The first installment of The Post’s laudable “A Climate for Change” series of editorials pointed out that the debate on climate change has “devolved” and cited a number of reasons why Congress has failed to take action to reduce carbon emissions [“The certainty of climate change,” Aug. 25].
The editorial failed to mention one other key reason: The Koch brothers, Exxon Mobil and other fossil-fuel interests have bankrolled a multimillion-dollar campaign to confuse the public about the reality and seriousness of man-made global warming. The news media have played a role in spreading this disinformation. Since the early 2000s, news organizations have provided a platform for fossil-fuel-industry-funded think tanks, advocacy groups and politicians to make spurious claims about climate science. Reporters have relied on these public officials and groups to provide the “other side.” There is no other side.
Fortunately, The Post has been citing climate-change contrarians less frequently these days. But the paper is still publishing columns by Charles Krauthammer and George F. Will and op-eds from others that distort the science. If The Post is serious about clearing up confusion about global warming, it would follow the lead of the BBC and stop publishing scientifically indefensible statements.
Elliott Negin, Washington
The writer is director of news and commentary for the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Advanced Energy Economy disagrees with the editorial’s assertion that the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan represents “a cumbersome and expensive way to slash emissions.” The EPA’s proposal underestimates available technologies that have proved cost-effective in reducing greenhouse gases and fails to take into account the technological progress that will occur by 2030. The emissions targets will spur investment in modernizing our electric power system.
A recent report by our association details 40 technologies that cut emissions, save money and make the U.S. power grid more reliable and resilient. These technologies include energy efficiency, demand response, natural gas, solar, wind, hydropower and nuclear power, smart grid and energy storage. With a range of options that are cost-saving, low in cost or falling in cost, there is every reason to believe the EPA’s estimate that electricity bills will fall 8 percent as a result of meeting its carbon standards. The Clean Power Plan also will drive investment in a power system that is sorely in need of it. The dividends of lower emissions will be economic — in jobs, growth and consumer value.
Malcolm Woolf, Davidsonville
The writer is a senior vice president for Advanced Energy Economy, a national business association of advanced energy companies.
Missing from The Post’s editorial series has been any discussion of nuclear power. The United States should be at the forefront of research into nuclear power plants that are efficient, do not require water to cool them, are inherently safe by design and do not produce byproducts that can be used to make weapons.
The Chinese and others have jumped on the thorium technology that was developed in the United States. If they are successful, perhaps we can buy back our technology while paying royalties on U.S. patents held by Chinese entities.
Investing in nuclear energy may not feel green, but it can address the concerns of global warming believers and form the cornerstone of a truly comprehensive energy policy.
Elliott Light, Naples, Fla.