chart
One of these days Congress is going to try to pass some kind of climate bill, and the word around the Beltway is that politicians with ties to the fossil fuel industry will dig their heels deep into the earth’s crust to eviscerate it.  In other words, if you think the health care brawl was tough, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet (and remember, the Senate passed the health care bill back when it had a filibuster-proof majority).

The climate bill/international treaty we need to stop catastrophic global warming is one that rapidly brings atmospheric carbon levels down to 350 ppm.  But the numbers floating around the Hill are more in the neighborhood of 450 ppm or no upward limit at all.  Legislating 350 ppm is the climate equivalent of a single payer health insurance system-it’s what the experts say we need and the pundits say is a political non-starter.

So if we don’t get the climate bill we need, where does that leave us?  It leaves us at the mercy of private industry (just like the health care bill leaves our well-being in the hands of private insurers).  Having just watched Capitalism: A Love Story, that proposition strikes me as pretty grim indeed.   On the other hand, there are some businesses (and we like to think Sungevity is one of them) that are deeply committed to selling goods and services that help people and businesses reduce their carbon footprints, and there’s not a climate skeptic in the world who can stop us.

By bringing solar down to a price that any homeowner can afford, solar companies are driving nothing less than a renewable electricity revolution.  If the government won’t do it, and the utilities won’t do it, we will…with your help. Become a solar evangelist by telling everyone you know about your solar lease, and help homeowners outside of California find local installers or PACE programs that offer assistance with financing.

Solar power alone won’t get us to 350.  But in conjunction with wind power, energy and fuel efficiency, and whatever climate bill or treaty does eventually pass, solar will be a big part of the solution.

For the rest of this week, I’ll be blogging on the theme of why we need a solar revolution–even the phytoplankton agree, as we’ll see in tomorrow’s post.

–Erica Etelson

Posted by Danny Kennedy

Danny Kennedy co-founded Sungevity and now serves as strategic advisor. He is an internationally recognized opinion leader on climate and energy issues. He is the author of Rooftop Revolution: How Solar Power Can Save Our Economy - and Planet - from Dirty Energy (2012), a book that has been described as the clean energy manifesto for the next greatest generation.