Letter to the editor | End our destructive ways

December 10, 2013 

The six-part CDT/McClatchy series “Energy Boom” (Nov. 28 to Dec. 3) provides a frightening look at our future.

Presumably, we are “fortunate” to have previously unknown quantities of oil and gas in the U.S. As the articles explain, sophisticated techniques, including fracking, are bringing record amounts of these fuels to the surface, helping to continue our wonderful lifestyle, all without much concern about the consequences.

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution 250 years ago, every aspect of human existence has been transformed by carbon-based fossil energy: coal, oil and natural gas.

It’s been a great ride, but this party can’t continue without destroying a livable planet.

For well more than 100 years we have known that adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere (the result of burning any fossil fuel) would produce warming. This is now known to result in climate change and an altered environment.

At a time when we should be investing full tilt in all energy sources other than carbon, the economic boom perpetuated by the increased availability of fossil fuels is presented by CDT/McClatchy as overwhelming good news.

It isn’t.

The deniers may deny, but our addiction to carbon-based energy is increasingly seen as the devil’s bargain it is.

Those who launched and built our industrialized society didn’t know any better. We do.

It is morally imperative that we act on this knowledge by dramatically reducing use of carbon fuels to power our economy. Not doing so ensures incalculable costs for all of us.

Bob Potter, Boalsburg

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