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Letter: Climate change demands our society thinks ahead

I live in the real world, as you do. In the real world, carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels are choking our planet. To save the one-sixth of species that are facing extinction from the effects of climate change and to leave a healthy, safe planet to future generations of humans, we need to phase in a complete end to digging up and burning coal, oil and gas in the next 30 years.

Climate science is clear. It will take time – no one is for cutting off the supply of gas and oil tomorrow – but it can be done with wind, solar, geothermal and other renewables, and with rapid innovations in energy storage and efficiency. That’s engineering and math, not wishful thinking.

Lobbyists for fossil fuel say that theirs is the “real world.” Oil companies are urging an end to vehicle emissions standards, so they can sell more gasoline, while natural gas lobbyists urge more fracking and pipelines.

SUVs and trucks are taking over personal transportation while plants that make cars are closing. A few people need big vehicles for moving equipment or large families; the rest of us can rent a truck or van occasionally.

People say they like to sit “up high” in the driver’s seat but that leads to a kind of altitude “arms race” and more aggressive driving.

It is up to all of us to think ahead and make choices for survival of all, not the profits of a few.

Ellen C. Banks


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