If President Jimmy Carter had been re-elected, we would all be driving electric cars and powered by green energy. Instead, one of Ronald Reagan's first moves in office was to kill all such projects and go nuclear. The triple meltdowns at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant last March come courtesy of American-made, General Electric reactors (which hum along in 23 U.S. cities). We have alternatives, but we live in a country where corporations pay more to lobbyists than in taxes, have a Speaker of the House personally invested in the Keystone XL pipeline (“game over” for the environment, should it pass), and big oil salivating over the potential closure of the Strait of Hormuz. California, always ahead of the curve, has led in green tech, home to two-thirds of the country's photovoltaic solar production in 2008 (L.A. has since tripled its capacity). Our lead is shrinking as other states are given new incentives, and financial concerns and job creation are questioned. Which Way L.A.? host Warren Olney asks, “Is California's Solar Gold Rush Destined to Fail?” Lisa Margonelli, director of the Energy Policy Initiative at the New American Foundation; Daniel M. Kammen, director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Lab; and Ron Nichols, general manager of the L.A. Department of Water and Power, answer. Goethe-Institut Los Angeles, 5750 Wilshire Blvd.; Mon., Feb. 6, 7:30 p.m.; free; resv. strongly suggested. https://zocalopublicsquare.org/upcoming.php?event_id=512

Mon., Feb. 6, 7:30 p.m., 2012

LA Weekly