The Simpson’s Go Off-Grid

Joanna Schroeder

It seems like I just don’t have enough time to watch TV, unless of course I’m holed up in a hotel room as I am tonight. I just happen to be flipping channels when I stopped on a rerun of the Simpson’s, “The Squirt and the Whale.” This episode was created in honor of the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day (2010) and I’ve been so out of touch apparently, I never saw it until tonight. I have to say that while the episode was not entirely supportive of renewable energy, the Simpson’s go off the grid with their own personal wind turbine and it was pretty funny.

The move to renewable energy is spurred by a high electric bill and sends the family to the Alternative Energy Expo. As the family piles into the car, to avert thieves in their absence, they leave on all the lights, including their Christmas lights. Once they get to the expo, several things catch their eye including solar panels and biofuels where boothmates “switchgrass” and “corn ethanol” get in a fight over who is better.

But what really catches Homer’s eye is the promise of the wind turbine, which he installs in his backyard.

Lisa: Dad, you are leading the way in clean energy.

Homer: Yep. I Al Gore’d it pretty good.

Lisa: The Simpsons are off the grid and so far it’s going great.


Homer: Who turned off the wind?

Lisa: Dad, if we’re really off the grid than we won’t get power when the wind is still.

Homer: Well, I’m not crawling back to Big Electricity. From now on the Simpson’s are living intermittently.

Ok, so while the message wasn’t perfect you know when a technology has captured the minds of the general public when it shows up in pop culture. Now let’s hope that renewable energy does a better job of capturing the minds of our politicians so it can continue to “show up” in our backyards.

biofuels, Energy, Environment, Ethanol, Opinion, Solar, Wind