Here are Letters to the Editor for April 4, 2019.
Transition to renewables requires commitment
Last week’s syndicated column by Don Brunell, Darker Side of Renewables, was a stunner for me. This is the Chamber of Commerce guy passing himself off as an environmentalist, with a laundry list of concerns regarding the Green New Deal in general, and lithium batteries in particular. In a single essay, he voices opposition to mining, water pollution AND greenhouse gasses. The Chamber of Commerce guy!
All of those concerns are quite valid, but the same concerns apply to the oil/gas/coal extraction industries we currently rely on. Mountain-top coal mining, oil and gas fracking and pipeline spills all cause water pollution. Their products contribute to greenhouse gasses, the reduction of which he describes as “vital.” What to do?
If lithium battery recycling is ineffective and underutilized, maybe invest in new technology research with the goal of finding better, cleaner and cheaper methods so people and industries are motivated to use them. If green energy requires copper, why not require mining companies to purchase bonds sufficient to convince them to mine sustainably and clean up after they are done? If coal extraction companies can’t operate without subsidies, it’s time to close the business and direct their efforts to a cleaner energy. Transitioning to renewables will require a committed effort.
Brunell concludes by urging our political leaders to “carefully evaluate the entire spectrum of impacts of all energy sources” going forward. I agree, with the emphasis on all energy sources. Also, I would urge our leaders to consider the effects of doing nothing, because doing nothing is exactly what Mr. Brunell offers.
What we do in the next decade, as a nation and as a planet, will leave a permanent stamp on the future. Our children and grandchildren deserve better.