The Free Press, Mankato, MN

February 10, 2013

Your View: More fossil fuel use isn’t the way forward

Dr. John W. Kluge and Mary Kluge, New Ulm

— Your editorial in the Feb. 6 Free Press advocating building the Keystone Pipeline to transmit tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf of Mexico was an excellent argument for business as usual as regards to fossil fuel use as our primary form of energy.

You failed to acknowledge the extensive scientific literature on effects of climate change on Earth and the changes that are already happening as a result of a warming climate.

The New York Times science section, as well as Scientific American, have had excellent articles about climate change and the acidification of the oceans from burning fossil fuels.

Elizabeth Kolbert, in the Dec. 10, 2012, issue of The New Yorker, advocates for a tax on carbon, as have others.

We also need a crash program to develop renewable forms of energy, such as wind and solar, and improved battery technologies to store energy when sunlight is absent or the wind is not blowing.

We have reached a dead end by using fossil fuels as our primary source of energy and will need to change direction to renewables if we have any hope of avoiding dramatic changes in climate, which will affect all living things on earth.

We also need to move from exploitive and polluting forms of economic activities to ones that treat the earth as a living, breathing organism which requires our tender care.