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Common Ground

Fri, Feb 23rd, 2007
Posted in Commentary

Let's face it - right now on the issue of global warming - there is going to be disagreement. There are people who don't believe that it is happening or that it is caused by human activity and there are the people who agree that global warming is a fact and to maintain our current quality of life we need to cut our carbon emissions within the next 50 years.

We believe it is a waste of time trying to convert others to my way of thinking. We would rather find common ground and work together for a solution. So, the common ground we are proposing is the wellbeing of our children and grandchildren.

Admit it - we all want the best for our children. Realistically, we all want them to have the resources they need to live a comfortable lifestyle. The fact of the matter is, life will be much different when fossil fuels will run out. According to a spokesman from Chevron, "oil production is in decline in 33 of the 48 largest oil producing countries." Robert Rapier a chemical engineer for Conoco-Phillips testified in 2005 to the Montana House of Representatives with the statement. "I believe that oil production will peak in a few short years and it will have serious ramifications for society."

Do we as a society want to continue to carve our planet in search of more fossil fuels? Are we willing to pay more and more as demand outpaces supply? Are we as a society satisfied with the knowledge that there will one day be no gas for our car, natural gas to heat our home, nor coal to power the electric company? It is wiser and more cost effective to plan ahead before we run out and look for alternatives for oil, coal and natural gas to insure that we have alternatives in place for when that day comes.

That is why we support taking tax incentives away from oil companies and using the money to encourage green technology. That is why we are for utilizing the wind and sun that Minnesota is blessed with. Whether we run out of fossil fuels in our lifetime or not, we want our children to have resources available to them. We want to take care of their future. It's not about us- it's about them.

Here is a quote by Senator John McCain from a prepared statement to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in regard to a move toward sustainable energy policy; "The status quo is a strong and stubborn force. People and institutions are averse to change, even when that change is critical for their own well-being, and that of their children and grandchildren. If the scientists are right and temperatures continue to rise, we could face environmental, economic, and national security consequences far beyond our ability to imagine. If they are wrong and the Earth finds a way to compensate for the unprecedented levels of greenhouse gases in the atmospheres, what will we have accomplished? Cleaner air; greater energy efficiency, a more diverse and secure energy mix, and U.S. Leadership in the technologies of the future. There is no doubt; failure to act is the far greater risk."

That pretty much sums it up - what have we got to lose by utilizing sustainable energy?

We won't try to persuade you that we humans and all of our CO2 emissions are causing global warming and you won't try to convince us that this warming is a natural cycle and the world will heal itself. Let's agree to disagree and stand on the common ground of doing what is in the best interest of our children, our grandchildren and their future energy needs.

We know others in our community are concerned about future energy needs when 78 people attended a Public Wind Energy Meeting at Eagle Bluff this past week. They came to hear about the Winona Community Wind Project from Linda Grover, who has been coordinating the Community Winds of Winona County (CWWC) program, and learn what wind energy opportunities are possible in Fillmore County.

The Fillmore County wind maps, Linda's CWWC handouts, and other wind related information can be found and down loaded from Eagle Bluff's website ( sustainability.html). If you are interested in becoming involved in the process, complete the survey forms found on the website and send it to us at Eagle Bluff.

It is time to rise above the bickering over global warming and turn our attention to the future for our children. Their future will be decided by our action or our inaction. Won't you join us on common ground?

Kathy Klotz is the Donor Relations Coordinator at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center in Lanesboro, tries to stay environmentally aware, and is a mother of three. Joe Deden is the Executive Director and Wind Power Geek at Eagle Bluff.

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