2018-04-06 / Letters

Switch to renewable energy sources as soon as possible

To the editor,

In response to a letter from Karen Tolstrup, March 30, 2018: I am far less sanguine regarding climate change mitigation than Tolstrup. Just in regard to one problem, according to the CDC, in a 2018 paper, Maine has some of the highest rates of asthma in the country, higher for adults and children in particular. I applaud the fact that Maine is a party to RGGI, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Nonetheless, because of the pollution from western states, Maine and other eastern seaboard states have difficulties in controlling what comes our way.

But, the tip of the proverbial iceberg is much larger. Climate change is already having disastrous effects on our country, from terrible storms on both coasts, to droughts and forest fires, to rising sea levels. These changes are in turn affecting food production, water supplies, land use and species extinction. Many cities on the East Coast are already experiencing high tide flooding as a regular part of existence. Even in Kennebunk, our normal high tides now touch the sea wall all along the three beaches in Kennebunk Beach. The damage from the latest storms will probably end up costing nearly a million dollars.

Climate change has already reached many parts of the global south, especially in poorer countries that are least able to cope with these kinds of catastrophes. Many island nations such as the Maldives, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and others are in real danger of disappearing. Along the coasts of India and Bangladesh, there will be flooding and population displacement.

And there will be conflict over scarcer and scarcer resources. This has occurred in Syria and Yemen and parts of Africa.

So, yes, I am not optimistic.

Our only hope is to switch to renewable energy sources as soon as is feasible. We must cease the extraction of carbon sources from the ground. If we continue on our present course, it has been estimated that sea level rise will be as much as 15 feet by the end of the century. If all of the fossil fuel possible were to be extracted and burned, it has been estimated that sea level rise would be 200 feet or more.

Bevan Davies

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