Unity College Team and Author Bill McKibben Plan Solar Road Trip to White House

Sep 01, 2010, 11:58 ET from Unity College

UNITY, Maine, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Fresh from being named to the list of "greenest" colleges in the United States by The Princeton Review, Unity College will send a team on a solar road trip to the White House with environmental author and activist Bill McKibben.

The objective of the road trip is to raise awareness of the potential that solar power has to reindustrialize America, address Global Warming, and create new industries. 

On Tuesday, September 7, McKibben will join a team from Unity College outside Unity House, the net zero, LEED Platinum solar home of Unity College President Mitch Thomashow and his wife, Cindy, on the campus of Unity College.  The group will depart at noontime with a solar panel formerly atop the White House during the administration of Jimmy Carter.  Billed as a "Put Solar On It" Road trip, McKibben and participants hope to hand deliver the solar panel to the White House, encouraging President Barack Obama to reinstall solar atop the White House.

During an August 31 appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, McKibben urged President Obama to place solar once again atop the White House.

In 1979, President Jimmy Carter installed solar panels atop the White House as a symbol of the innovation that could be achieved not only by the pursuit of solar, but by seeking the development of a wide array of alternative energy sources.  The panels were removed during the administration of President Ronald Reagan and placed in storage.  In the early 1990's Unity College, a small environmental college in Maine, relocated the panels to their campus as a symbolic gesture.  Sixteen of the panels were refurbished and heated water in the cafeteria at Unity College until 2003, when they reached the end of their functional lives.

In recent years the former White House panels have come into the public eye once again, and became the focus of a 2010 documentary film entitled A Road Not Taken, by Swiss filmmakers Christina Hemaner and Roman Keller.  The documentary has been screened at film festivals in the United States and Europe.

McKibben is challenging President Obama to install his new set of panels on October 10 as part of 350.org's 10/10/10 Global Work Party, a day when millions of people across the planet will get to work on climate solutions.

For more information on the road trip visit http://PutsolarOn.It/road-trip.


SOURCE Unity College