Mr. Phil Drietz’s letter of July 30 gives his opinion that humans have no effect on climate change. What he does not do is give us any facts backed by science.
In 1997 coal provided 52.8% of the nation's energy. This was reduced to 27.4% by 2018. This energy production has been replaced largely by natural gas, wind, and solar.
Wind and solar once installed require minimal maintenance and no fuel input, hence no CO2 or other pollutants such as soot or mercury are emitted. Natural gas does emit CO2 though considerably less than coal per megawatt of electricity produced. It should be considered at best a transitional fuel until more wind and solar comes online or other technologies are developed, and as power storage technology improves when natural gas plants can be retired.
Mr Drietz does not believe that human industry is responsible for the record high amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere. This is incorrect. The carbon that is part of carbon dioxide comes in different isotopes which act as a fingerprint that can be used to identity the source of the carbon. The additional carbon in our atmosphere and oceans comes overwhelmingly from fossil fuels, not volcanoes.
If I want to know about science including climate science, I’m going to trust the people who know what they’re talking about, and the vast majority of scientists tell us humans have adversely affected the climate.
Neither Mr. Drietz nor I are likely to be alive 50 years hence. But my children and my grandson will be. My legacy to them is to do what I can to leave them as good an Earth or better than I have had in my life.
That is why do what I can to conserve energy. We’ve all seen the tips that come in the mail with our power bills. My individual efforts won’t affect much. But if enough of us make changes now, and industry makes necessary changes, it will make things better for my kids and my neighbor's kids later. That is also why I am also working with the Willmar Area Climate Action Group to effect positive change.