The Norman Transcript

Opinion

March 30, 2014

The possibility of a bright, clean-energy future

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

There was an OERB commercial not long ago that showed lots of smiling children having fun, learning and growing, as we all want our kids to do. I admire OERB’s work cleaning up old wells.

That shows that they care about the land but their ad implied that we can just go on ignoring warnings and expect our children’s future to be just like our past.

It hinted that we can meet energy needs in the same old ways without worrying about any negative consequences of greenhouse gas emissions.

We used fossil fuels to make great gains in the last 100-plus years.

Many wonderful things were done with the power they provided. Our lives were made easier and better. The dangerous changes carbon emissions were making to our climate were not immediately apparent. That’s a story that has been repeated many times with many products and processes through the years.

One example is asbestos. It was great at fire-proofing buildings and other things, but after a time its danger became known as we had to stop its wide use.

It is such a temptation to believe that the truth is what we want it to be.

We don’t go out of our way to face unpleasant situations. It is more like us humans to push those things away for as long as possible.

However, once we see that we see that we have to confront difficulties for our children’s sake we can do so admirably. Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists tell us, based on much evidence, that we are at that point now with our greenhouse gas emissions.

Adjusting course takes effort, but that doesn’t mean there is no future if we can’t keep doing things the old way.

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