We are at a crossroads in North Carolina, my friends. Many forces are being brought to bear on us, and we have some very important decisions to make. And make them we must, or the fate of our state and the people and animals that inhabit it will be at risk. Global Warming is not a myth, it's a reality. And it's not simply a natural occurrance of which we are mere spectators, it's an artifact of our own shortsightedness and lack of vision. We brought this monster to life, and we're the only ones who can kill it.
One painful example of our lack of vision is how difficult it was to finally settle the argument about Global Warming itself. Even now, after the plethora of information proving this phenomena as well as our direct responsibility for such, there are still a few stubborn holdouts. But that battle is, for all practical purposes, finally over. But the war of "what to do about it" goes on.
In NCenvtl's recent diary debunking JLF's sudden concern for birds in their effort to thwart wind energy, a link was provided to the National Audobon Society's support of wind energy. In the war of words between "experts" on this subject, common sense should dictate who to listen to:
In order to prevent species extinctions and other catastrophic impacts of climate change, scientists say we must reduce global warming emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050. Reducing pollution from fossil fuels to this degree will require rapidly expanding energy and fuel efficiency, renewable energy and alternative fuels, and changes in land use, agriculture, and transportation. To avoid catastrophe, we need to do all of these.
Whether we deserve the responsibility or not, we are the stewards of our environment. As such, we must be able to predict the overall impact of our actions and proceed with the greater good in mind, and this means avoiding the pitfalls and false trails that plague those who focus on their feet when walking. Some of those pits are too deep to climb out of, and they are just around the bend.
Scientists predict 9-52% of all terrestrial species (1 million plants and animals) will be on an irreversible path to extinction by 2050. (These predictions are based on modeling of the effects of minimum to maximum climate warming impacts on a broad range of species in regions around the world.)
Achieving carbon neutrality is a daunting enough task, but it's not nearly enough. Global Warming is already affecting our world's ecosystems, and neutrality will only postpone the inevitable. Massive reductions are needed, and that means radically changing our behavior.
Wind power is an important part of the strategy to combat global warming. Wind power is currently the most economically competitive form of renewable energy. It provides nearly 15,000 megawatts of power in the United States, enough power for more than 3 million households, and could provide up to 20 percent of the country's electricity needs. Every megawatt-hour produced by wind energy avoids an average of 1,220 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. If the United States obtains 20 percent of its electricity from wind power by 2020, it will reduce global warming emissions equivalent to taking 71 million cars off the road or planting 104 million acres of trees. Expanding wind power instead of fossil fuels also avoids the wildlife and human health impacts of oil and gas drilling, coal mining and fossil fuel burning.
For those lawmakers reading this, please remember this: we need you to step back and focus on the bigger picture. When lobbyists and "experts" tell you clean energy isn't economically feasable or ecologically sound, you need to ask yourself what their motives actually are. That's the first step towards making the right decision.