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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 8, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Alternative energy: Future costs will be greater than cost of acting now

Every thinking citizen knows we have a giant transition to make, sooner or later, from the gluttonous and unbridled indulgence in cheap energies found below the ground to clean and sustainable alternatives above it [“As wind power surges, opposition grows,” Local News, Sept. 7]. They know that this transition will be stressful, controversial and expensive.

All transitions are hard, and they all excite fearful resistance — especially from those with a vested interest in current ways of working, investing and consuming. So, what do we do?

Wisdom requires looking at both the costs of change ­and the costs of waiting. Wind turbines are noisy, but less so than hurricanes and war if we wait. Upfront costs of technology are greater than drilling deeper, but waiting would cost us trillions in storm and crisis management.

The cheap oil party is over and we’ve made a mess. Times are hard, and harder times are ahead. Should we face them now, or later?

Tim Reilly, Seattle

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