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posted: 3/24/2014 1:01 AM

Cutting fossil fuel usage is morally right

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Spring is finally here, and what a winter it has been. And what extreme storms Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina were. Extreme weather is another indication of climate change. Weather one day never equals climate change; only over years do we see this. The trends are clear. These are Mother Nature's warnings -- and she is not a forgiving mother!

The laws of physics and chemistry carry on, and greenhouse gases, by holding more heat in our atmosphere, change the rain and snow levels. This winter the jet stream has been changed partly because of the greatly increased melting of the polar ice cap. The technical details of climate change can be confusing, but we have seen numerous examples of extreme weather in recent years. This will continue.

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If we care, we can lessen the effects by decreasing fossil fuel use. Of course, we can't live without fossil fuels yet, and everyone knows that oil and coal and gas have brought about a lifestyle our ancestors before the Industrial Age never would have dreamed possible.

We have to transition to renewables and increase energy efficiency. And the good news is energy efficiency and cutbacks of energy use for the past three years have taken us back to 2001 levels. We still have a long way to go, but some think our culture is changing, and green is the "in" color these days!

Reduce, recycle, reuse -- but reduce is the most important. Sound hard? It's more about others, our kids and their kids, and in honor of our ancestors and all they did for us. We are already doing a lot, but more of us can do more. It's a moral, ethical imperative.

Sandra Kaptain

Elgin

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