Letter: Toward a More Sustainable Future
To the Editor:
While William Kevan is entitled to an opinion (“Not So Fast With Renewables,” Sept. 15), many others see it quite differently. Having trashed the atmosphere with cheap petroleum energy and having fouled our water with toxic plastic and petroleum-based chemicals, we have left our children and coming generations unimaginable challenges that threaten human and all life on this planet. Germany may have higher electric costs, but it is responsibly addressing real threats from carbon-based power and nuclear energy. Several days this summer, Germany met 100 percent of its own electrical needs from renewable energy and exported a surplus into the European grid for which it was paid at premium peak-demand rates.
This is not about finding the cheapest energy possible, it’s about pricing the real cost of energy and finding sustainable ways for life as we know it to continue. At this time of transition, there are costs, adjustments and corrections needed to make to the transition better — that’s life, too. The capital cost of renewable energy is going down and economies of scale are making it more affordable. In the big picture, renewable energy promises a more affordable and sustainable future.
If the vast subsidies that our tax dollars still provide to the petroleum infrastructure were directed toward renewable energy, the bloated dinosaur of tar sands development would be history. The Defense Department is taking impressive steps to improve efficiency, power its bases with renewable energy and move to biofuels. It clearly recognizes that decentralized generation and green alternatives are essential for to complete its mission. I’m all in with that.
If you think people in Vermont or anywhere should pay attention to the corporate-centric media’s continuing drumbeat for obsolete and dangerous industries that maximize profit for the few while casting an ever darker shadow over the future of life on this planet, perhaps you also think it’s just fine for our children to finish school carrying massive debt as they embark on lives where the greatest challenges they face will be surviving the mess we are leaving them.