Part 9. Climate and Energy Series Environmental Advocate: We need to favor decentralized over centralized power systems. For example, rooftop solar panels on residences and businesses make much more sense than huge arrays on public lands, which require new transmission lines
Decentralize energy guzzlers. For example, the centralized federal and state water conveyance system uses one third of California’s total energy consumption. The system should be regionalized.
Raise the federal gas tax and apply proceeds to energy-efficient public transportation systems – light rail in cities and fast trains between cities – to get people out of cars and planes.
Increase taxes on airline flights – one of the most damaging forms of carbon pollution – to reduce air travel globally.
Leave carbon fuels in the ground where they belong. Support divestment of companies that hold carbon reserves – oil, gas and coal – in their portfolios.
Beware of hydroelectric power. Dams destroy ecosystems, cultures and fisheries.
The rich nations need to help fund the power sources for the emerging world so developing countries can skip the carbon phase. We – not they – have dumped our wastes into the atmosphere for 150 years without paying for the damage, so we should pay the bill.
Farmer: Addressing the myriad environmental issues is important. It must be approached from a scientific perspective that doesn’t destroy the patient in the process. Making rules without properly looking at ALL the implications is dangerous and will hurt many who have struggled to operate in what they had been led to believe was the correct way.