On July 7, Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Independent from Vermont, will introduce legislation that could push us toward the solar age. His bill, the “10 Million Solar Roofs Act of 2008,” is being co-sponsored by Senators Kerry, Cardin, Specter, Warner, and Menendez.

It would require the Secretary of Energy to set up a program to provide rebates to individuals, businesses, and government buildings so they can put up solar panels on their roofs. Sanders’s goal is to put up panels on 10 million roofs in the next decade.

The rebate could account for up to “50 percent of the cost of the purchase and installation of the system,” the bill says.

For a copy of the bill, click here: http://sanders.senate.gov.

To qualify for the rebates, homeowners and businesses must demonstrate that they meet tough standards for energy efficiency.

In his bill, Sanders extols the promise of solar energy.

“There is a huge potential for increasing the quantity of electricity produced in the United States from distributed solar photovoltaics,” it says. “The use of photovoltaics on the roofs of 10 percent of existing buildings could meet 70 percent of peak electric demand.”

It would also be good for the economy. “Investments in renewable energy stimulate the development of green jobs that provide substantial economic benefits,” the bill states.

Sanders is hopeful about this initiative. “We can reverse greenhouse gas emissions,” he says. “We can break our dependence on foreign oil. Transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels can be a tremendous boon for the United States economy and create millions of good-paying jobs. This is a win, win, win situation.”

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Trump's politics are not the problem.

The fiery Milwaukee Sheriff is on the shortlist to head the Department of Homeland Security.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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