Thursday, 17 June 2010

No More Oil In The USA

In the last few days Obama has made a speech about reducing the USA dependence on foriegn oil. I can remember his predececcor Bush saying much the same. On John Stewarts Daily show they found the last 8 presidents had all made the same speech. But for one of those men, it wasnt just empty talk.
Carter Solar White House

In 1979, Jimmy Carter, in a forward-looking move, installed solar panels in the roof of the White House. This symbolic installation was taken down in 1986 during the Reagan presidency. In 1991, Unity College, an environmentally centered college in Maine acquired the panels and later installed them on their cafeteria.

In "A Road not Taken", swiss artists Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller travel back in time and, following the route the panels took, interview those involved in the solar panel decisions, in the oil crisis of the time, and in the way that that moment presaged our own era. The documentary essay is still in work and will be about 70 minutes long.

"I think the symbolic nature of this exceeds the actual kilowatts produced," said SEIA spokesman Michael Paranzino.

That was probably the case during the energy crisis of the 1970s, when President Jimmy Carter donned a sweater, turned down his thermostat --and had a solar-powered water system installed. It was later removed by President Ronald Reagan, who shipped the panels off to Unity College in Maine, where they still heat the water for the school's cafeteria.

Obama can now put solar panels back on the White House roof. That’s the thrust of a citizen action campaign called “Globama,” led by the solar energy company Sungevity, which has offered to donate and install a photovoltaic array on the White house at no cost to the Obamas or to taxpayers.

Jimmy Carter left office with a poor reputation thanks to the 52 U.S. captives held at the U.S. embassy in Iran, taken after their revolution. Carter was followed by Reagan who the USA right wing love, but as can be seen by his actions, he got it wrong. Reagan wanted economic growth by cutting government spending, reducing government regulation of the economy, and instituting tax cuts (much like Thatcher). Many still see him as one of their greatest Presidents! And Cameron/Clegg are following in this tradition, as have Labour. So the rich get richer, and the poor suffer.


Jonathan said...

Solar panels on the Whitehouse roof won't do much for oil consumption because most of their electricity is generated from coal. Reducing coal consumption is still a good idea though.

What they should do is require American cars to have European levels of fuel efficiency. That would be very easy to implement as Ford and General Motors make and sell them over here. It would reduce the amount of oil used for road transport by around 2/3s and lead to pretty serious improvements in their economy due to greater energy self sufficiency and environmental improvements.

Adrian Windisch said...

They were solar hot water panels. I dont know how water is heated in the USA, probably similar to us, a mixture of gas, oil and electric. Because its mostly fossil fuel it needs to change.

Cars is a good point, the USA introduced Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations in 1975. Unfortunately presidents have let them slip, instead of the USA leading the way, they are the worst.

Average cars get 30mpg in the USA, my previous car Skoda Felicia got 50, now I have a Toyota Yaris that is nearly 70 mpg.