Column: Need To Change Course On Climate

November 26, 2018

[Opinion column written by Glenn Fubler]

On Friday, November 23rd, the United States Government released the Climate Science Special Report – the Fourth National Climate Assessment. This report was produced by 13 U.S. Federal Agencies – civil service scientists – and has caused the Trump Administration some consternation, since it refutes the President’s agenda of ‘denial’ with reems of data.

This Special Report has documented the reality that on the current course, the U.S. will suffer losses in the trillions of dollars, not to mention the prediction of extensive loss of lives.

The Report has been released as the United Nations is preparing for this week’s ‘Climate Change Conference’ in Bonn, Germany. It also comes as Bermuda’s Regulatory Authority is closing the consultation period – November 30th – for proposals on the Island’s energy future.

This historic ‘fork in the road’ brings home the importance of the campaign for our entire community to become involved. Let me offer kudos to the principals behind the ‘Bermuda Better Energy Plan’ – Greenrock & Be Solar. They have been most transparent in using their limited resources to energetically promote a community-wide Conversation, after making their submission to the Regulatory Authority.

One should note that the proposal by BELCO has a goal of between 5 – 10% of the island’s electricity being provided by way of alternative sources – solar & wind by 2038.

The ‘Better Energy Plan’ has a proposal – developed with relevant engineering consultants – to achieve just over 60% electricity provided by solar & wind by 2038. The result being that only 40% of electricity would be generated by fossil fuels by 2038. Of course, this would significantly reduce the island’s production of greenhouse gases, an facilitate a reduction in electricity costs.

This Special Report is a call to the U.S. Government to support the goal of “Changing Course”. These civil servant scientists have pulled together a number of facts; including:

  • The ‘historic’ wild fires in California in recent weeks result from record drought conditions, linked to climate change.
  • Weather extremes is becoming the norm: droughts and floods in various locations, especially in the U.S. ‘bread basket’.
  • Sixteen of the last 17 years have been the warmest on record for the globe.
  • Increasing incidence of Super Hurricanes [Cat 5] in the last few years. It is noted that even lower-rated storms are dumping much more rain.

Here in Bermuda we too have reached a fork-in-the-road, with the Regulatory Authority contemplating the ‘way forward’. This Special Report produced by our neighbours supports the abundant evidence for the need to “Change Course” for the benefit of the Island’s up-coming generations.

- Glenn Fubler

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