The recent article in the Mountain Xpress describing the work of the Sustainability Advisory Committee on Energy and the Environment was great to see, but missed the mark on several points [“Nothing But Renewable: SACEE Votes on 100 Percent Green Electricity Goal for Asheville,” Aug. 8]. I commend the city of Asheville and SACEE for taking on the huge task of working on a just transition to renewable energy. Getting the word out to the public about this process is important.
What is missing from the article is the urgency of this process. We don’t have to look too far to see how the climate is already in crisis. NASA is predicting we may have to add a Category 6 to hurricanes in the near future, and officials are upping the distinction of the worst wildfires from “extreme” to “extraordinary.” It is therefore incumbent upon our civic leaders to take the strongest possible action to do what we can to avert catastrophic events here. We’re already doing well with the low-hanging fruit of energy conservation, but to meet the goal we need to include all energy used by the city, not just electricity.
Ken Brame’s meaning was misconstrued when talking about electric buses. It is not that buses are hurting our efforts; we need to address the use of fossil fuel across all sectors in order to succeed. We have to think “globally” about the source of our energy use in order to combat the imminent and extraordinary financial, social and public health costs that will inevitably arise from fires, floods and rising temperatures here in the WNC mountains. We have to think of a transition to 100 percent renewable energy as an investment in the future of our fair city and the people who live here; and we have to keep a strong momentum going if we want to protect our beautiful environment.
— Carolyn Anderson
Editor’s note: The article in question was updated on Xpress‘ website Aug. 14 to more accurately reflect statements made by Ken Brame.