To the Editor:
Tom Rolfes’ letter last week is wrong about climate change (again), the economics of renewable energy and the benefits of Mount Desert Island’s grassroots organization A Climate to Thrive (ACTT).
Of course our climate is getting warmer, and rapidly. The last two years were the hottest on record, and 2016 is on course to set a new record.
To reinforce that point, Crystal Serenity visited Bar Harbor last week after traversing the fabled Northwest Passage from Alaska – a trip made possible by the melting of the Arctic ice.
And lobsters continue to move north seeking cooler water because the Gulf of Maine is warming.
A comparison between natural gas and solar panel economics is meaningless on MDI; I can’t replace my Emera service with a natural gas system. But I can with solar panels, and save money over their 25-year lifetime.
Installing solar panels helps, not hurts, those who don’t buy solar, according to a 2015 analysis done for our Maine PUC. When customers use their own capital to generate clean power, utilities don’t have to use their capital, so it helps keep rates (and pollution) down for everyone.
While fighting climate change is a major driver of ACTT, there are other benefits, including saving money, better nutrition, less waste, healthier living and local job creation. And the satisfaction of taking action despite climate gridlock in Washington and Augusta.
What difference can we on MDI make in global climate change? That’s like asking what difference our votes make this November; a handful of votes seems so insignificant. But together with other people with similar goals, it is what decides who will lead our state and country.
My vote will be for those committed to finding solutions to the very real threat of global climate change. I hope yours will as well.