Opinion | Climate Change: What Must Be Done, Now

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Linda Reichert
Chester Springs, Pa.

To the Editor:

The editorial calls for big investments in wind, solar and nuclear power to move away from fossil fuels and get to zero net carbon emissions by 2050. Although unpopular, nuclear power will play a vital role that must not be undervalued.

While it’s been comforting to see the adoption of renewable power sources (hydro, wind and solar) and the grass roots efforts by citizens’ groups to get a carbon fee and dividend program passed by Congress, it’s not enough. Projections by the Energy Information Administration show that renewables will only cover about 42 percent of our demand for power by 2050. Nevertheless, we must fully phase out fossil fuels by then.

The only way to fill the gap is to accelerate the adoption of nuclear power. After high-profile incidents like Fukushima, the world has been moving in the other direction. We need to reverse this trend and rapidly deploy newer, safer and more cost-effective fourth-generation nuclear power technology. This is essential to halt the accelerating effects of climate change and buy us enough time to implement long-term power solutions.

William L. Bain
Bellevue, Wash.

To the Editor:

Re “G.O.P. Shifts on Climate, but Not on Fossil Fuels” (front page, Aug. 14):

The minuscule changes in policy positions of Republicans acknowledging that climate change is, at least in part, human-caused are an example of cynicism on steroids. It is not because they now understand the science better. It is because the position of denial is so out of step that it’s untenable, even for Republicans comfortable with the Big Lie.

They remain comfortable with another big lie — that we can continue burning fossil fuels and still be OK. They will trot out glib phrases meant to dismiss concern about emissions. They will try any spin to protect fossil fuel interests. Now that they are acknowledging the reality of human-caused climate change, protecting Big Oil is a stunning display of callous cynicism toward the citizens facing climate disasters.

Republicans already know that a carbon tax would reduce emissions and avoid an economic downturn, but they won’t support it until public opinion gives them no choice.

Gary M. Stewart
Laguna Beach, Calif.

To the Editor:

In an unintended way, Senator Bill Cassidy is absolutely correct when he says, “We cannot live without fossil fuels or chemicals, period, end of story.”

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