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Can Red and Blue Make Green?

2016 02 25 1175 GSTBy now, you’ve probably unfollowed a friend or two on social media due to the upcoming presidential election. It’s easy to get caught up in the humor, and offensiveness, of the memes that depict the never-ending controversy that engulfs American politics. Things start to look like an alternate universe that you just want to stay away from at all costs. You stand there shouting “leave me out of it!” and quickly go back to watching cat videos on YouTube.

So it’s no surprise that when you pair politics and media, legitimate social issues seem to lose focus within the “red” and the “blue” manifestos. It’s sort of like that Netflix show ‘Stranger Things’. On the show, the kids (consider them social issues such as global warming) become entrapped in another dimension (politics) and can be faintly heard screaming for help, while the adults (legitimately concerned citizens) are left in the “real world” scrambling around in an attempt to find the kids and bring them back to reality, where they belong. Right now, a lot of people in our nation have been left in a daze that has them wondering why real problems that affect us all are being used as a way to play proverbial dodgeball in the political spectrum. Why can’t we all just get along? That brings up an even bigger question for the Sun Solar team, whose primary focus is encouraging environmental consciousness and reducing the global impact of greenhouse gas emissions.

The question is: “Can red and blue come together to make green?”

We know this goes against everything you learned in primary school, but we aren’t talking about mixing actual colors. We are talking about tactful and more importantly, peaceful, bipartisanship in an effort to save us all from the ignorance that is plaguing the progress of humanity for the simple sake of picking a political side. To us, and to millions of Americans, it’s about so much more than choosing sides. It’s about choosing to recognize real problems and becoming involved in developing and nurturing real solutions.

We do not wish to ignite a full-on discussion about global warming, but we do want to point out that it’s not just blue states that are in favor of renewable energy. In fact, red states are actually leading the nation on a path towards sustainability. So if this is true, why are so many lawmakers and their supporters instigating so much resistance when their home states are actually the ones directly benefiting from renewable energy?

Let’s look at the stats, shall we?

Red States Leading the Nation in Renewable Energy

Solar Energy

According to Solar Energy Industries Association (or SEIA), Arizona comes in at a well deserving second place, behind California, on their Top 10 Solar States list. Arizona’s solar electricity capacity is nearly 7 times the national average per resident, with an installed 2,303 megawatts; enough to power 327,000 homes. Over recent years, California (a blue state) actually ranked second to Arizona.

Wind Energy

Texas is ranked #1 in the nation for wind energy production, with Iowa (a blue state) coming in second. Texas ranks first for both installed and under construction wind capacity. The number of homes estimated in the state of Texas that are powered by wind is an astonishing 4.1 million. (credit: American Wind Energy Association).

Hydropower

The National Hydropower Association ranked the top 10 states leading the country in hydropower. Five of them are blue states and the other five are red states. The states on that list, in the order in which they are ranked, are: Washington (B), Oregon (B), New York (B), California (B), Alabama (R), Tennessee (R), Montana (R), Idaho (R), North Carolina (B), and Arizona (R).

So there you have it, folks. We have a good thing going for us on both sides of that line in the sand.

It’s not about red or blue or conservatism vs. liberalism. It’s not about who throws the better punch or who we’d blindly follow in a hypothetical scenario, simply because our comfort zones point us in their general direction. It’s about pulling our heads out of the sand, realizing the impact that we all have on this planet, and understanding that doing something to improve the quality of life now, and for generations to come, is nothing to be ashamed of. So, now to answer the big question, “Can red and blue come together to make green?”

We definitely think so.

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