The readers’ forum

U.S. energy policy isn’t sustainable

 

While climate campaigners are encouraged by President Barack Obama’s boosting of sustainable energy sources in his inaugural address, those who understand our energy needs are appalled. Here is why: The president was right to say that we must “respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.”

Many societies collapsed because they did not properly respond to climate change, the Greenland Vikings and the pre-Incan civilizations in South America being two examples. While modern societies are more robust, we, too, must get ready for climate change or suffer the consequences. To prepare for and adapt to inevitable change, including perhaps even “raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms” as the president said, America needs affordable energy, and lots of it.

Yet, in his address, Obama boosted not the most reliable and least expensive energy technologies such as coal-fired generation, but the least reliable and most expensive “sustainable energy sources,” wind and solar power being the most obvious examples. This is because they produce less carbon dioxide than do fossil fuels and Obama supports the hypothesis that those emissions are causing dangerous climate change.

Even if the hypothesis is right, and 16 years of no global warming suggests it is not, America’s energy policies will have little climatic impact as long as China goes ahead with its plans to build 500 coal-fired plants over the next 10 years. Wind and solar power are three to 10 ten times more expensive than that from coal, oil, natural gas or nuclear.

The U.S. government funnels billions of dollars into wind and solar companies to keep them afloat, and many fail even then. Basing the United States energy policy on “sustainable energy sources” is not sustainable.

Tom Harris, executive director, International Climate Science Coalition, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Read more Letters to the Editor stories from the Miami Herald

  • The readers’ forum

    Miami Dade College has critical unmet financial needs

    The recent exchange of words between the president of Miami Dade College and some members of the Miami-Dade legislative delegation was unfortunate, but it has focused our community’s attention on the critical unmet financial needs of MDC. I’m confident that our legislative leaders will rise above the fray and do what is right for our community.

  • Go Heat, but . . .

    Your April 17 story The Heat Unites Us was very optimistic, and that is admirable and to be expected for journalists at a local newspaper like Miami Herald.

  • Restore libraries

    There’s an important perspective to be added to the April 11 article Without more tax dollars, Miami-Dade library system would fire more than half its full-time staff.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category