Obama visits the solar harvesting "farms" in Desoto County

It wasn’t easy for me to resist the temptation to gush happily in print over our President’s visit to DeSoto county last week. Consider this: a utility company executive delivers accolades to the President for his leadership on sustainable energy production. Is this an anomaly? Maybe, but FPL Group’s CEO Lewis Hay, belongs to an exclusive club. Its members are forward thinking business executives readying their companies for a new green economy.

Granted, Mr. Hay’s exuberance may be due to the $200 million of stimulus funding FP & L is about to receive. But you have to admit, it does take chutzpah for him and his activist executive buddies to visit Washington in support of climate change legislation. They gathered as the Waxman/Markey bill was coming up for a key house vote back in June, even taking out a full page ad in DC newspapers. Acknowledging the paradigm shift to sustainable, clean power production so many others deny, they see the legislation as good for business. Whoa, did you hear that, Chamber of Commerce? Jokingly, Obama noted that people get nervous about change, relating Hay’s comment “especially utility executives” to which the crowd, largely made up of utility contractors and employees, laughed heartily.

Or this image: Juxtaposed against gleaming hi-tech solar panels, straw cowboy hats perched atop the heads of men in the first row bobbed up and down nodding in agreement with the President’s words. Thirty years ago this would be a scene in a sci-fi flick, and for some in the Deep South it would have been a horror flick. An African American President telling a rural Florida farming community: Boys, we’re gonna be installin' some special equipment out here in these pastures, we’re gonna start harvesting sun rays. Yeah, sure ya are, and I just got done putting a trailer hitch on my spaceship to Mars. Oh by golly, farming sure has changed. No horses corralling cattle; no tractors in the fields, no worry of drought damaged crops.