To the editor:
Most Americans, including myself, are too dependent on technology. I believe that some energy self-sufficiency is a way to maintain safety when natural or manmade disasters strike. According to a report from the U.S. Department of Energy (July 2013), the nation’s energy system is vulnerable to increasingly severe and costly weather events driven by climate change. Each component of the energy infrastructure — oil wells, hydroelectric dams, nuclear power plants — will be stressed by more intense storms, rising seas, higher temperatures and more frequent droughts. As Americans, we should build a more resilient infrastructure that can protect our homes and businesses as we experience more powerful storms.
At the same time, we should immediately pass legislation to impose a carbon tax and dividend program that will begin to shift the United States toward an economy based on renewable energy. Citizens Climate Lobby is advocating for a federal revenue-neutral carbon tax on fossil fuels that reflects their true costs to society. The carbon tax will help shift our economy toward balanced energy production and encourage efficiency alternative energy technologies.
Alternative energy sources can be designed to be more durable, less vulnerable and distributed. Even a few PV solar cells on a personal residence can provide some basic electrical power in the event of a catastrophic failure in the main power grid. We still have time to act — if we start now. As part of our responsibility to future generations, we must continue to reduce climate-altering carbon emissions, but as self-reliant citizens, we should adapt and improve the safety of our present infrastructure as well.