Pact is strong signal for clean energy


December 14, 2015 - 12:00 AM

On Saturday night, the air conditioning was turned on for the Register’s Christmas party.
Earlier in the afternoon, the temperature hovered in the mid-70s.  Downtown Christmas shoppers were clad in shorts and T-shirts.
This is in Iola, Kansas, not Palm Beach, Florida.
For the year, 2015 has been on record as being the hottest ever experienced on Earth. Almost every year tops the previous as being warmer.
Here in Kansas it doesn’t seem to make that much difference.
In the spring, we welcome the warmer weather and as for winter, it’s nice to stave off the bitter cold. And our air seems clean enough.
But elsewhere, the polar ice caps are melting, raising our ocean levels, and the air is becoming increasingly clogged with pollutants.
The cause is largely from power plants that use coal, natural gas, and oil to produce their energy and whose dirty emissions become trapped in the atmosphere.

SO IT WAS welcome news to learn that also on Saturday, more than 190 leaders from around the world affirmed climate change and set goals for changing how we produce energy.
The “Paris agreement” will steer the world in a direction that eliminates greenhouse gases over the next 50 years in an effort to slow the warming trend.
Such a change will require countries to rethink how they produce energy as they wean themselves from a dependency on fossil fuels.
In the long term, it will help guarantee a planet for future generations.
In the short term, it could mean an enormous job creating engines from the demand of new technologies to generate clean energy.
As we speak, crews are working on a wind farm going up just a short drive from here. In Waverly, farmers have agreed to lease their land to provide for a wind farm where 90 wind turbines will produce enough energy to power up more than 50,000 homes each year.
The “green” energy from this one wind farm will save more than 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide being released into the air from a traditional power plant.
New technology, new jobs, for a new tomorrow.
That’s progress.
— Susan Lynn

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