Many of us watched the Sun with awe (and hopefully with protective glasses) to witness a dazzling solar eclipse, and last Tuesday, to see little Venus skirting her way between us and our favorite star. The Californian’s described in this article have also been feeling the Sun’s warmth in terms of their wallets and bank accounts. Whether they’re elderly people on fixed incomes with houses to heat and medical equipment to run, or inner city residents becoming part of smarter, at least partially solar-powered grid, they are saving money and getting jobs related to the Sun’s clean, renewable power. At the time of the Gold Rush, 49ers came in droves to get rich quick on shiny mineral resources. Soon it became clear that California’s wealth lay in more diversified fields: our rich agricultural lands; our redwood forests; and our creativity. Now we’re doing better at harnessing energy from the Golden State’s famous rays. Political squabbling aside, adding more solar energy to our mix makes sense.

Solar power generating social change
By Daniel M. Kammen
SF Gate, Sunday, June 3, 2012