A Minute with McIver

Sunburn

Like clockwork, we have another scandal brewing you know where (not that we've heard much about any of the others). The Solyndra debacle, in which a $535 million federal loan was provided to solar panel maker Solyndra, is getting good. See: http://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Solyndra-oversight-was-lax-critic...

The latest documents to be released show the White House was sweating bullets over what was perceived to be a risky venture, while Energy Department officials were trying to help Solyndra save face. Of course, when compared to a wasted couple of trillion, $500 mill isn't such a big deal, but it points to reckless endeavors to please big donors, and extreme waste of taxpayer dollars. The same taxpayers about whom the Obama Administration claims to care so much.

Somewhat removed from the Beltway, it's amazing what this green technology craze can do to people. At its lowest level, people simply misunderstand what "green" is or should be, how it can be used in its most practical forms for true energy efficiency. At its worst, we see politicians, manufacturers, associations, some media outlets all tripping over themselves to grab the green ring and be perceived as an environmentalist who wants to help consumers and the planet.

I had similar experiences with this mania when I worked for a landscaping/lawn care publication. In this case, the fervor was against pesticide use; it was a custom-made bogeyman, which had all kinds of bad associations, most of them either untrue, or true only when products were misapplied by a total imbecile or unlicensed contractor. The "green industry" back then was lawn care companies--they coined the phrase-- but do you think they got credit for their stewardship? Nope. Just more derision, lies, and government regulation.

So don't think this Solyndra sunburn will cause much of a cancer to the great solar/green cause. The media will look the other way at the right time, and call this an exception to the rule.

All the HVACR industry can do, is to continue doing what it does best: invent equipment that's efficient but is within reach of the average homeowner, and use refrigerants responsibly: recover, recycle and reclaim, and train your technicians to follow proper procedures.

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