NZ Green Party
Bill McKibben on David Letterman: Put Solar on the White House on 10/10

I’ll let Bill McKibben from 350.org tell you all about it. I’m a third of the way through his new book, eaarth, and I recommend it to anyone concerned about where we’re going to be as a species in just a few decades. Climate change is now, not the problem of the next generation.

What will you be doing on 10/10/10?

28 thoughts on “Bill McKibben on David Letterman: Put Solar on the White House on 10/10

  1. Be good to see the White House have panels again; when Ronnie got elected, Jimmy’s panels were “gone by lunchtime”. Cool that those panels still exist and are still working.

    The hose example is interesting too – my (admittedly a bit longer than most) garden hose absorbs 1KW of heat on a sunny day, and that’s just a hose lying in the grass. A KW of heat from no engineering whatsoever, that I found astounding…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1 (+4)

  2. Rahui Katene from the Maori Party suggested that the Beehive has room for some solar on the roof.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1 (+8)

  3. Would love to see those panels back! Reagan could be the poster boy for the thinking that got us into this mess. Just finished Eaarth and McKibben says that the late 70′s were a real turning point. Though derided at the time, The Limits to Growth from the Club of Rome started to bring about changes in our thinking and the world was at a fork in the road in the late 1970′s. Faced with the choice of accepting or rejecting the idea that limits existed, we rejected it violently and put the planet on a path of greater growth than had ever been seen. It is now too late to avoid the damage. Decisions in the next few years will only determine whether we will survive it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1 (+7)

  4. When will the Green MP’s seize the opportunity to claim the behive lawns for vegetable gardens? A small orchard perhaps? Something other than …grass.. hey, headline!

    “Greens rid Beehive of grass”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1 (+3)

  5. Never mind houses of parliament or the White house I would like to see affordable solar cells and solar panels sold in every supermarket that is NOT happening.

    Because the large corporations want to monopolise it!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 (-1)

  6. Solar cells and solar panels aren’t going to be sold in supermarkets any time soon as both require more than your average DIY person to install. I hate to think of the problems which can be caused by an unskilled person attempting to connect into the household mains supply or the water supply. There are reasons these areas are regulated!

    Solar cells and solar panels ON the supermarkets is another thing entirely, and is much more feasible, along with the same on schools, hospitals, commercial buildings and industry.

    Trevor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 (+2)

  7. Reagan could be the poster boy for the thinking that got us into this mess.

    Reality is that it wasn’t so much Reagan as the US voters – whilst Carter’s approach might have been commonsense, wearing jerseys on national television and saying that the solution to your problems is turning down your thermostat is not the sort of solution that the US voter wanted; all it did was make Carter look like an idiot. What the US voter wanted at the time is something big, bold and sexy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 (+2)

  8. guerilla garden?

    or parliament garden for 10/10/10 350 event this year?

    When will the Green MP’s seize the opportunity to claim the behive lawns for vegetable gardens?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 (-1)

  9. So now its official Obama is Jimmy Cater. I guess that means Obama is not going to even get his party nomination in 2012.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 (0)

  10. Having been in the US at the time, I can say that Carter did not look like an idiot and apart from a reprehensible tendency to mispronounce “nuclear” was a damned good President.

    Carter lost because voters in the US were (and remain) idiots, not because he was. A bland engineer against an affable professional actor. He also lost because of some nasty arrangements by Republicans with Iranian extremists, the initial Iranian Hostage debacle, the fact that he didn’t control the price of oil.. and the fact that Andersen was also running and split out part of his vote. That the US voters haven’t figured out that they are LIMITED to a 2 party system…. that’s sort of telling.

    BJ

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 (0)

  11. price controls??

    The idea that the government can determine supply and demand via fixing a price floor/ceiling is absurd.

    Carter was a fool for the very fact he even thought he could.

    Don’t even get me started on his failure to understand capitalism and its fundamental requirement that failure via bankruptcy is necessary component of such a system. Funny that carter had to bail out car companies just like Obama.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 (+1)

  12. Agree john-ston and bj. That’s what I meant by ‘poster boy’. He may have led the charge, but the idiots didn’t have to vote for him. Agree too about Carter, but not sure what he could have done different that would have had that much effect. It’s hard to make restraint for the common good look sexy when the other guy is appealing to greed.

    Speaking of which, I understand Gordon Gecko is about to be released from jail! Can’t wait.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 (0)

  13. Valis says it like it is.

    This stuff is settled history.

    And Turnip’s observation on Obama getting tarred with the Carter brush is not without merit – it could come to pass. The American people have dismissed one president who tried to do something right, Obama could be next to get revolted onto.

    While we’re on Turnip – Price can adjust demand on many categories of goods, that’s settled economics. Price controls can come from many plkaces, including governments.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 (-1)

  14. Not quite true price is a measure of the supply and demand.
    So price controls IE the fixing of prices can only come from 2 sources a
    private monopoly via limiting the supply (The diamond industry) and the government which directly sets the price either to low or to high in regard to the supply. I fail to see how those 2 sources constitute many.

    If the government sets the price to low then the demand will increase until the good is exhausted. If the government sets it too high then the demand will fall since no one will be able to buy it.

    You seem to be ignoring supply and only talking about price vs demand. I don’t see how that’s possible supply price and demand all come as a single package you can’t selective choose 2 and ignore the other.

    Also there is no such thing as settled economics since economics is not a science and as such lacks any means of testable experimentation. Claiming an economic theory is equivalent to a scientific theory is not possible with out a repeatable falsifiable experimentation to back it up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 (+1)

  15. Carter lost because voters in the US were (and remain) idiots, not because he was.

    I never said he was, I said that it made him look like an idiot.

    and the fact that Andersen was also running and split out part of his vote.

    Andersen would have made no difference to the final result; I have just done the sums using the state by state data found here (http://www.presidentelect.org/e1980.html#state) and even had all the votes that went to Andersen gone to Carter, it would still have been 331 electoral votes to Reagan and 207 to Carter. For that matter, the states that Reagan won by a clear majority contributed a total of 254 electoral votes; and the states that he won by 49% of the total votes cast would have pushed him over the line.

    And Turnip’s observation on Obama getting tarred with the Carter brush is not without merit – it could come to pass. The American people have dismissed one president who tried to do something right, Obama could be next to get revolted onto.

    Since before Obama got elected, I predicted he was going to be the next Carter. Obama clearly overpromised and has not been able to deliver, even with all the conditions being in his favour (control of the House of Representatives as well as a filibuster proof majority in the Senate).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 (+2)

  16. Uggggh! When/if solar becomes economical viable to install people and businesses will install it…not before and nor should they.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4 (-3)

  17. James – new tech such as solar needs support in order to achieve the development and scale of production to to become economically viable – chicken and egg.

    You need to also factor the hugh subsidies, externalities and policy/political control enjoyed by fossil energy, and how to overcome this in order that renewables can even compete on a level playing field.

    Our real interconnected world is much more complex than any economics textbook – et ceteris paribus does not apply.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 (+2)

  18. James – Solar HW IS economically viable – perhaps not huge rates of return, but it’ll pay for itself. Not all decisions are based only on economic viability. Solar is way more economically viable than a new kitchen and it is being installed in greater numbers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 (0)

  19. If solar is viable then cool.I have a solar water heating system myself so Im not dissing it in principle…far from it.But if the dollars and cents don’t work in their particular context then people should not bother.There is no conflict between good economics and other valid reasons for installing solar.

    James – new tech such as solar needs support in order to achieve the development and scale of production to to become economically viable – chicken and egg.

    Yes I know.Its exactly the same in regard to any new thing on the market.The rich and able will be the only ones able to afford it in the beginning until scale of production kicks in causing the price to drop to the point where the less well off can afford to buy them….Cars,cellphs,Plasma Tvs’ etc.

    But you can’t just make everyone buy it now when its not economical to do so.People won’t buy solar instead of feeding themselves and their kids,maintaining their car etc…Thats the flaw in leftist thinking.Dictating that “it must happen!….now, if not yesterday..we command it!…makes you look silly….and thats the kindest thing I can say about it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 (0)

  20. You need to also factor the hugh subsidies, externalities and policy/political control enjoyed by fossil energy, and how to overcome this in order that renewables can even compete on a level playing field.

    Yes…and thats why I support a FREE market…a real one where state backed privilage is removed and all industries must compete without favour.Thats also what Roger Douglas has always advocated yet its claimed hes a fan of big business.Not so…indeed BB regards Douglas as a real threat to their established,entrenched virtual monopolies that they have thanks to state regulation crippling small start up businesses that could take their market share if allowed to play on a level field.Thats why Douglas will never be allowed anywhere near finance by Key or National…their big,regulation protected money base won’t allow that even if hell freezes over.

    Our real interconnected world is much more complex than any economics textbook – et ceteris paribus does not apply.

    How is there a conflict between real economics ie:human action,and an interconnected world…? its all the same thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 (+1)

  21. Thats why Douglas will never be allowed anywhere near finance by Key or National…their big,regulation protected money base won’t allow that even if hell freezes over.

    I disagree James – even if what Douglas did was necessary to prevent New Zealand from going bankrupt, it was still highly unpopular.

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  22. I disagree James – even if what Douglas did was necessary to prevent New Zealand from going bankrupt, it was still highly unpopular.

    No doubt…but having drug addicts go cold turkey seldom is with the addict no matter thats its the best thing for him.

    We reached rock bottom in the 80′s,the great socialist/protectionist experiment had failed and Douglas did what was needed…although he should have done more like deregulating the labour market asap…that would have boosted things mightly.

    But the point still stands that Douglas is,and has has long been an enemy of privilage,especially business privilage.And the entrenched enjoyers of that privilage are quite happy for Douglas to be demonised by the left…it saves them needing to do it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 (+1)

  23. I’d love to see actual beehives, a green roof and solar panels added to the Beehive, that way it won’t look so much like a giant slide projector from a retro 70s future. I’d also LOVE to see a food forest planted on the beehive lawn. Imagine a government literally providing free food for people on their lawn…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

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