Carter, Reagan and the PNE Prize Home

It’s the oldest amusement park in Canada.

The Pacific National Exhibition or PNE is a non-profit organization that manages a fairground in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The grounds include a variety of venues, arenas and one of the best old style “Wooden Roller Coasters” ever built.

Each year the PNE hosts a 17 day summer fair that ends on Labour Day.

Other than the rides, games, food, entertainment and agriculture competitions, one of the highlights of the fair is the PNE Prize Home give away.

You can take a virtual tour of the 2011 home here:

http://www.pne.ca/pneprizehome/virtual-tours.html

State of the art technology and energy efficiency have always been central to the theme of these homes.

For example, in 2009, the show home came with in-floor radiant heating, hot water on demand, solar panels and a roof made mostly out of recycled tires.

It was one of the best Prize Homes ever, which brings me to my point:

Why would anyone not want a solar panel system?

It seems unimaginable that someone would move into such an energy efficient home and then not long after proceed to hire a construction crew to come in and tear the solar panels off the roof and rip out the solar system completely.

Who in their right mind would do such a thing?

Answer:

Ronald Reagan.

In 1977, the liberal President Jimmy Carter installed solar panels on the White House roof.

Carter offered tax credits to anyone who purchased a solar energy system.

Then conservative Ronald Reagan got elected.

One of the first things Reagan did as president was take away the tax credits for solar systems.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=carter-white-house-solar-panel-array

Thomas Edison described the problem best:

“When we learn how to store electricity, we will cease being apes ourselves; until then we are tailless orangutans. You see, we should utilize natural forces and thus get all of our power. Sunshine is a form of energy, and the winds and the tides are manifestations of energy.

Do we use them? Oh, no! We burn up wood and coal, as renters burn up the front fence for fuel. We live like squatters, not as if we owned the property.

“There must surely come a time when heat and power will be stored in unlimited quantities in every community, all gathered by natural forces. Electricity ought to be as cheap as oxygen, for it cannot be destroyed.”

Edison made that strong statement over 100 years ago in 1910.

Right before his death he clearly felt as strongly about the issue as ever:

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

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