What the movie Network and the U.S. Tea Party movement can teach the solar industry
It is frightening how much of what was depicted as satire in Paddy Chayefsky’s 1976 movie Network is now a part of our reality. For one thing the evening news now seems like a group of Facebook friends chatting about something breaking, whether or not it is news, and for another, television is dominated by realty shows, which by-in-large celebrate either complete humiliating disaster or the triumph over complete humiliating disaster. And then we have that famous line …”I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” The U.S. Tea Party movement has turned that line into a political movement and is now dominating the news by inarticulately articulating the popular rage.
Currently, the U.S. is stuck in mid-term election politician panic. This means that most politicians will do or say very little that would threaten re-election. Thus, the ITC grant will likely languish until post-election at which point it may face lame duck session death.
In California, Proposition 23 (which would reverse the state’s 33% RPS until unemployment levels were 5.5% for some period of time) looks as if it will be defeated, but, as it is dubbed the jobs bill … who knows what will happen.
Meanwhile worldwide governments are suddenly waking up to the fact that feed-in tariffs are the most successful at stimulating a market for solar, while at the same time overwhelming the market with expensive tariffs that must be supported for many years. This latter may well lead to more pragmatic and long term stimulation tools in the U.S., but, true change is unlikely until the U.S. solar industry (CSP, CPV and PV) joins forces and becomes an actual force.
The solar industry in the U.S. needs to get mad as hell, and it needs to do it fast. And then, instead of breaking off into disparate lobbying groups it needs to quash the quarrels (or keep them behind closed doors) and rise up as a voting bloc that politicians will listen to. Whether you agree, disagree or cannot find any logical focal point in what the Tea Party members say or stand for – they are articulating the popular rage and finding a place where everyone can be angry at once, even if they are all angry about different things. Politicians are listening to them.
So, U.S. solar industry and all its stakeholders … rise up out of your seats, write letters to your politicians, join SEIA (the industry’s lobbying arm) – and make it about all solar, all the time. Fight for legislation that will create the jobs so necessary in this country (look at the jobs created in Germany for solar, which is why the German Photovoltaic Association has power).
Vote with one voice -- for jobs, for a vibrant economy and the new industry that we are on the cusp of developing and do it as one massive group of voters. Get mad as hell and do something about it.
Posted 10/10/2010 by Paula Mints
Comment on this blog
You must be registered and logged in to leave a comment
about this blog.