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Letter: Cleaner energy options can be a win-win scenario
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Whether we look at the newspaper headlines, the overwhelming preponderance of scientific evidence, or even the signs nature itself is giving us, the evidence now is overwhelming of the truth of climate change, with all of its potential dangers. Recent headlines tell of record breaking temperatures, the danger of the Totten glacier in Antarctica becoming destabilized, and CO2 levels reaching 400 for the first time in 3 million years. Now over 97 percent of climatologists agree with the science of global warming, and 195 nations have agreed to act on climate change.

Nature itself is speaking to us. Glaciers are shrinking, sea level is rising, permafrost melting, and lakes, rivers and oceans are warming. Leaves are unfolding and flowers blooming earlier in spring, with farmers planting earlier in the spring. Birds are arriving earlier during migration periods, and plants and animals are moving their habitat northward due to warmer temperatures.

It is time for us to wake up to the overwhelming evidence that climate change is real and extremely dangerous. Now is the time to act to prevent future catastrophic damage to our earth.

Fortunately, now we do not have to choose between protecting our environment or protecting our economy. Alternative energy such as solar and wind have come down drastically so that now they are competitive with fossil fuels, and every dollar spent on energy conservation pays for itself within three to 10 years.

There are many plans on the board that will help to combat climate change. The best one is Citizens Climate Lobby’s carbon fee and dividend plan, which places a steadily increasing price on the production of CO2 to account for the external costs of fossil fuels and returns all the money to us, the citizens. Studies show that this will decrease greenhouse gases by 60 percent over the 20 years of the plan as well as increasing the real spendable income of two-thirds of Americans, adding 2.8 million additional jobs, and increasing the GDP by $1.375 trillion over those 20 years.

Now that is a plan we can all live with, a true win-win solution! For the sake of our children, let us act now! And if the 3 in 100 chances are proved true and climate change is not happening, future generations would be stuck with a healthier, more prosperous America.

Vernon Dixon
Hiawassee

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