Fossil fuel attorney David Yaussy’s distorted industry mantra in a recent op-ed spinning doubt that the anthropogenic climate change crisis is nothing to worry about triggers an old memory of companies telling people “cigarettes are good for you.”
His dismissal of the ocean rising as trivial is blatant ignorance of the facts. The Arctic Ocean rise is already causing population disruption in Alaska. Thirty-one Inuit villages that have existed on the coast of Alaska for at least 2,000 years are now threatened by the fossil fuel precipitated climate change causing a significant rise of the Arctic waters.
Current discussions estimate that the average cost of moving these villages further inland will be $30 million each. That’s a bill the taxpayers will foot.
Some estimates are claiming that 2,500 to 3,000 feet of coastline, the equivalent of 30 football fields in some cases, has already been lost to the rising ocean.
These indigenous Americans who have relied upon the sea for their livelihood are seeking our help to relocate. Would Yaussy deny their plight?
In addition, climate change is causing the frozen tundra to thaw, causing buildings to fracture and roads to fail. Grazing lands on the tundra are turning into Arctic swamps, and many native species are dying for lack of access to food. This is all well documented.
I have a classmate from my undergraduate days in Ann Arbor who is a prominent legal mind in Alaska. He is a staunch Republican, and has offered to me to send any climate change deniers to him in Alaska where he will show him the very real impacts of our worsening climate crisis. Does Mr. Yaussy care to have a close-up look at the scientific truth?
But there is hope. It is now quite clear by the dramatic growth in all renewable energies, but especially the solar industry.
According to the departments of Energy and Labor, jobs in the solar industry that are the addressing climate change by accelerating the transition to renewable energy and a greenhouse gas free economy are in fact growing and creating economic opportunity.
With just 1.6 percent of total U.S. energy being generated by solar power, the labor-intensive solar industry has produced more than twice as many well-paid clean, safe jobs as the existing and declining coal industry that is currently producing 27.4 percent of our energy.
How many jobs would be created if those percentages were switched? What is more important to Mr. Yaussy, job creation or profits from fossil fuels?
The future can be bright and safe if we just keep the Yaussys of the climate denial faction out of the way.