I have a 2 yr old. I want solar and wind energy now because I need the 'mid century' climate in 2050 to be to stable enough for him to thrive.
That's why this Earth Day, I'm asking everyone to show mamma earth your love by going solar. There's enough sun and wind in the US everyday to power everything we do, and yet special interests try to prevent us from using these renewable sources of energy by painting them as unworkable. The good news is that the special interests are losing. Family by family, community by community, and country by country we have proven that renewable energy works.
While my utility, and my co-op (kind of like a home owners association) did not make it easy, my family installed solar panels a few years ago. At the time, it was hard to find someone willing to do such a small job, no one would help us finance, so we had to pay out of pocket, we didn't have any neighbors who were interested in a bulk purchase, and there were no leasing options available. We pushed through anyway because I was so fed up with our utility and the polluting product they served without a smile. My solar panel vendors were slower than I would have liked, but they were nice, they sold a simple and effective product, and they got the job done.
In Germany, people poured into the streets a few years ago to protest nuclear power following the Fukoshima accident in Japan. Two years after the government decided to switch to renewables, Germany is already providing a quarter of its electricity with renewables.
California just hit 10 percent wind for the first time last week.
And it's not just the usual suspects going solar anymore. Cincinnati's residents will be supporting 100 percent renewable energy by next year. And what's more amazing? They made this move while reducing electricity rates. The Cincinnati zoo has gorgeous new installations of solar panels, and the city is earning accolades from around the world.
It sounds too good to be true, but thankfully solar energy IS true. Thanks to many local heros-- families, churches, synagogues, businesses, and schools around the country, solar has been tried and tested. Now solar panels are both easy and popular. You don't need any specialized information to go solar, and in many states, you don't need to put any money down up front.
That's right: it's not expensive, and it will save you money in many states. It will also make you the envy of all your neighbors, as most solar panel owners can attest.
Please, for the sake of my baby and yours, do not wait. If not us, who? Is not now, when? Make the move. go solar.
- Here are two companies that lease solar panels with zero money down: http://www.sungevity.com/ and http://www.solarcity.com/
- Here is a link to a map showing neighborhoods or organizations helping with 'bulk purchases' of solar panels: http://communitypowernetwork.com/
About Keya Chatterjee
Keya Chatterjee is a Climate Change and Environment expert, and Director for International Climate Policy at World Wildlife Fund. Her work focuses on the environmental crisis facing the planet, and what policies and measures should be taken to ameliorate the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. Keya’s commentary on climate change policy and sustainability issues has been quoted in dozens of media outlets including USA Today, CNN, and NBC Nightly News. Keya resides in Washington, DC with her husband Andrew and her son Siddharth. She enjoys practicing yoga, biking, and spending time with her friends and family. She is working on a book about how to have a baby without raising your carbon footprint to be published in 2013 by Ig Publishing. Keep up with Keya's writing on the nexus of climate change activism and motherhood at www.keyachatterjee.com.