Nation urgently needs clean energy

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: December 19 2012 | 12:01 am - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 3:32 am in

By The Rev. Dr. Barbara Schlachter

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Dear Mr. President,

We are a group of women of a “vintage” age in Iowa City organized as 100 Grannies for a Livable Future. Because many of us caucused for you in 2008 when you were still a long shot, we feel very connected to you. We worked for your election believing in all your great promises about climate change.

We worked for you in this most recent election, too, in the hopes that surely now, after this year of heat, drought, fires and disasters such as Hurricane Sandy and with all the growing evidence for the need to make fundamental changes in the way we produce and deliver energy in this country, you will stand and deliver.

Most of us are grandmothers, concerned about the future the children being born now will face. If greenhouse gases continue to enter the atmosphere raising the earth’s temperature, there is no doubt we will see more frequent and more severe storms. We’ve had Katrina, Irene and now Sandy. We simply cannot continue to put more fossil fuel emissions into the air. The cost is too great both in terms of the health and well being of those living now and those who are to come.

We know that you are greatly concerned about jobs and the economy. So are we. Here in Iowa we have seen that alternative energy such as wind creates jobs and lowers emissions. It is a win/win proposition to assist in making alternative energies viable enough to replace the fossil fuel industry. Solar, geothermal and biofuels as well as wind are all technology-ready to move us away from coal, gas and oil.

Finally, we are determinedly opposed to more tar-sands pipelines and fracking. These are not only destructive of land and water and can be egregiously harmful to health but pump even more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Two of us were arrested at the demonstrations against the Keystone XL pipeline at the White House in 2011; earlier this month, one of us was in Texas protesting the building of the pipeline.

You can say no to the pipeline for this whole country. It is the right thing to do. Please do all in your power to help America develop jobs through clean energy.

We invite you to be remembered as the president who saved America from the disastrous future it was headed for just as Lincoln is remembered for ending slavery and saving the Union. This is the most urgent issue facing the human race, and we are willing to do whatever we can to help you.

God’s every blessing on you and on your administration.

The Rev. Dr. Barbara Schlachter of Iowa City submitted this on behalf of 100 Grannies for a Livable Future; more online at 100Grannies.org. Comments: mail@100grannies.org

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