A Message from Our President

Twenty-Five Years – Speaking Up for Nature and Building a Better Future

In Support of Bill McKibben and Recognition of Why StraightUp Solar Exists

Dane Glueck, MD – President, StraightUp Solar


StraightUp Solar was founded in large part due to one book:  The Future of Life by E.O. Wilson.  I read the following:  “When we destroy ecosystems and extinguish species, we degrade the greatest heritage this planet has to offer and thereby threaten our own existence.”  We couldn’t stand by the wayside and wish for better to come along.  Rather than waiting for others, StraightUp Solar was built to do our part to create the solar movement and educate our community.

Since reading The Future of Life” and starting StraightUp Solar in 2006, we’ve seen real changes in our community’s awareness regarding the negative impacts of fossil fuels.  Solar’s distributed, tangible benefits have been part of that change – creating a sense that we can change and improve the future of life.  But, the change has been coming too slow.

One of my heroes, Bill McKibben, has been writing about climate change and it’s impacts since 1989 in his book The End of Nature.  He recently wrote Oil and Honey, The Education of an Unlikely Activist.  As I recently read Oil and Honey, 25 years after the writing of The End of Nature, it’s clear that the two books are remarkable “bookends” to the evolution of our awareness about climate change and the ongoing urgent need to continue to share ideas and educate others.

I’m inspired by Bill’s indomitable spirit and willingness to continue to fight for his beliefs and for the data that clearly indicates global warming is here to stay.   Many years ago he pushed us to consider the outcome in The End of Nature:  “Changes that can affect us can happen in our lifetime in our world – not just changes like wars but bigger and more sweeping events.  I believe that without recognizing it we have already stepped over a threshold of such change:  that we are at the end of nature.”

As a father that’s imagining the next 50 years for my two children, I felt a special connection to Mark Hertsgaard’s recent article called “Can Generation Hot Avoid Its Fate?”  He writes, “Nevertheless, the feeling I insist upon having is hope—the chance of righting this sinking ship before it is too late. What other choice is there for a loving father?  Nor is my hope mere wishful thinking; it rests on firm grounds. For example, solar power is growing faster worldwide than cell phones did.”

Whether it’s for energy independence, energy security, or environmental benefits – solar makes sense.  Even if some don’t believe that we need to solve global warming, we can all clearly recognize solar’s job creation abilities:  over 142,000 Americans are working in the solar industry today.

StraightUp Solar echoes Bill’s words from Oil and Honey, “I didn’t particularly want to lead a movement, but I wanted to join one, and so I’d helped build it.”   So, fight on.  We’re with you.  StraightUp Solar will continue to live our CLEARE values, including the “A” that stands for Advocate Always.   We’re building a movement with you, one tribal member and one solar panel at a time.

See below for links to websites, books and articles with further information:

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Dane Glueck

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