Are you a Lumberjack?

When I tell people I’m from Portland, Oregon, I usually get one of two reactions.  The first one goes like this:  “Oregon?  What the hell is in Oregon?  Are you a lumberjack that lives in a forest?”  The second is more along the lines of, “Wow!  Portland is so cool!”

mt-hood2

While Oregon is known for many things – hippie vibe, lumberjacks and big trees included –  it is becoming more and more recognized for its nature-friendly mentality and “green” ideals.  This, most likely, is the inspiration behind the expansion of companies like German-based  SolarWorld, one of the largest solar energy businesses in the world, into the Portland area, an otherwise slightly ironic choice for a company that revolves around the sun!

According to a recent New York Times article, “Here Comes the Sun, Right?,” the United States, once the world’s leading solar manufacturer in the 1990s, currently produces only 5 percent of the world’s solar panels due to an increase in interest elsewhere.  Even with recent support from the federal stimulus package signed by President Obama, “only a fraction of 1 percent of the electricity in the United States comes from solar panels, leaving ample room for the market to grow.”

Expanding in the midst of an economic recession may sound risky, but SolarWorld doesn’t seem concerned.  Quite the opposite, they argue that solar energy can provide both jobs and energy security and is thus part of the solution.

What do I say to all of this??  Bring on the sun!

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