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Now or Never 

Editor:

Some scientists believe that it is too late — we have already despoiled our planet and we are on a downward spiral ending in the decline of civilization ("Youth Struck," April 18). But others are more optimistic and believe that it is not too late to stop human-made global warming if we start to take measures now. I would like to bet on the optimistic science. I'm sure that most of us would.

What do we have to do? Realistically, it will take 20 years to wean ourselves off fossil fuels — so say these more optimistic experts. It will take time to convert our cars and trucks, and to heat our homes with cleaner fuels. It will take time to build solar and wind plants, and to figure out how to improve hydro and nuclear sources.

Don't breathe a sigh of relief and believe that we can put off these drastic conversions. No, we must act now.

Already several states have begun. New Mexico, for example, has shuttered its one dirty coal plant and will gradually — with 10-year goals ending in 2045 — be off fossil fuels permanently. This even though the southeastern section of that state has many functioning oil fields.

So let's get off our individual and collective duffs and demand that our leaders begin the weaning process now. We know that big coal and oil corporations will drag their heels to maintain profits. We, too, as individuals must make changes in our daily lives that will begin to make a difference now.

Edward "Buzz" Webb, McKinleyville

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