DEATH VALLEY, CA – July 1, 2050 – Surveying the landscape made barren from thousands of tons of silicon tetrachloride, President Sasha Obama peered out through the transparent face plate of her hazmat suit and for a fleeting moment wondered if her father had sparked one bold commitment too many during his revolutionary Administration. She quickly returned to the business at hand of dedicating the final solar thermal plant marking the transition of the United States from fossil fuels to a society driven 100% by renewable energy. Though popular during his time, the patriarch’s all-out drive to replace fossil fuel energy with renewable forms by mid-century turned out to have unforeseen consequences.

Toxic waste from the production of photovoltaic cells was not an issue on anybody’s radar screen during the first Obama presidency. That was back when solar accounted for a fraction of a percent of the nation’s energy production. Then came the crash program spearheaded by Obama’s immediate successor, President Al Gore, to mandate the production of more than 900 gigawatts of solar power each decade going forward. Polysilicon manufacturers rapidly ran out of capacity to recycle the extremely toxic silicon tetrachloride byproduct. Also, calculations showed that the energy consumed in heating the substance to upwards of 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit as required for reprocessing subtracted significantly from the net power derived from solar energy. This required further stepping up of photovoltaic production, which created more toxic waste, which continually exacerbated the disposal problem.

At first only a few rogue manufacturers resorted to illegal dumping. Eventually even responsible companies that wanted to obey the law found it impossible to comply without jeopardizing the health and even lives of their employees. Caught between the rock of OSHA and hard place of EPA, the entire industry opted for self-preservation. Corporate civil disobedience campaigns sprang up throughout the land. When solar toxic waste began showing up on the grounds of Camp David during the previous Administration of Sasha’s older sister, President Malia Obama, the federal government relented. An emergency measure was passed to allow unlimited dumping of silicon tetrachloride in designated areas of America’s deserts located in Republican congressional districts. The sites chosen all surround immense solar thermal farms that had sprung up throughout the Southwest as part of the renewable energy drive, since they had already wreaked havoc on desert ecosystems.

As President Sasha Obama retreated from her ceremonial visit to the latest solar power plant/toxic waste dumping ground, she kept her hazmat suit on well past the time when she was advised it was safe to discard it. She knew from past experience that the hazmat garb emblazoned with the Presidential seal protected her not only from toxic waste but also granted relief from myriad biting insects that had become ubiquitous throughout the United States. The thousand-fold increase in insect populations was one of those unforeseen consequences resulting from the burgeoning of gigantic wind farms and their subsequent decimation of bird and bat species. Madame President reflected to an aide that the nation’s insect problem might well become completely unmanageable were it not for the numerous restrictions against wind projects being constructed where they might interfere with pristine scenery in recreational areas inhabited by influential political leaders and Hollywood celebrities.

The nation’s crash transition to renewable energy is thought by many economists to be the prime cause of the global catastrophe known as The Greatest Depression, which is now in its fifth decade as the longest period of economic contraction in recorded history. Despite more than four consecutive decades of leadership by the Obama dynasty and close allies, a consensus among the nation’s news media is that everything gone wrong is the fault of the 43rd President of the U.S., George W. Bush, and his right-wing allies.

Following the dedication ceremony, President Sasha Obama left the desert aboard Air Force One for a meeting in Washington with Concerned Climatic Scientists, a group formed to urge government policies to reverse a precipitous decline in atmospheric carbon dioxide coinciding with the renewable energy push, and which is associated with a plummeting of global temperatures since 2020. “Without forceful government action, by the end of this century we are almost certain to experience the onset of another Ice Age that will crush most of North America under mile-high glaciers,” said a CCS spokesman.

One of the CCS recommendations is a crash program to build power plants fired by coal, the dirtier the better.