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Published on January 6th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan


Did 60 Minutes Read “How To Write A Hit Piece On The Solar Industry”

cleantech dead

I already wrote all I think I needed to write about the 60 Minutes episode that ran last night. Frankly, we have thousands of articles that tell the obvious true story — cleantech is growing fast and doing excellently.

However, one of our readers, Carter Lavin (@CarterLavin), tweeted me last night to remind me of an excellent guest post he wrote here last year around this time that makes fun of the kind of story 60 Minutes just fabricated. It’s a great article, so I thought I’d repost it again today. Check it out:

How To Write A Hit Piece On The Solar Industry In 6 Steps (via Clean Technica)

This is a fun and interesting guest post that I think many of you will love. Check it out: Hey reporters, having trouble coming up with an idea for a new article? Why don’t you write an attack on the solar industry — media outlets love these! If…

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

  • Green Globe

    Ha, ha. This is awesome! Very well written.


  • sault

    Considering all the ads that “America’s Oil and Natural Gas Producers” and other polluter front-groups buy during network news programs, this comes as no surprise.

  • nullbull

    The problem is the way that talking points stick to clean tech long after they are so outdated as to be inaccurate. Like the one where solar is too expensive, which was last updated, it seems, a decade ago, and in the midst of a massive drop in the cost of solar. Wind, similarly – it’s “intermittent.” Then, the next generation of turbines comes out with built-in battery storage at a competitive price. Are the talking points updated? Are they checked for accuracy? Nope. People just re-use the same snapshot in time way past its sell-by date, and fail to update their information.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I’m sure they think their report is fair and balance….

  • Senlac

    Here here well done Zachary. I sent a complaint to CBS 60 Minutes, and linked your article from yesterday. Lets see if I get a reply.

    • Zachary Shahan


  • SolarPod

    Nice. This is a good one for “How to sell a story”. :) :)

  • Matthew Rose

    MSM’s race to the bottom (FoxNews)


    Wow, what a great formula for creating a hit piece on the Cleantech industry. Damn 60 minutes did a pretty good job following this guideline…!

  • jburt56

    Yes and DO use the “when the sun don’t shine” quip and then smirk and think you’ve brilliantly refuted that the most abundant energy source by far can’t work. Then revel and be proud of your own ignorance!!

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