Sometimes if you want real change, you have to enforce it.
Think seatbelts. At one time, most people didn't wear seatbelts - didn't think we should have to. Now, it's crazy to think we didn't.
Or how about cigarettes. Back in the day, people smoked in the mall, at the office, in a restaurant, even on an airplane. Now, the very idea of it seems ludicrous.
Well now, the city of Lancaster, California is moving ahead with a new law as part of the fight against climate change.
Starting next year, all newly built single-family homes have to be equipped with a solar system (1.0 kW at bare minimum).
It's a bold move to be sure, but perhaps isn't that surprising. As Mother Nature Network reports, Lancaster "leads the state of California in solar generating capacity."
But that's not enough for the city's mayor R. Rex Parris (which might be the best name of any mayor in America).
Parris is that rarest of political species (or so it seems) - a Republican who loves solar power. In fact, he wants to make his community the "solar energy capital of the world."
According to Greentech Media, the program will generate $1.5 million for the city each year through to 2017. Then, $800,000 a year for the next 20 years.
Of course, as Mother Nature Network points out, it doesn't hurt to have "300 days of sunshine, a high altitude, and a whole lot of flat roofs."
Lancaster also has several solar production plants including the Sierra Sun Tower, built by a company called ESolar. (above)
This new power plant has two towers and uses 24,000 mirrors in fields to reflect sunlight onto a boiler that then produces electricity for about 4000 homes.
Here's a video that explains more.
Parris is described as "a flamboyant personal injury attorney and Kenny Rogers lookalike who was born and raised in Lancaster."
This past January, he spoke at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi and addressed the idea of forcing new homes to be solar.
"I understand the building industry is not happy with this. We will just have to take the heat. I could not do that without a city council - made up of people who want a political career - with the courage to take that heat," he said.
Lancaster is California's 30th largest city and the fourth largest city in the Mojave Desert, with a population of 155,000 people.