Research has shown that the need for a fossil-fuel "bridge" to a clean renewable energy future is a myth. The technology and methodology exists, right now, to initiate a rapid shift to renewable energy. Scientists and researchers have laid out the blueprint; what is needed now is for governmental leaders to aggressively implement the plan, and for "we the people" to demand that they do so.
Here in western Pennsylvania we have been an integral part of the proud history of the Age of Fossil Fuels. We are and have been a major component of the bedrock upon which modern civilization has been built. Unfortunately, whether or not we wish to acknowledge it, it has been discovered that the "bedrock" is toxic on many levels. Beneath its shining veneer, our civilization has been built upon and powered by toxic substances, toxic processes, toxic employment and increasingly toxic consequences. We have come to a place where blind pride in our past achievements and blind insistence on "the way it's always been" for the past 100 years will not see us safely into the future.
We can no longer accept the toxic trade-off of water, air and soil contamination and the compromising of our health, our communities and our environment in exchange for energy. We must be willing to move beyond fossil fuels and the increasingly extreme and costly (in terms of both money and health) methods of extracting them, and turn all our considerable manpower and intellectual resources toward allowing the sun, the wind and the tides to propel us forward into a clean renewable energy future.
Just as Pennsylvania played a major part in the fossil-fuel energy revolution, it can now become a leader in transforming the way we energize our lives in the future. On Sunday, July 24, a March for a Clean Energy Revolution (cleanenergymarch.org) will be held in Philadelphia on the eve of the Democratic National Convention. Marchers will demand action from our current and future national leaders on making the swift and just transition to clean energy. Buses will be leaving for the march from western PA. Contact Michael Bagdes-Canning (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details on transportation from Butler County to the march.
Demanding swift and comprehensive action from our national, state and local leaders regarding clean energy implementation will help us to avert or at least diminish climate catastrophes, and secure a sustainable future for ourselves, our children and generations to come.
Joseph P. McMurry