Lighthouse Wind, Heritage Wind are good for the planet
Instead of asking our leaders and neighbors if they believe in climate change, we need to start asking if they understand it. Real scientific evidence is not something that can be debated. Over the last century, the human race has completely transitioned the world into a more industrialized and technologically advanced society.
While these advancements created the luxuries we all enjoy today, it also sparked irreversible degradation of the planet. Burning fossil fuels, among other practices in the modern world, release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These gases create a metaphorical blanket around the earth and trap energy in the atmosphere, causing temperatures to rise.
Over the last century, the average global climate has risen by 1.5 degrees Celsius. This may not seem like much, but it has already caused more extreme weather patterns. Just look at our last month in western New York. In the first week of February there were a few days with windchill warnings of negative double-digits, followed by two sunshine-filled 60 degree days, followed by a freezing ice storm. This is not business-as-usual.
In past decades, we as a society were not aware that our actions would cause so much destruction. We relied solely on fossil fuels for energy without knowing carbon dioxide was warming the atmosphere. We used harmful household chemicals that later were proven to burn a hole in the ozone layer. Now, we don’t have the same excuses that we did in the 70s and 80s.
Today, we know that our actions directly affect the fate of the planet. It is up to us to make conscious decisions about how to preserve the earth for our children and grandchildren. This may seem like a daunting task, but one way we can work together as a community to fight against climate change is right in our backyards.
On Feb. 5, Mother’s Out Front gave a presentation at the Hoag Library in Albion to express the need for Lighthouse and Heritage Wind to meet New York State’s energy goals. The goal is to have a 40% reduction in total greenhouse gases below 1990 levels and to obtain 50% of our electricity from renewables by 2030. By 2050, the goal is to obtain 75% of our energy from renewables.
In order to obtain this goal we need 10,000 megawatts of energy to come from wind power, even with the utilization of nuclear energy. Currently, there are 28 operational projects in the state, which produce 1,800 megawatts of clean energy. We are in desperate need of more wind power projects across the state.
Lighthouse and Heritage wind can potentially add another 360 megawatts to chip away at our goal. It is essential that we as a community, as parents, and as grandparents, support the development of these wind power projects. We now know the consequences of our actions on the planet and must act accordingly.