Legislature

The legislator’s secret energy bill: For our children and grandchildren, we just need to do better

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In these divided, tumultuous and sometimes frightening times that we live in, here is a powerful source of shared comfort and hope for people of all identities and beliefs: We humans love our children and grandchildren.

We can differ sharply on countless social, political, religious, and ethical issues, but when it comes to our children and their futures, there is little to distinguish two gay parents of color living in the far corner. blue from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to a conservative Christian mother and father residing in rural North Carolina’s redder enclave (or, for that matter, devout Muslim parents living in the outskirts of Tehran or irreligious parents residing in a Tokyo skyscraper).

Every adult with a minimum of basic humanity can think of a child they know or have known (be it their child, a grandchild, a niece, a nephew, a cousin, a child god or just a friend. or a neighbor) to whom he wishes to have a chance to live a long, healthy and fulfilling life.

And, of course, the number one prerequisite for living such a life is having a place to live it. If the planet that nearly 8 billion humans currently live on were destroyed by a meteor or incinerated in a thermonuclear war, most of life as we know it would come to an end.

Even though we agree on little else, it seems like we do at least share one little commonality in recognizing that such an end must be avoided and that preserving the planet as a place where future generations can. living (and maybe even enjoying) would be a good thing.

And, if we accept the proposition that we should do all we can to prevent a cataclysmic event that would suddenly end life as we know it, it seems just as logical to conclude that we should do all we can to cope. other long-term fundamental threats. term of human survival – be it pandemics, poisoning of our air and water, or more immediately and worryingly in the summer of 2021, the global climate emergency.

It’s a terrifying truth to contemplate, but it is simply undeniable that global climate change has become an existential emergency for humanity.

To date, 189 nations are in formal agreement with the proposal set out in the Paris Agreement that: “Climate change is a global emergency that transcends national borders. “

The science behind this chilling conclusion is so unassailable that it is even widely accepted and endorsed by a range of giant fossil fuel producers like Seashell oil and Chevron.

As the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently put bluntly, the world is “on the brink of the abyss” if humans do not move on to make huge reductions in carbon pollution by the end of the current decade.

At such a time, few or no corporate citizens around the world bear a greater responsibility for embracing rapid global change than North Carolina-based Duke Energy. Duke is one of the largest utilities in the world and one of the largest producers of fossil fuel pollution in the United States

It is a matter of vital life and death for the human species that Duke (and other giant polluters like him) give up burning fossil fuels as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, despite his heavy responsibility, Duke drags his feet. As Policy Watch environmental reporter Lisa Sorg detailed last week, a new GA bill secretly negotiated between the company and GOP lawmakers would pave the way for further expansion of power plants. fossil fuels that rely on the combustion of fractured natural gas.

Lawyer Gudrun Thompson of the Southern Environmental Law Center – one of the many experts excluded from the proposal development process – said the bill “will produce a windfall for Duke Energy shareholders while blocking pollution from fossil fuels and failing to meet North Carolina Clean Energy and Climate Goals ”.

A press release published by the group Environment North Carolina put it like this:

The bill would require the construction of 3,500 megawatts of new fracking gas power plants, locking North Carolina into dirty power generation for decades.

This does not mean that the bill is completely without merit. His proposals for the early retirement of five coal-fired power plants and increased solar power generation are welcome and important.

But, ultimately, the legislation is far too modest in its ambition.

As scientific expert after scientific expert has repeatedly testified, when it comes to the climate emergency, the world is well past the point where half-measures and secret “compromises” have been worked out between polluters for purpose. Profits like Duke and Dominion Energy and a handful of politicians – many of whom were elected with financial backing from those same companies – can come one step closer to resolving the situation adequately.

Even with swift and genuinely heroic action, the climate crisis will worsen dramatically over the next few decades. Without it, we will likely doom our children and grandchildren to irreversible disaster. Certainly, no short-term profit or convenience is worth it.

For the sake of all the children of the world and the planet we hope they will inhabit, state leaders must reject the plan and begin a new, open process to immediately craft a truly just bill.

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