+
jimmy carter, solar power, plains georgia
via Sol America

Jimmy Carter of Plains, Georgia

This story originally appeared on 02.18.20


Jimmy Carter was way ahead of the rest of America when he put solar panels on the White House. On June 20, 1979, he made a proud proclamation:

In the year 2000 this solar water heater behind me, which is being dedicated today, will still be here supplying cheap, efficient energy…. A generation from now, this solar heater can either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken or it can be just a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people.

The 32-panel system was designed to heat water throughout the presidential residence.




"President Carter saw [solar] as a really valid energy resource, and he understood it. I mean, it is a domestic resource and it is huge," Fred Morse, director of Carter's solar energy program, told Scientific American.

"President Carter saw [solar] as a really valid energy resource, and he understood it. I mean, it is a domestic resource and it is huge," Fred Morse, director of Carter's solar energy program, told Scientific American.

"It was the symbolism of the president wanting to bring solar energy immediately into his administration," he continued. Unfortunately, Ronald Reagan, who was no fan of alternative energy took the panels down form the White House when he took office a few years later.

RELATED: Four more years! The case for Jimmy Carter in 2020.

via Popular Science / Twitter

Carter was right about two things he said in that dedication. First, his panels are currently on display at The Smithsonian Institute, the Carter Library, and the Solar Science and Technology Museum in Dezhou, China.

Second, renewable energy has become one of the most important American endeavors of the new millennium.

There's no doubt that President Carter was way ahead of his time.

Carter has always been a man of action, evidenced by his hands-on approach to building homes with Habitat for Humanity. So in 2017, he leased ten acres of land near his home in Plains, Georgia, to be used as a solar farm with 3,852 panels.

The 94-year-old Carter still lives in his hometown of Plains with his wife in a two-bedroom home that's assessed at about $167,000.

Three years after going live, Carter's solar farm now provides 50% of the small town's electricity needs, generating 1.3 MW of power per year. That's the equivalent of burning about 3,600 tons of coal.

via SolAmerica

The system is state-of-the-art with panels that turn towards the sun throughout the day so they generate the maximum amount of power.

"Distributed, clean energy generation is critical to meeting growing energy needs around the world while fighting the effects of climate change," Carter said in a SolAmerica press release. "I am encouraged by the tremendous progress that solar and other clean energy solutions have made in recent years and expect those trends to continue."

"There remains a great deal of untapped potential in renewable energy in Georgia and elsewhere in the U.S. We believe distributed solar projects like the Plains project will play a big role in fueling the energy needs of generations to come," SolAmerica executive vice president George Mori said in a statement.

Photo by 傅甬 华 on Unsplash

Cats are far more badass than we give them credit for.

Cats have a reputation for being aloof and standoffish, like they're better than everyone and simply can't be bothered. Those of us who have cats know they're not always like that … but yes, they're sometimes like that. They can be sweet and affectionate, but they want affection on their terms, they want to eat and play and sleep on their own clock, and we puny, inferior humans have little say in the matter.

There's a reason why we have obedience schools for dogs and not for cats. Maine coon or Bengal, Savannah or Siamese, ragdoll or sphynx, domestic cats of all breeds are largely untrainable little punks who lure us into loving them by blessing us with the honor of stroking their fur and hearing them purr.

But perhaps we assume too much when we think cats are full of themselves for no good reason. Maybe they are actually somewhat justified in their snootiness. Maybe they really, truly are superior to pretty much every other creature on Earth and that's why they act like it.

Keep ReadingShow less

Actor and director Jonah Hill at the Berlinale 2019.

It’s difficult to have a lot of sympathy for celebrities who have a hard time living in the spotlight. It’s generally accepted as the price one has to pay for all of the benefits that come with being famous. Most people would probably trade having negative things said about them in the press for the power, access, opportunities and money that come with living in the public eye.

However, there’s something to be said for creating art without having to risk your mental health. Or, simply performing your job without suffering from an anxiety attack.

Actor-director Jonah Hill wrote an open letter, first published by Deadline, announcing he will no longer do press appearances because they create too much anxiety. The announcement comes as he prepares for the release of his new documentary, “Stutz,” about his relationship with his therapist.

Keep ReadingShow less

Parents respond to video of Britney Spears.

Parenting is hard for just about everyone. You're completely responsible for a small human that doesn't come with an instruction manual, and it's a case of trying to do the best you can with what you've got. Some people seem to think that celebrities should be infallible, so when Kevin Federline shared a video of Britney Spears being stern with her children there was always going to be negative feedback. But surprisingly, the video has, in fact, stirred up more support for the star and her parenting methods.

Keep ReadingShow less