submitted by Mark Bortman, Exact Solar, firstname.lastname@example.org
Major tornados have killed people in the Midwest. The heat and wind caused by devastating droughts in the southwestern parts of the US have fueled wildfires that are out of control.
Hurricane Sandy rumbled through our area last year. In recent years, our local weather pattern seems to be early snowstorms followed by unseasonably mild winters and summers with extended streaks of high temperatures and humidity.
Are these weather phenomena the result of global warming? Do you even believe in global warming?
Although the overwhelming majority of climate scientists (97%) believe that climate change is real and that human activity has been a major factor in causing it, in the public sphere there is still a debate as to whether this is the case. A response to this discussion is: whether you believe climate change is real or not, what is the harm in energy conservation and increased use of renewable energy?
There are many benefits to saving energy: improved comfort, reduced costs, less dependence on foreign oil, cleaner air and water and less damage to the environment. The same benefits come from using more renewable energy.
The only argument that people make against measures that save energy and increase renewable energy use is that these will hurt the economy. Evidence shows that this is not the case at all.
On the contrary many good, local jobs are created, and businesses and homeowners save money. The burning of fossil fuels has costs far beyond the price you pay at the pump or on your heating bill. We all end up paying these costs whether we want to or not. If we can lower these indirect costs while we lower the direct costs, too, why not do it?
There are not many times when a win-win situation is such a slam-dunk. There are plenty of easy, low-cost (or even no-cost) ways to save energy and use more renewable energy.
The only way to lose is to do nothing.