By Vanessa Santos, Advancing Green Building Intern, Second Nature

Last Tuesday evening at Old South Church in Boston, MA, you couldn’t turn around without seeing bright white signs that read “Put Solar on the White House!”

This is Bill McKibben’s clear and simple message. Mr. McKibben, with the support of 350.org, the students of Unity College, as well as many local and national environmental groups, has successfully brought this message from Maine to Boston, judging by the crowd of people that was present at the church to support the movement on September 7, 2010. The team then continued this ”Solar Road Trip” to disseminate this same message to New York City and eventually to Washington D.C. Hopefully this message will prompt President Obama to take action on 10/10/10, the day when organizations, politicians and people around the world will get to work to mitigate climate change.

Traveling with one of the very solar panels that President Carter put on the White House in 1979 (which Reagan removed during his presidency), Bill McKibben and some Unity College students made their first stop in Boston, as they rallied to get President Barack Obama to return this solar panel, and other donated solar panels, to the roof of the White House.

After some live music from the Boston-based band, Melodeego, and introductions from local groups and organizations, such as Students for a Just and Sustainable Future that are actively involved in this campaign, Second Nature President Dr. Anthony Cortese preceded Bill McKibben with a speech that stressed on the need for higher education institutions to be the leaders in this movement toward a sustainable future and climate neutrality. Dr. Cortese also discussed the momentum that has been created within the higher education sector through the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) for last few years. Second Nature is the lead coordinator of this initiative that has brought more than 670 institutions of higher learning to commit to climate neutrality!

Photos from the event:

Dr. Cortese speaking:

Unity College President Mitch Thomashow and the Solar Song:

Videos courtesy of Melodeego.