Nov. 18, 2017 Letters-to-the-Editor by David Ballantyne, Newport, OH
The Marietta Times

I would like to thank the Leadership of the City of Marietta for installation of Solar Panels on the roof of the Municipal Court Building at 3rd and Butler Streets, due for installation during the week of Nov. 13.  I also thank the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Marietta for expansion of their Solar Array, due for installation during the week of Nov. 27.  Similar Solar Panel installations have been made at Parkersburg High, Parkersburg South and Williamstown High; and, none of these projects cost the Building Owners anything.  They were all financed by private companies being repaid for their investment from the energy savings achieved plus from the renewable energy tax credits.  The customer saves money while “taking a positive stand.”

I’d like to thank also the fourteen states representing 36.5% of the US population who have formed the “US Climate Alliance” pledging to stay on track towards reducing their climate change inducing green-house gas emissions by 24 – 29% below 2005 levels by 2025. They pledge also to meet the reduction targets set by the Paris Climate Agreement even though the USA as a whole has withdrawn from the agreement.  Over three-hundred-fifty US Cities have pledged the same representing citizens within and beyond these fourteen states, including Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Oberlin in Ohio.  They are “taking a positive stand.”

News channels reported very matter-of-factly during the recent catastrophic and deadly hurricanes that storms moving across warm oceans gain wind and rain strength beyond what would have occurred had the oceans not been indeed warmer than usual to unprecedented levels.  They report similarly that air temperatures and associated winds are increased during the drought conditions which prevailed long before the advent of damaging and deadly wild fires.  This connection between these causes and effects now seem generally understood – and accepted as the new normal.

Indeed storms and fires are natural, but it is the “risk factors” (such as rising temperatures providing the energy leading to rising wind velocities) which create the conditions generating the likelihood and severity of catastrophic damage once nature triggers the inevitable.  Is mankind adding to those risk factors?  My background as an Engineer, and my interpretation of science leaves little doubt.  So above, I try to remember to say thank you when I see brave and committed people working to stand for reason and sanity as part of the solution to these man-made Climate Change inducing risk factors. Won’t you please join them?