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Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

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Global warming can no longer be considered a myth – Monroe Evening News


Frank Baker

A recent editorial written by Charles Milliken illustrates a huge problem with the general public’s understanding of many technical and societal issues. 

Let me start with a fundamental truth: We are in the early stages of an existential threat to humanity. Global warming and climate change can no longer be considered a myth. The evidence of its effects is in the daily news and weather reports. Humans have run out of time to debate this any longer. Immediate change is needed to avoid the worst outcomes from our fossil fuel lifestyle.

Now the good news:  We already have the basic technical tools needed to immediately make dramatic changes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Even better news is the rate of development of even better technologies. Nine years ago, we installed a solar electric array on our home in Blissfield. As a result, we have paid off our investment and enjoy Zero electric cost. We also recently purchased two electric vehicles which has eliminated our transportation gasoline cost. It is even possible to use our electric vehicles as backup batteries for the house. Our 25-year-old home is also extremely energy efficient. The investment in energy efficiency was paid off many years ago and we enjoy a more comfortable and healthier environment while reducing carbon emissions.

The missing pieces of the puzzle are education, the will to change, public policy and facts in lieu of opinion.

Industry is mostly on board with the new realities in the environment and the marketplace. The laggards are the industries heavily invested in the fossil fuels. The fossil fuel industry has been actively spreading misinformation for decades to protect their investment. They could have invested in new technologies and positioned themselves to lead in the new clean, renewable energy market. But sadly, they chose to attempt to resist the tidal wave of change underway and will pay dearly for their misguided efforts.

Many research studies have shown conclusively that subsidies for fossil fuels significantly exceed those offered for renewables (“Reinventing Fire” by Amory Lovins). Public policy has been misguided because of opinion being substituted for education, fact, and research. Cherry picking data and information to support an opinion is misleading at best. 

The shortcomings in our public policy and awareness were dramatically illustrated in Hurricane Ida which decimated communities from the Gulf of Mexico to New England. As an example of misguided public policy, begin your research in New Orleans when in 2016 Entergy New Orleans undermined efforts to build microgrids in lieu of a $210 million gas turbine plant. The plant went dark in the hurricane. Because the old grid model failed doesn’t mean a distributed alternative necessarily would have worked, but it certainly would have provided more resiliency.  Eventually one of these severe climate change induced storms is going to track into our Lenawee back yard. It has also been reported that paid actors were hired through Entergy to attend City Council meetings to support the construction of the power plant.

There is a huge amount of misinformation circulating in the press and social media. To counter this misinformation and provide fact and data in lieu of opinion, Lenawee Solar was created by a small group of knowledgeable citizens with no stake in the financial returns of solar investments other than those that all citizens will enjoy from the transition to clean renewable energy.  Lenawee Solar has recently created a website to enable citizens to become informed participants. Please visit lenaweesolar.com, the Lenawee Solar Facebook page and Lenawee Solar Linked-in.

One important way to support solar technology right now is to let your township officials know you support landowners’ rights to install solar. 

Once informed and educated in the issues, make your voice heard by signing a letter of support at lenaweecountypropertyrights.com and by attending local township meetings to speak out.

Frank Baker is a retired business owner and a community leader in Blissfield. He can be reached at frabaker@icloud.com.

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