By Quinton Zondervan
Executive Director, Climate Action Business Association
Evidence of climate change this winter had been dumped in abundance on our Commonwealth. After a nearly snow free December and most of January, we were suddenly hit with four snowstorms in a row, dumping more snow in the Boston area in a three week period than ever before.
Prior to the snow deluge, local utilities announced electricity rate increases of up to 37%! Why? Because our region is increasingly dependent on natural gas for both heating and electricity generation. So the prices spike in winter, and we have to pay more in anticipation.
Meanwhile, our public transit system is falling apart and clearly incapable of handling the new normal of mega snowstorms back to back, particularly its exposed electrical systems. Think we’ll be out of the woods come summer? Not so fast: heat waves are on the rise and the most effective treatment is air conditioning. Where will the electricity come from to keep our trains and air conditioners running?
As a small business owner I am deeply concerned about these challenges, which we know from the science are only going to get worse. We cannot operate our modern economy without reliable electricity. We also cannot survive ongoing assaults from dangerous climate change. Some, particularly those whose fortunes depend on our fossil fuel dependency, want us to deepen that dependency by bringing more natural gas to the region. But we know better: doing so would lock us in to decades of additional greenhouse gas emissions, making climate change even worse for our successors.
Cape Wind is our new battle cry for freedom and independence from oligarchs wishing to control our future. We are blessed with abundant supplies of wind and solar energy in Massachusetts. Will we allow a powerful few to control our destiny? Or will we take charge of our future and insist that Cape Wind is built as the first of many offshore wind farms powering our region’s shared prosperity while continuing to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and dangerous fossil fuel dependency?
We can have a future that halts climate change and even begins to reverse it. That future runs on 100% clean, renewable energy. The fossil fuel barons know this, which is why they have sued over 20 times to stop Cape Wind! Are we going to let them win? Or will we harness our power and throw off their attempts at oppression? I’ll be rallying on the Boston Common on Feb 28 in support of Cape Wind. I hope to see you there.