Making lasting change

When discussing climate change and clean energy, many argue that a transition to cleaner energy will negatively impact the economy. However, this is not always true. Clean energy can strengthen the economy, providing the chance to mitigate the effects of climate change which, if we let continue at its current rate, will continue to harm local and global economies.

Much of the Palouse’s income comes from farming and livestock, but studies show warming could negatively affect livestock production. Changes such as average temperatures rising, increased wildfires and declining water supplies can and will lead to a decrease in livestock livelihood, a decrease in crop output and shorter farming seasons. Costs of production will also go up, with more energy being needed for adequate temperature control and attending to the extra hours of work needed. A study by the United States Global Research Program shows that if trends such as the shorter and dryer crop seasons that we have recently seen continue, climate-dependent industries such as agriculture, farming and construction could be at risk.

With so many citizens of Moscow depending on farming for their livelihood, these extra costs and work hours would be devastating. Additionally, we have an excellent opportunity to strengthen the economy if we start transitioning towards clean energy. In particular, the American Jobs Act and the Columbia Basin Opportunities provides federal funding to communities who initiate climate action, offering Moscow a feasible economic avenue towards 100-percent clean energy. If Moscow commits to Ready For 100, we can truly make a lasting change in our climate and economy.

Leyna Venzke

Moscow

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