The climate crisis is at a critical point. I believe the scientists who estimate we have 12 years to save the planet as we know it.

Contrary to the pessimist’s point of view, we can at the very least slow it way down. Yes, we need to change our nasty little habits. We have to manage our power supply. The new technology and economy is here and is working.

The workforce in alternative energy (solar, wind, geothermal and tides) is increasing daily. We must leave fossil fuels in the ground. We can do little things right now — i.e., turn the lights off as you leave the room, turn that TV off, use motion detectors for outside security lights, and buy those solar panels for your roof. Most important is to invest in renewables.

I live in a modest Gallatin Valley home and have been off the grid for 20 years. I know we can live without coal. Coal is the main contributor of CO2 emissions and causes global warming. Many coal-fired power plants have been shut down across the nation and Montana’s Colstrip plant is due to shut down soon. This is directly due to the increases in alternative energy. Hound your representatives to change this country’s negative outlook for alternative energy.

Car makers around the globe see the market value change. Battery technology (new jobs) is improving by leaps and bounds. Yes, we need storage for our grid and our cars. Nuclear power plants are not the answer. Chances of an accident loom forever and we still don’t know what to do with those spent fuel rods.

We have an abundance of natural gas, and some say it’s an answer to our power needs. But check out Iowa’s McCabe Farm. It has a working anaerobic digester with the waste of 2,400 cattle that produces 950 Kw of methane power. That digester alone produces enough methane to power the county school buses, garbage trucks, and all county vehicles. You don’t need cattle to produce methane. Have you been by the Logan dump? That smell is methane (garbage rotting). We have the technology to capture it and use it.

I heard Greta Thunberg give the most emotionally moving speech at the climate conference. Her passion is unabashed, raw, and right from the heart. Let us all be as passionate as she.

Renewable is do-able.

Wilbert J.D. VanStraaten

Three Forks