In the Pyrenees near the border between France and Spain, three historic solar energy collectors signal a route away from consumer society’s dependence on destructive sources of energy, and embody the possibility of retrieving a more coherent, progressive, and sustainable modernity. Yet they have been overshadowed by the nuclear industry in France, and the fossil fuel industry worldwide. With energy depletion and climate damage threatening the bases of society and culture, the marginalization of such technology cannot be seen as purely rational. I aim here to consider how scientific reason relates to hidden phobias and unspoken desires.