Tuesday, July 22, 2014     Volume: 15, Issue: 19

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Santa Maria Sun / Letters to the Editor

What sort of change are we talking about?

Michael Southern - Santa Maria -

An opinion piece by Heidi Harmon offered a perspective on climate change (“Climate crisis has no party affiliation,” July 10). But I have questions.

If all human endeavor in the United States were to stop, would global warming cease? If all these wind farms, solar panels, and dams were to be built on two percent of the land she states, whose two percent would be used? Two percent of the U.S. landmass is 3,794,100 square miles. The area of California is 163,696 square miles. So if an area half the size of California were covered by these renewable energy sources, would the United States be energy independent?

Harmon condemns the use of fossil fuels. What energy source other than fossil fuels can power a blast furnace to manufacture the steel needed to build the turbines for dams, towers for wind farms, structures for solar panel arrays?

If factories are to be dependent upon these renewable sources of energy, could they only be built where the sources of energy are plentiful? Not all parts of the United States have plentiful water resources for hydroelectric, nor steady winds for wind turbines, nor plentiful sunshine for solar arrays.

Will the deserts of the United States be covered with solar panels and major manufacturing moved to the desert? Will light manufacturing be relocated to the seacoast where wind turbines have steady wind currents? Will factories move to the major rivers of the United States so the dams needed for hydroelectric power can be built? How do we cover those ugly transmission wires traversing the countryside?

Our climate is bad and getting worse

Scott Secrest - Arroyo Grande -

Heidi Harmon really put her finger on the uphill battle we’re having against global warming (“Climate crisis has no party affiliation,” July 10). It’s been framed as a liberal vs. conservative issue. Unfortunately, we have a primarily two-party system in which our various objectives must find their expression in the representative of one party or the other. So, conservative and liberal objectives all get tied into two separate, neat packages. If you’re for gun rights, low taxes, and limited regulation, guess what? You’re also for foot-dragging on the climate issue, because that’s part of your representative’s platform.

Enough is enough. The necessity for vigorous and immediate action is common sense. The disastrous effects of, yes, human-caused climate change are upon us. (Ever seen the sea come in and flood NYC subway stations before?) While it’s bad now, it’s going to get worse—for our children, and theirs. We’re eating their lunch on this. How will we look at them years on, and try to explain why we didn’t do anything when we could? My vote is for Heidi for assembly.

We need to pay off our climate debt now

Tom Murray - Arroyo Grande -

Heidi Harmon eloquently addresses the fact that climate change is affecting all us right now (“Climate crisis has no party affiliation,” July 10). When the well runs dry, it won’t matter if the owner is a Republican or Democrat.

Climate change is not an ideology. It’s a fact. The consequences of denying these problems are upon us. Far too many politicians in Washington and Sacramento have failed to act, yet they have the gall to cry crocodile tears for “future generations.”

Either they are craven stooges of the fossil fuels industry or they just don’t get it because they are afraid to change business as usual. Regardless, the results are the same.

So here’s the deal; we’ve allowed these politicians to charge the carbon bill to the environment’s credit card. This debt grows larger every day. We can start paying it off now in small increments that we can afford or ignore it until bankruptcy is the only option left. This is our choice.