On September 10, exactly one month before the 10/10/10 event, 350.org’s Bill McKibben and his team went to the White House. They entered the meeting with over 40,000 letters asking President Obama to return solar panels to the White House.
At McKibbens request, hundreds of people registered new work parties to encourage President Obama to reinstall solar panels on the White House roof.
On the way to Washington, McKibben wrote to his legions of followers from a biodiesel van on a highway in the state of Maine. McKibben shared the fact that he and his team were traveling with one of the solar panels that American president Jimmy Carter installed on the White House roof over three decades ago.
When this solar panel was installed in 1979, Carter said, “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 just a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people.”
Sadly, the panels were removed by Republican President Ronald Reagan. Unity College salvaged them from a government warehouse and installed them on the roof of their school cafeteria. The school agreed to donate one solar panel back to the White House, “in the hope that it will spur Obama to pick up where Carter left off.”
Mohamed Nasheed, president of the Maldives, had agreed to install solar panels on his roof on October 10 and McKibben was hoping that President Obama would do the same. However, McKibben left dissapointed as the White House has opted to continue its deliberations to figure out an appropriate course of action.
On October 10 2010, the Global Work Party will send the President and all politicians a clear message: we’re getting to work, now it’s time for you to do your part.
Independent of what political leaderships will do, McKibben and the 350.org team wants to send the message that we can control what happens in our communities, and we can use our own efforts to put more political pressure on our leaders.
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