The film "A Road Not Taken" tells the story about the solar thermal panels that were put on the White House in 1979 during the administration of President Jimmy Carter, a solar energy advocate who also created the Department of Energy.
The solar panels were taken down during the Reagan administration, warehoused, and later put back into service at Unity College in Maine, generating hot water using the free, clean energy of our sun.
The title of the film is apropos even today, given the Obama Administration's refusal to take an historic Carter solar panel from Bill McKibben and students from Unity College on Sept. 10. The gift was symbolic, but for those interested in Obama's promise of a clean energy future, the refusal of the gift is just another example of a road not taken.
The film trailer of "A Road Not Taken" is below. Watch, listen and then let Obama know how you feel (see some reactions to the White House refusal, below).
Bryan Walsh at TIME.com stated, "given how unhappy many greens are feeling towards the White House, rebuffing McKibben and his friends doesn't look all that great—especially to the young, committed activists who helped form Obama's Army in 2008."
Here's what Amanda Nelson, a Unity College student who traveled with McKibben, told Andy Revkin:
I didn't expect I'd get to shake President Obama's hand, but it was really shocking to me to find out that they really didn't seem to care. They couldn't even give us a statement…. They did stress it's a slow process and I recognize that. What we did today maybe will help a year from now. But right now it didn't happen.Personally, I think it is lame that the Obama administration refused the Unity College solar panel, which is not only a piece of history from former President Jimmy Carter's White House, but also a symbol of energy independence and a clean, renewable energy future.
But the future is now, because it was 31 years ago that Jimmy Carter said, "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."
It was a road not taken for Reagan, and now again for Obama.