September 27, 2013

Maine Voices: To dismiss climate change is to ignore its insidious effects in Maine

There is substantial evidence that a reliance on fossil fuels is hurting the state's economy.


(Continued from page 1), Slate rebut Daily Mail global warming claims:

It is ironic that Harmon, a retired military officer, ignores findings by CNA Corp. and the Department of Defense that climate change is a "threat multiplier for instability," posing a serious threat to America's national security.

Just this year, the Defense Department released a detailed Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap, not only because "climate-related effects are already observable at DoD installations around the world," but also because of the greater risks of foreign wars and unrest due to climate disruptions.

Each year, Mainers spend billions of dollars to import fossil-fueled electricity, heating fuel, and petroleum products that undermine our fishing, forestry, farming and tourism industries, and cause Americans billions in health and property losses. Isn't it time to spend our money on energy sources found in Maine, such as wood, wind and water that could also produce new Maine jobs, and develop cleaner technologies?

In sum, just as more than 97 percent of scientists and their studies find that our ongoing use of carbon fuels is damaging to our health and the ecosystems we depend upon, so too should more than 97 percent of Mainers agree that it is time to take control of our own futures by embracing local efforts to develop clean, renewable energy sources and technologies in order to sustain our environment and build our economy.

Jeff Thaler is visiting professor of energy policy and law at the University of Maine and Maine Law School.

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