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Camburn Shephard, Crystal, N.D., Published March 22 2014

Letter: In ND, freeze or live

The airwaves and newsprint are full of “climate change” disasters waiting for us all if we don’t scrap fossil fuels and switch to “renewable” energy sources. Wind and solar are the recipients of massive subsidies, without which they are not economical. Including the subsidies, those sources become very expensive and are not currently economical. If one listened to the climate change fears, we would all be rushing to obtain renewable sources of electricity. The KWH rate would only rise to 27 cents per KWH versus the current 7 to 10 cent rate.

The ripple effect of the high energy costs would be more folks being in energy poverty. Making the choice, do we eat or do we heat our homes? And what do we eat? Do we find the cheapest source of calories, ignoring what a balanced diet requires? Short-term life versus long-term negative health effects, which result in more medical costs?

The wheel just keeps spinning and spinning. Costs increase, health decreases, people die early, suffering energy poverty and a poor quality of life so that renewable forms of energy are profitable.

Coal currently is the major source of electricity in North Dakota. We enjoy clean air, in fact. we have the cleanest air in the nation, according to the American Lung Association. Our mercury levels are among the lowest in the nation. Our particulate matter in air the lowest. Lucky for us, when we turn on the light switch, the light comes on. Furnaces start without fail; our homes are warm.

Climate science is an infant science. Global temperatures have not risen for 17 years; 22 years, if you use satellite-based sensors of lower tropospheric temperatures. The predictions of gloom and doom are based on models that would have us 0.6 degrees F warmer than we currently are. Why, by the year 2100, we will be 4.0 degrees C warmer, according to the models that haven’t even been able to do well with two decades of observations.

Affordable and, most importantly, reliable energy allows business to plan and homeowners to turn on lights, start furnaces, and even run those pesky refrigerators so that they can obtain fruits and vegetables and eat a balanced diet. In fact, life expectancy goes up, and up, and up as a result of affordable reliable energy.

In North Dakota we have a choice. Freeze or live. I, for one, much prefer to live and watch the economy grow, people prosper and live longer, with a quality of life unsurpassed in the world.

Coal-based electricity is one of the large factors in this successful standard of life. It looks like we have another 800 years to fret.