changes is to show how easy it is to start to work. Itâ€™s time for President Obama to roll up his sleeves and get to work at his own home and in Congress.â€ť