Steve HochmanAs a child, I had severe asthma and almost died several times. Each attack was a shocking, surreal experience: There was never a warning and it was a constant, humbling reminder that every day could literally be a fight for Life.
Thankfully, medical technology and my love of playing sports helped me push through those challenges and find a way to survive.
As an adult, when I discovered that the polar ice caps were melting, I experienced that same surreal shock once again. I wanted to fight, but what could I do? It was much bigger than just me this time. I learned that scientists were telling us about this for years but most people didn’t know it was happening or were too scared to find out. I decided that if other people could SEE it happening, we might be able to do something about it…
As a Producer at the time, I was developing a documentary pitch about Bobby Kennedy Jr.’s organization, The Waterkeepers, who fight to maintain clean water throughout our world. Their daily battle is not only extremely challenging on many levels, but happens to be heroic and dramatic at the same time. We needed a “sizzle reel” to sell the show anyway, I thought, so we might as well shoot it on the “front lines” … in Alaska.
Upon arriving for our shoot, I discovered things were worse than I had known. Yes, the ice caps were melting. But the most disturbing image was watching the oil companies dumping their waste directly into the water off the coast of this wild, pristine, frontier country.
The oil companies, we learned, generated the vast majority of the state income so they had virtual free reign of the region. It was a sickening image but it captured the truth perfectly:
Man is literally killing himself.
… But Audiences “weren’t ready to see this kind of thing,” the Studios told us over and over and I decided that my struggle as a filmmaker was finally over after years of treading water in the Industry. I had found something to fight for, but I had no place to bring it to anymore.
Upon returning to LA, however, I was introduced to an amazing fact:
“Clean” Energy (from the sun) had become just as cheap as “Dirty” Energy (from the Utility) – even with the subsidies Fossil Fuels were always receiving!
Thankfully, technology had given me – and the rest of us – a way to win either way. Even if people didn’t know the planet was melting, they’d at least be excited to stop wasting their money.
After helping hundreds of families tap into the sun, I realized that there was no “cookie cutter” solution that worked for everyone. It was clear that every project was unique and if I was going to maximize the benefits for every single one of my customers, I would have to be able to customize each and every project to put together the best package for each individual customer. I had to become a solar “broker” – something unique in the Industry – and I realized it was a NO BRAINER.
The SolarHawk was born.