January 5, 2011: “Growing Good”

Today’s Boston Globe had a disturbing article in the business section: Evergreen Solar, a local biz, “has struggled against aggressive competition in China, a poor economy, and increasingly lackluster government support for the country’s solar industry.”

This is, of course, outrageous.

And worthy of a mini-rant. Are you ready? Here goes:

[Historical reference: In the sixties and seventies, many a rant began: “We can put a man on the moon but we can’t . . . ]

We can spend billions of dollars on war but we can’t support subsidize companies like Evergreen? (China, on the other hand has “ramped up manufacturing, using massive government subsidies to produce the world’s cheapest solar panels.”)

This is outrageous.

Here’s how I plan to cope with my outrage and my sense of powerlessness; I share this because it’s helpful.

When I read maddening articles like this in my morning paper, I remind myself that I’m reading, you know, The Boston Globe. Does the Globe know much about the countless visionary individuals and small neighborhood efforts and initiatives and small businesses who, indeed, recognize what’s imperative? Like Slow Money for example?

What do you think?

And I am comforted by the very last words of George Eliot’s Middlemarch—which I just finished last night.

Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi Patricia-

    I totally understand your frustration with this news, but the fact is that Evergreen has actually received a LOT of subsidies from the state and feds. We’ve even got Evergreen solar panels on our roof because the state gave a significantly bigger rebate on our system by installing Massachusetts-made panels.

    But Evergreen’s technology simply isn’t the best and they were too slow to scale up their operations to compete. So they’ve been left in the dust.

    Thanks for the Slow Money plug!!


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