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Op–Ed by John Brooks: Old road is aging, times they are a-changin’

9 3 GND Brooks

By John Brooks

Re:  Alan Greenberg’s Aug. 27 Op-Ed, “The Green New Deal will spell the end of the U.S. as a world power”:

China, China, China, China, etc.

While it’s true China must do more and reduce its coal-burning, we Americans are still the worst polluters in the world, on both a per-capita basis and on our cumulative total contribution to the problem.

Second is Russia, then comes Japan, and the European Union — China actually comes in fifth.

While Greenberg bemoans the “Green New Deal,” which President Biden has NOT endorsed (though I think he should), our president wants to move away from the destructive burning of fossil fuels and, at the same time, rapidly increase manufacturing in our industries connected to the future.

Solar, wind, tidal, biomass, etc.

Ventura County should be a hub for this growth as our oil fields die out and drilling is necessarily shut down.

Globally, the primary sources of greenhouse gas emissions are for production of electricity and heating, transportation, and agriculture, including forestry.

Fossil fuels account for 80% of all greenhouse-gas emissions.

Rather than adopting a defeatist attitude and running headlong over the cliff like a slice of lemmings, I prefer helping our country be a world power in the development of clean energy.

It is technically feasible to meet the growing demand for electricity from zero carbon sources, but that needs government support through regulation and policy — like our funding of the research and development investments that helped us rise and prosper following World War II. It doesn’t mean trying to make the Green New Deal a boogeyman to sway public opinion with scare tactics.

Greenberg bemoans the closure of U.S. copper mines, while, at the same time, pointing out the adverse air pollution on Arizona from a copper mine 25 miles away. Which is it? Good or bad? There is no doubt the environmental damage from mines must be mitigated; and reducing both copper and cobalt is a goal of manufacturers and researchers. But that pollution and its impact on the climate crisis upon us is dwarfed by the burning of fossil fuels.

And while I don’t see it as a bragging point, it was the increased oil production during the Obama administration, not the Trump administration, that resulted in so-called energy independence for our country.

We can and must do better and all of us, left, right and center deserve the good jobs and livable planet that this transformation will bring.

What did Bob Dylan sing?

“Your old road is rapidly aging

Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend a hand.

For the times they are a-changin’.”

— John Brooks of Oak View is a board member of Climate First: Replacing Oil & Gas (CFROG).

 

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