Letters

Finding solution to climate crisis will take time, effort

Posted: Jan. 7, 2019 12:01 am Updated: Jan. 8, 2019 9:45 am

To The Herald-Whig:

Part of William Postle's letter on Dec. 27 is correct.

HR 7173 and Senate versions of the Carbon Dividend Act won't solve climate change. They will only reduce the rate of the yearly increase of our greenhouse gas emissions.

This legislation is only a first step in addressing the real problem, which is global warming -- excess insulation of earth's atmosphere by waste pollutants from human activity.

It will take much more change in human activity to reach drawdown -- stopping the increase and beginning the process of removing the insulating blanket of emissions we have already put into Earth's atmosphere. Make no mistake about it: Carbon has become a simplistic proxy for a much larger problem.

Wasted food is a key driver of methane emissions, a greenhouse gas with 20 times the potency of CO2.

The tons of food discarded daily is buried, and as it decomposes, it releases methane for years.

Actually, many EPA-approved landfills are capped and collect methane to generate electricity. Better yet is to avoid throwing expensive food away, like making soup out of your steak bones.

Another big contributor to greenhouse gases is refrigeration, which today uses HFCs.

Earlier refrigerants used CFC, volatile compounds that were destroying the protective ozone shield around earth and causing increased skin cancers.

There are other solutions to refrigeration that would cut out the HFCs, a change we should promptly adopt given the increasing global need for air conditioning.

There are many innovative solutions to greenhouse gas buildup, and many of them would improve the quality of our lives.

Wasting food, especially food raised with techniques that increase global warming, doesn't improve the quality of our lives.

It only costs us extra money that might be better spent paying off our debts. We only need to understand the possibilities and opportunities available to us to adopt viable, scalable and feasible solutions to our current problems.

The bottom line is that we need to learn to replace, reduce and biosequester compounds that act as an insulating blanket on earth. Our current and future prosperity depend on it.

Karel Rogers

Newark, Mo.