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Letter to the Editor by Samuel Arnold, 15 Oct 2019 (Telegraph Journal)

Regarding your article, “Climate change, pipelines and your ballot,” (which appeared in the Telegraph Journal on October 10, 2019) this analysis served mostly to confuse readers on this critical subject. The author appears to have missed the fundamental reasons why students were conducting a ‘climate strike’ in Fredericton and many other municipalities.

First, climate experts warn for Earth to remain habitable for humans the global temperature must not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. But that has almost been reached now, and the planet is on track to reach between 2 to 4 degrees this century. This would be catastrophic for humanity in less than 12 years.

Second, far more jobs can be created by transitioning to the low carbon economy as soon as possible. This can be accomplished by ending subsidies and tax breaks to carbon-producing industries; by investing funds collected from carbon pricing to create jobs around the province in renewable energy; and to retrofit older homes and buildings to improve their efficiency, thereby reducing energy costs while improving personal comfort. This will save owners both in heating and cooling expenses for years to come while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Third, the proposed oil or natural gas pipeline to Saint John is estimated to cost $12 billion to build and has little chance of being approved or accepted by those who know better. Renewable energy development is more expeditious to bring to market, is more cost-effective, and significantly reduces GHG emissions.

Only those candidates and parties who have an immediate and effective plan to address the climate emergency threatening our children and grandchildren’s future deserve to be elected Oct. 21st. Future generations may thank us if we take much-needed action now.

Sam Arnold is the Co-ordinator of the Sustainable Energy Group in Woodstock, NB

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