To the editor:
I applaud the Town of East Hampton for approving the easement for the Deepwater Wind cable to come ashore in Wainscott. “East Hampton Town Board Approves Easements for Offshore Wind Farm Cable,” July 20.
The vote is a victory for offshore wind development locally and clean energy development generally. The vote was just one of the many, many steps in the process of addressing a truly existential threat to human civilization: climate change. Just for starters, East End real estate worth billions of dollars is threatened by chronic inundation in the coming decades. “New Report Sheds Light on Local Impacts of Climate Change.” July 7. Already my father-in-law’s backyard in Sag Harbor becomes a part-time pond.
Right now we can all see severe effects, local and worldwide, of climate change: more heat waves, more forest fires, more floods, more severe hurricanes. Scientists predicted these effects decades ago, and they are coming to pass. The only solution is to wean societies off the fossil fuels that are causing global warming.
Fishing interests in particular need to see the big picture, listen to the scientists and acknowledge another severe consequence of our warming atmosphere: oceans that are absorbing more heat and carbon, becoming warmer and more acidic. This threatens the entire ocean ecosystem. Compare that long-term threat to fisheries with the short-term disruption of wind farm construction or having to navigate around the turbines once they are constructed. That being said, fishing interests must be compensated for any short-term disruptions.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has been right to make addressing climate change a key priority. Without offshore wind, we cannot achieve his goal of obtaining 50% of the state’s energy from renewable sources by 2030. The vote taken by the Town Board smoothed the path for this vital technology.
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