Letter: We can’t ignore the fossil fuel crisis

Offshore wind power and energy farm with many wind turbines on the ocean
In Bloomberg New Energy Finance 2020 ranking of global wind turbine manufacturers, 7 of the top 10 wind turbine manufacturers are Chinese companies.
Photo courtesy Getty

To the Editor,

The hard right columnist has branded “environmental extremists” as this week’s bogeyman. In the warped conservative canon, those seeking to prevent global extinction are viewed with disdain. In typical fashion, the author not only denies science but also refuses to acknowledge advances in technology, while referencing dubious “facts” without attribution.

He disingenuously decries the elimination of oil leases in a “portion of Alaska,” but fails to mention that the land in question is considered sacred by the indigenous population and part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a protected area that is home to vulnerable animal populations such as polar bears. Yet, the columnist expresses concern for the poor birds that might be harmed by wind farms. Apparently, wildlife is deemed important only when it can buttress conservative talking points.

The right-wing extremist limits his consideration of fossil fuel replacements to wind and solar, ignoring hydroelectric and geothermal energy sources that can be tapped. Also ignored are retrofitting fossil fuel plants to burn hydrogen and placing wind farms at sea. The ideologue writes that, “There is no practical way under current technology zero emissions can be achieved,” thereby dismissing the possibility of scientific and technological progress in developing new solutions to wean us off our planet-killing fossil fuel addiction. One example, among many, that contradicts this belief is the achievement of a MIT team that has produced an ultralight material that blocks heat transfer and can generate temperatures suitable for heating water and indoor spaces.

Despite the author’s misgivings, we must make every effort to address the fossil fuel calamity. It will be difficult and we may not succeed, but burying our heads in the sand will ensure a disaster of biblical proportions. Perhaps the author should research sites that are dedicated to addressing the fossil fuel crisis rather than relying on the right wing echo chamber’s obscure journals and think tanks.

Pasqual Pelosi

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