Say yes to renewable energy

To the editor:

I’m relatively new to the U.P. and something that I’ve come to appreciate is that people here relish their independence and the natural beauty of the U.P.

As a person with lifelong respiratory ailments, I also really appreciate the clean air here in Copper Country. Since I’ve moved here, I’ve rarely used allergy medicine or an inhaler.

The beginning of last week was overcast, not with clouds, but with wildfire smoke. Not only could I smell the pollution, but I was forced to resort to my nasal spray and allergy pills.

The consequences of climate change for the U.P. include reduced snowfall for winter sports, hotter and drier weather, as we sit at the northeastern corner of the great plains, and the migration of people seeking refuge from the hot, dry and currently burning western United States. All you have to do is look at the weather and home prices in the area to understand this truth.

If Yoopers want to protect our way of life, we need to embrace renewable energy and work diligently to stop climate change. It may be that a wind turbine on the horizon isn’t the most aesthetically appealing thing to look at (for some), but the grace of blades rotating in the wind producing clean energy with free fuel has its own beauty.

You may have doubts about solar, but Germany uses it with great effect and they have a similar solar profile to Michigan. We need clean energy to fight climate change and preserve the natural beauty of the U.P.

It’s true that we don’t want big developers telling us how they are going to deliver energy to the U.P., and we don’t need another industry extracting wealth from an already struggling economy. We’ve had enough bad experiences with UPPCO that we can all agree on that. But unless we do something about climate change, the U.P. is going to change rapidly, and in a way that many of us will not enjoy, and unless you have significant wealth, may not endure.

Say YES to locally-owned renewable energy in the U.P. This is something we can all fight for, agree on, and work on together.


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