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Natural Awakenings

10/10/10 Results: America’s White House Goes Solar

President Obama has announced the installation of solar panels and a solar hot water heater on the roof of his White House residence as part of a Department of Energy demonstration project. Interestingly, the move comes after 350.org Founder Bill McKibben carted solar panels to Washington, D.C., in October, as part of his grassroots movement’s 10/10/10 Global Work Party on curbing climate change.

The Washington Post reports that the panels were some of the same ones that were donated to Unity College in the 1990s after President Reagan had them removed from the White House and let federal renewable energy subsidies expire. President Carter had the original solar equipment installed in 1979, saying “A generation from now, this solar heater [behind me] can either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken, or it can be just a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people.”

Remarks McKibben: “If it has anything like the effect of the White House garden, it could be a trigger for a wave of solar installations across the country and around the world.”

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