Based on personal conversations, the recent extreme — hot and dry — weather in Alabama and the southeast has caused more citizens to discuss climate change.
This is a positive development since we must discuss it in order to develop an effective plan of action.
This plan must greatly reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, which result from burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas.
Instead of fossil fuels, we should switch to clean, renewable energy, such as solar and wind power — with storage.
Other states in the southeast are taking positive steps.
The Southern Environmental Law Center, which covers six states — including Alabama — reported in their fall 2019 newsletter: “The South Carolina General Assembly in June unanimously passed … the Energy Freedom Act [which] eliminates arbitrary barriers to customers’ ability to lease rooftop solar equipment and earn a fair value for excess energy they generate at home and provide back to the grid.”
The SELC also reported “more solar power is on the way in Georgia, thanks to SELC’s advocacy before the state’s Public Service Commission. In July, the Commission approved a long-range energy plan for Georgia Power that will add 2,210 megawatts of renewable energy — likely all solar — to the state’s energy mix. This is enough energy to power nearly a quarter of a million homes.”
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I am unaware of similar actions in Alabama.
We need discussion, planning and action without delay.
Talk about it, including with your elected representatives.
David Newton is a retired professor and the former Assistant Dean of the School of Pharmacy at Auburn University.
The opinions expressed in columns and letters represent the views and opinions of their individual authors.
These opinions do not necessarily reflect the Auburn University student body, faculty, administration or Board of Trustees.
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