Letter to the Editor: Transition to Renewables

Things are changing in developing a clean energy future. While many are in dismay over the effects of global warming such as crop failures, massive migrations from weather changes, the rise of climate sensitive disease, etc., there are signs of corporations and political entities making the transitions to clean energy. Pope Francis has added a spiritual dimension to the scientific data. The recent Paris Agreement was signed by 161 countries.

So while one in five persons living in India lack electricity, there is a $2.8 trillion needed in investment there. Seventeen percent of global population lacks electricity and by 2040 the worldwide energy demand is expected to grow by a third. So this is a tremendous opportunity for businesses investing in hyperefficient, clean energy technologies. In 2014 $310 billion was invested globally, which is a fivefold increase from a decade earlier. Is the technology available to respond for a global clean energy transition?

Mark Jacobson, a Stanford University scientist, has developed a blueprint that demonstrates how the world can eliminate fossil fuels and transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 using solar, wind and water to generate worldwide electrical needs. Do you doubt the feasibility of this plan? In reality there are cities in the U.S. already using only renewable energy for their electrical needs.

While public policy can shape this needed transition, there is political stalemate in Washington, D.C. But other leaders from both parties in progressive cities have come together and are moving forward to a clean energy transition.

So what is happening in Wisconsin to make the necessary transition?

It is one of the most unfriendly states to solar power and we lag behind other nearby states in clean energy production. Coal fuels 62 percent of Wisconsin’s energy. Wisconsin is suing to stop the national Clean Power Plan and refusing to plan how to reduce dependence on coal. Many of our state’s scientists who monitored environmental issues including water and air quality have lost their jobs under the current administration so information that affects public health is not always available.

So public policy matters in Wisconsin’s future. Business could profit from new technologies if Wisconsin would move forward toward renewables. Public health statistics show tremendous saving in health care with ridding our environment of fossil fuels. Making some changes in public policy and politicians who represent us could be a win-win for Wisconsin. Who will you vote for in the next elections?


Marcia Eischen

Ellison Bay, Wis.

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