EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

September 18, 2013

Letter: Energy conservation is a step in right direction

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — To the editor:

After reading The Eagle-Tribune’s editorial mocking Car-Free Week as a policy to berate all our Massachusetts drivers, I found it disturbing and simply wrong-headed. When ideas are exchanged on simple solutions to help alleviate traffic and conserve energy, one might think any step in the right direction would be applauded.

From the year 1500 to the year 1900 which includes most of the Industrial Revolution, the world population increased from 500 million to 1.6 billion. In just 400 years the population more than tripled. By the year 1950 — my generation — the population had increased to 2.6 billion, adding another 1 billion people in just 50 short years. Today at my age of 61, the planet has increased its total to the incredible amount of 7,060,081,098 — that is seven billion, sixty million, give or take a few hundred thousand people. We had better reassess our cavalier attitude toward energy solutions and start to implement sound and practical policies that will improve the quality of life for the entire planet.

I am not saying wind and solar will fix all our energy problems; they won’t. We must take a balanced approach. Fracking is the latest craze in natural gas exploration. That is a promising approach however it should and must be subject to the clean air and clean water acts. We have for years heard from the coal industry promising clean coal, it has not materialized and does not seem likely to any time soon.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 passed by the previous administration, otherwise known as the Halliburton Loophole, should be repealed. This was passed solely as a license to pollute ground water and aquifers without any recriminations for the energy companies.

Today most of the climatologists agree that nuclear energy will have to play a major role in the saving and protection of our fragile ecosystem. The amount of nuclear waste has been drastically reduced and adds virtually no carbon particulates to our atmosphere.

I believe it was Carl Sagan who said, “It’s not really that big of a deal. The planet will find a way to survive. Unfortunately the people on it will not.”

Robert Burdin