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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 7, 2014 at 7:04 AM

Climate change: Weaning ourselves off fossil fuel is the only solution

Despite the United State’s avowed desire to reduce CO2 emissions, we are both an enabler of ourselves, and especially China. [“China’s coal solution has carbon downside across globe,” News, May 4].

Despite the rhetoric, we are already a net exporter of petroleum, and aspire to be major exporters of liquefied natural gas and coal. In the interest of profit, we are our own worst enemy.

While we tout increased use of wind and solar energy, toy with the idea of nuclear power, talk about increased efficiency of energy use in vehicles, housing and industry, we avoid the undeniable reality that we are finding better ways to increase the use of fossil fuel-based energy.

Life-cycle analysis shows that so-called “clean” energy is a false economy — an action that saves money at the beginning but which, over a longer period of time, results in more money being spent or wasted. Wind farms have finite lives, require cleanup and survive through subsidies, tax breaks and gas-fired turbines as back up. A recent study indicates that if electric drive vehicles comprised 42 percent of U.S. passenger vehicles by 2050, there would be no reduction in key air pollutants due to higher emissions from power plants that supply the electricity.

The only way out of our emissions dilemma is a global net decrease in fossil fuel-based energy. Good luck with that.

Herb Curl, Seattle

Comments | More in Climate change | Topics: climate change, CO2, electric vehicles

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