Change is in the Air – The Inauguration Brings Hope, Promise, and Millions to Washington DC – Not to Mention Renewable Energy

The Great American Pilgrimage

I’ve been in the area since late Friday, getting to the Mall for the first time on Saturday afternoon. From the moment I got on the plane in San Francisco I began to feel that I was joining a movement of people, all motivated by the same desire to witness history, to be part of the best of what this country represents.

By the time I hit the streets on Saturday afternoon I knew that being here in Washington DC for the inauguration of Barack Obama is not to witness history, but to be swept up in its tide. The feeling in the air and the word on the street is that what goes down tomorrow will be like no other inauguration in this nation’s history. Not only, I believe, because Obama will be sworn in as the first African-American president – and the long, brutal, essentially American struggle that it represents – but almost in spite of it.

America – indeed the entire world – is fatigued and disillusioned by what is seen by many as missed opportunities, incompetence, and an abandonment of the true promise of America. In this historic election there is the rare upswelling of hope for the ideals of a nation.

Mariah Power windturbine

This isn’t a political blog, so I’ll refrain from too much politics. What I can tell you, from being on the ground here in DC, is that people are coming by the hundreds of thousands – millions – to come together and show their belief in the power of change and the promise of America. The is the Great American Pilgrimage

Change in the air

Nothing represents change in the air than the two wind turbines spinning on the Mall as part of an exhibit by the National Botanical Garden. The turbine on the left is from Mariah Power, and the one on the right is the design of Southwest Power. Both will be on display through January. Only a few hundred feet from the Capital steps where Obama takes his oath of office tomorrow, the small turbines are the type that will provide power for farms, individual homes, and businesses. The turbines on the Mall are working models, contributing power to the DC grid.

Southwest Power wind turbineLast fall, Congress passed a small wind turbine tax credit providing a $4000 tax break for homeowners and small businesses installing these types of systems.

As Barack Obama takes his oath of office tomorrow, these turbines will be quietly doing their part, a testament, along with the millions of Americans bearing witness, that change is in the air

Tom is the founder, editor, and publisher of and the TDS Environmental Media Network. He has been a contributor for Triple Pundit since 2007. Tom has also written for Slate, Earth911, the Pepsico Foundation, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, and many other sustainability-focused publications. He is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists

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