To the editor:
At a time when we are faced with the specter of global warming, when electricity costs are climbing and when we have heavily polluting coal plants being proposed in Kansas, the importance of the Southwest Junior High School solar project cannot be exaggerated.
Far more important than how many horribly inefficient incandescent lights could be powered by the 1.2 kilowatt photovoltaic system being installed by grants upon the school is the statement this system makes to our children that we are trying to find ways to lighten our environmental burden that we bequeath them. This solar project will show how even a small system is a start to making a change for the better.
Over the 40-year life of the system it will produce more than 73 million watt hours of electricity, thus keeping nearly 600 pounds of sulfur dioxide, 360 pounds of nitrogen oxide and more than 108,000 pounds of carbon dioxide out of our air.
Kansas, though rich in sustainable energy sources, has lagged behind the nation in implementing and encouraging these alternatives, largely due to our residents having a lack of exposure and education to the benefits. Our community is lucky to have the project at Southwest that will offer a start to this educational process. The time has come when we all must think more about the consequences of our energy addiction and do more to conserve energy and produce clean, sustainable energy.