June 16, 2017 Read More →

Op-Ed: West Virginia’s Suffering

Charleston Gazette:

Renewable energy strikes most of us as a pretty good thing. Sun, wind, resources that can’t be exhausted and cause no harm — how can they be bad?

Renewable energy’s only bad for coal and gas and oil owners — because they don’t own it. And so they urge you to gun that engine over the cliff and risk your kids, grandkids, future generations. Why? To protect those few guys’ wealth. The coal owners pelt our media with tilted, twisted propaganda, meant to sow doubt in our minds. They never tire of pointing out that, even though 99 percent of scientists agree we’re in great danger, a few scientists disagree about the impact of climate change on the planet’s future. A tiny few.

Is there reason for doubt? Of course. There is always reason for doubt. Doubt is even a part of science — we learn a little, prove a little, question a little, and then keep researching and advancing science to learn a little more.

But the real question is: What’s the responsible way to respond to nitpicks of doubt about climate science? Is it to cowboy up and gun the engine over the cliff? When we look at it that way, no one really believes we should risk our WHOLE future on a SMALL quibble of doubt.

West Virginia, like other states, is finding a safer path to future energy independence — a path that necessarily involves renewable sources like sun and wind, and transition sources like natural gas. But because of our long history of reliance on out-of-state coal owners and their whims, West Virginia has suffered more from this transition.

If you’re like me, this makes your heart heavy. But if West Virginia fails to recover from its long-term coal addiction, and get clean and sobered-up for a renewable energy future, our hearts will never be lifted.

Risk, doubt and climate responsibility

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