No panacea



To the Editor:

A recent letter to the editor in the Islander from Tom Rolfes (Wind Power, Jan. 29), commented on Maine’s wind power policy. Like Tom, I don’t vote in Maine (yet), so I’ll leave that policy debate to those who do.

I do hope that facts will inform the debate. But the assertions in Tom’s letter about the climate are not supported by the facts – again.

The facts are that, yes, there has been global warming over the last 15 years. Sea levels have been rising. Both are driven by increased CO2 largely caused by burning fossil fuels with yesterday’s technology.

But no, there is no consensus on whether increased atmospheric CO2 is a net benefit for agriculture. These facts are clear from any number of public (and free) web sites, such as those by the EPA, NOAA or NASA.

I had not heard of Alex Epstein before, but according to his website, he is not a scientist, just a writer who thinks fossil fuels are wonderful, while solar and wind power, and people he calls “environmentalists” are not. He does agree that coal needs to be cleaner as an energy source, but I don’t see how that will happen if we toss out the science which identifies what is harmful about it (or any energy source).

I do not know why he feels it necessary to pick on wind and solar power and demonize a small subset of people concerned about the environment in order to defend burning fossil fuel.

Wind power is not a panacea. Maine’s wind policy should be debated. But the debate will be better served when people argue their position based on facts, not fiction.

John Fehlauer

Mount Desert