I was impressed by the town hall meeting American Secretary of State John Kerry did with young Germans in Berlin the other day.
So I have been thinking about what I would have asked if I was young (I am not) and had had the chance to take part in that meeting. There are lots of things that come to mind, but my question would go something like this:
“Thank you very much, Secretary Kerry, for your inspiring words about the fight against global warming. It is very encouraging to hear that message from the United States of America. So, why THE FUCK are there still no solar panels on the White House?”
Now, English is not my first language, so I may have gotten the nuances somewhat wrong there. I understand that adding “THE FUCK” has the meaning “I am perplexed and surprised” in American English, which is what I want to say here. In British English, this would probably be phrased “So, rather surprisingly, there are no solar panels on the White House yet. I wonder if you would be able to explain the reason for that?”
Please note and appreciate how I am putting in the extra effort to try using exactly the language someone from the United States would feel most comfortable with. I do have to admit that this might not be the usual way of framing in a diplomatic context.
Anyway, I was not able to ask that question. So I don’t know the answer.
Which brings me to my real subject here, which is making up some possible answers that remotely make sense. This is, after all, very hard to understand, especially for foreigners like me.
The most probable solution for the mystery is that president Obama is under mind control from the evil alien Khalmorot, who causes global warming because of his successful television show, the heat games. See my global warming science fiction novel “Great News” (free PDF) for more on that. If you wanted to make global warming worse by hypnotizing some human leaders, one of them would be the President of the United States of America. He has considerable power.
Another alternative is that Obama, being smart, thinks like this: The White House, being well, white, already reflects lots of sunlight back into space. That’s enough. If everybody painted their houses white, that would get us a nice albedo effect, canceling out some of the feedback from reclining ice. It would be no good to distract from this message (paint your houses white) by changing the White House into the Solar House.
Yet another alternative: Obama knows that he will be living there only for another couple of years. He hesitates to change the settings in a permanent way, which might be undone as soon as his successor moves in. That has happened already once. But then again, there are reports that Obama already “decided” in 2010 to have solar panels installed, and that it actually is a tradition for each new President to make some changes to the White House.
Maybe it is Obama’s grand plan to actually follow through once he approves the Keystone X pipeline project, so that he has some good news in the mix when he disappoints his supporters fighting climate change.
Maybe he is just waiting for Congress to require solar on the White House by law. I am not an expert in American politics, but he may have to wait for the next election for that to happen.
So I am running out of ideas here. This doesn’t make any sense.
Please read my headline to this article again.
Update: Someone kindly posted a link to this at the “Reddit.com” “Renewable Energy” community, and there have been some comments there.