Letter: Climate change deniers resort to dishonest tactics

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Editor of the Reformer,

Here's a choice: You can burn a unit of fossil fuel right now and derive the benefits of the energy released to provide light, heat, and the conveniences of modern life; burn it and enjoy. Then go out and dig up another unit. Or, you can use that unit of energy to create solar panels or wind turbines and get the benefits of 12 to 35 additional equivalent units of power without digging up more fossil fuels. Sounds too good to be true? Okay, here's the catch: you don't get all that additional power immediately; you get it over time. Solar panels and wind turbines put out that additional power over their expected lifetimes, about 30 years for solar panels for example.

Here's another way to look at the choice: Burn 12 to 35 units of fossil fuel over a period of time in power generation and deal with the resulting climate disruption. Or, burn one unit of fossil fuel to make solar panels and wind turbines to get 12 to 35 units of power over the same period of time with only a fraction of the climate impact.

In his most recent opinion piece in the (Oct. 3) Reformer, "Climate activist hypocrisies exposed," John McClaughry draws from a well-worn playbook of stalling tactics to paint people who care about climate stability as hypocrites. As if using fossil fuel to make solar panels was just as bad as burning it directly! Oh, come on. Since when is a wise long-term investment that multiplies your return 12 to 35 times with an inversely proportional ecological impact hypocritical? Well, there are those few people who may be only concerned about next quarter's profits and the maintenance of the status quo economic system funneling more and more resources into fewer and fewer hands. They might not be all that keen on investing in solar and wind. Further, some will resort to dishonest tactics — slinging mud, sowing doubt — when their short-sighted, narrow interests are threatened by the actions of growing masses of people who care about climate stability and equitable access to resources.

Charles A. Laurel

East Dummerston, Oct. 3

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