Baxter Pharr: Time for a clean energy revolution |

Baxter Pharr: Time for a clean energy revolution

Baxter Pharr

In a recent letter to the editor, Dr. Martin Hertzberg claims that the Northern Hemisphere is warming because we have five more days of spring and summer than fall and winter. Since the Earth’s orbit around the sun is an ellipse not a circle, when the Earth is farthest from the sun (during the Northern Hemisphere’s spring and summer), its orbital speed is slowest thus making these seasons slightly longer than fall and winter. Using this logic, however, one would expect glaciers to be expanding in the Southern Hemisphere because they get five more days of fall and winter than spring and summer. However studies have shown that glaciers throughout the Southern Hemisphere, particularly South America and New Zealand, continue to contract. A study by the National Center for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) showed that the volume of ice in New Zealand’s southern Alps has shrunk by 11 percent in the last 30 years. In Patagonia, glaciers have shrunk by 10 to 20 percent in the last 20 years and will disappear in the next 60 to 70 years at this rate.

If pictures of birds that are totally covered with oil and stories of fisherman, oystermen, crabbers and shrimpers watching their livelihoods being destroyed by the largest ecological disaster in human history isn’t enough to get our nation moving toward cleaner and greener energy sources, then I don’t know what is. It is high time for the U.S. Senate to pass comprehensive energy and climate legislation so that our nation can create thousands of new jobs in these budding technologies. The American Power Act is not a perfect bill, but it is a good starting point to craft legislation that will ease the transition toward renewable energy. It’s time for a clean energy revolution.

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