December 22, 2012

Shine, Baby, Shine! Not Drill, Baby, Drill! ~ Brian Ettling

“I have nothing more to do with oil. I am producing my own energy–solar energy,” Larry Hagman (the actor who played oil baron J.R. Ewing on TV show Dallas) said in a television advertisement for SolarWorld, Germany-based solar system producer.

One week ago, Robert S. Eshelman , reporter for Environment & Energy Publishing (E&E) wrote this wonderful tribute on ClimateWire: “Solar industry loses major booster with death of actor Larry Hagman.

When Larry Hagman, the actor who for 14 seasons played oil baron J.R. Ewing on the television show Dallas, died in late November, many people noted the loss of an American icon. Sadly, the solar industry also lost one of its leading promoters.

Hagman played the role of a greedy, evil oil tycoon on TV in the 1980s. Ironically, in recent years, he owned the largest private solar energy system in the nation. He was a leading advocate for the solar power sector.

Even more, through his charitable work, he promoted energy infrastructure improvements in poor communities around the world. His charitable foundation, with a wink to J.R. Ewing, was called, “Evil Does Good.”

Hagman was very enthusiastic about solar energy on his property. He wrote on his website in 2010:

“The sun provides power to my house, my office, and others on the grid as well. The incentives California gives for solar power make it absolutely crazy not to do. I went from $2,800.00 to $13.00 on my electric bill. With what I have done in my own home I expect to see the entire system paid off in about five years and the rest of my life my home will have virtually no power bill.”

On this CNBC interview in 2007, the reporter asked Hagman what J.R. Ewing would say about him converting to solar. Larry responded, “Oh, if it is to make money, he would say, ‘wonderful.’ J.R. did not ever care where the money came from, whether it was petroleum or solar power or hydrogen or whatever. It was about anything to make a buck.”

He ended that same 2010 posting on his website, “Larry Goes Green,” with these very inspiring words:

“We have the power to make changes every day. The only things any of us truly have in this world are the decisions we make. Take some advice from me live a life you love and love the life you live. Become knowledgeable about what changes you can make in your daily lives. Our time is short to make these changes, but I’m heartened by the increased interest these last few years have brought. We may just make it yet. Larry”


Brian Ettling: Loves planet earth and is following his passion as a climate change communicator; in August 2012 Brian was trained by Al Gore and the Climate Reality Project as a Climate Leader. He writes his own blog: http://begreenstartingnow.blogspot.com and he is a contributing writer for http://www.climatebites.org. For the past 13 years, Brian has worked as a naturalist ranger at Everglades National Park in Florida and at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, where he has created an evening campfire program on the impact of climate change on Crater Lake. In the “off season” Brian lives in St. Louis, Missouri where he co-founded Climate Reality St. Louis Meet Up, a group of locals discussing the impact and solutions to climate change.


ed. Rebecca Schwarz

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