Tell World Leaders to Go Solar!
By Bill McKibben
As you all know, we're getting to work on 10/10/10--all around the world people are preparing climate solutions projects for their communities, their mosques and churches and synagogues and temples, their schools and homes.
We thought our leaders should have a chance to get personally involved too, which is why we're today launching a special campaign aimed just at them.
Each one has a roof over their heads--in India at the Rashtrapati Bhavan; in Mexico they call it Los Pinos, and in Washington it's the White House.
Those roofs need solar panels--and we hope they'll go up on October 10, just as around the world people are taking practical action in their own communities. It's remarkably easy to send a message to your leader--just click here for instructions:
Those solar panels won't be enough solve climate change, obviously. But they'll send a strong symbolic message about what the future demand--and maybe our leaders will see how easy it is to start down a greener path. If they hammer in a solar panel, perhaps they'll feel more committed to hammering out some clean energy legislation.
We're a little worried, of course, that our leaders will use their new solar panels to claim that they're sincere about climate change without passing the legislation and enacting the regulations that really matter--none of us wants to be used for a photo opportunity. Instead, the message we'll all be sending is: you've taken symbolic action, so now get to work on the real thing.
But the symbolism is important too. Just imagine: 30 years ago the American White House actually did have solar panels on the roof, installed by president Jimmy Carter. But they were taken down by the next administration, and they've never reappeared. That represents three wasted decades when we could have been doing something about the climate crisis--we'll never get those decades back, but we can start to catch up now.
So while you're rounding up your neighbors for your own 10/10/10 action, invite the person in charge of your nation to join you on that day. Remind them that one answer to our greatest crisis is directly above their heads. Tell them to roll up their sleeves and get to work!
Bill McKibben for the whole 350.org team
P.S. Good news already! Just as we're launching this campaign, President Mohammed Nasheed of the Maldives confirmed he'll be up on his roof on 10/10/10, installing a solar array. Who's next?