BADGER FORUM THURSDAY, AUGUST 18 | 12 Noon
There is little doubt that the Earth’s climate is changing, and if you harbor any, you have not been paying attention to the weather recently. There is also little doubt that the principal causes of this change are human activities from the burning of fossil fuels to changes in land-use such as deforestation and the world-wide increase in large forest fires, all of which inject climate altering gases and particles into the air. The result of all of this, among other climatic changes, is the warming of the planet as more of the sun’s energy reaching the Earth’s atmosphere is absorbed by the atmosphere than is reflected or reradiated into space.
Controlling climate change will require global action.
But global action starts with local action. Washington State government has chosen to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by requiring all future electric energy generation to be met through renewable resources, particularly wind and solar. The state’s climate strategy also requires electrification of nearly all economic activities: transportation, farming, construction, manufacturing, etc. This approach is a logical one for Washington as the state has one of the lowest “carbon footprints” in the country because of the past abundance of hydro-generated electricity in the region. But the region’s hydroelectric generation capacity is more likely to decrease than increase.
Which brings us to the current proposal to build a combined wind and solar energy project in the Horse Heaven Hills south of the Tri-Cities. All energy-generation technologies have adverse environmental impacts – from manufacture to installation, operation, and decommissioning – in addition to their benefits. The point is whether these benefits outweigh the negative consequences. Our August 18 Badger Forum will examine the Horse Heaven Hills project from four different perspectives.
COMING SEPTEMBER 15: The two candidates for Benton County Prosecuting Attorney, both Republicans, will square off in a Badger Forum. With the retirement of Andy Miller, this will be the first time in more than two decades that there will be no Democrat holding a Benton County office. Watch our Home Page for registration to open.