CHAPTER 4Take a Walk on the Sunny Side

I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.

THOMAS EDISON, IN CONVERSATION WITH HENRY FORD AND HARVEY FIRESTONE, 1931

SOLAR SCHMOLAR, SAYS OL’ KING CONG—JUST LEAVE WELL enough alone: Pay a small fee when you move into a new home, and we’re ready to serve. Just flip a switch, twist a knob, or press a button, and—voilà—your beer is cold, your shower is hot, and your TV casts its warm glow onto your grateful faces. We’ll take care of your energy needs and your energy future. (Just make sure you get your monthly check into the mail.) Why change? Why even consider that solar mumbo jumbo? It’s impractical, ...

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