An interesting contrast of opinions appeared in Wednesday’s editorial page pitting the comments of conservative opinion writer Max Boot, a self-described former “climate change skeptic,” and a letter writer complaining about the impact of wind turbines.
Specifically, wind turbines result in “clearing land ... creating access roads ... constant noise ... residents subjected to flickers causing a momentary blackout effect,” while global warming causes “flooding events along the U.S. coastline, ocean acidification and forest fires” plus “a world of worsening food shortages and wildfires and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040.”
There is no longer any doubt that climate change is happening “primarily as a result of human activities” (U.S. government’s National Climate Assessment Report). The five warmest years on record have all occurred since 2010. If no action is taken, by 2100 the temperature could increase by 9 degrees and the sea level rise could exceed 4 feet.
The U.S. is the biggest carbon polluter in history yet, on a national level our most recent activity has been to withdraw from the 195-nation agreement that was implemented to address this problem. Locally we seek to avoid the deleterious effects of “flickers” when a wind turbine blade crosses our visual path to the sun.
We get to choose. Will we accommodate the minor inconveniences of wind and solar energy or will our children suffer the catastrophic consequences of our inaction?
Robert W. Moore