By Laurie Daugherty
Peter Nelson, author of the Aug. 22 guest opinion, “Time for energy realism in Oregon,” and president of Marc Nelson Oil Products, Inc., should join the 21st century.
The “energy realism” we face is this: burning fossil fuels causes climate change and harmful impacts are already happening. A new renewable energy realism is imperative.
Wildfires are raging across the state and salmon are dying in streams too warm and too shallow to support them. Last winter’s precipitation fell mostly as rain, leaving too little snow pack to replenish rivers and streams during this summer of drought and record heat.
The cost of renewable energy is coming down fast. Innovations abound in technologies and financing tools to make renewables accessible and affordable. By staking his future on a 20th century energy regime, Mr. Nelson risks the fate of buggy makers of a by-gone era.
Mr. Nelson has a poor opinion of activists opposing fossil fuel projects. I am one of them. We are not going away. Scientists say to stabilize the climate and maintain a habitable Earth, most proven fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground. It is foolhardy and disastrous to develop new dirty energy sources and build new infrastructure for them.Φ
Laurie Dougherty is the coordinator of the Salem chapter of 350.org. This letter-to-the-editor first appeared in the Statesman Journal on September 1, 2015.