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The sun sets behind the wind turbines of Burbo Bank Offshore Wind Farm in the Irish Sea in Wallasey, England. File.
The sun sets behind the wind turbines of Burbo Bank Offshore Wind Farm in the Irish Sea in Wallasey, England. File. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The debate is over! The data is clear. The planet is warming and sea levels are rising. Greenhouse gases are the culprit and excessive use of fossil fuels is the cause. For every gallon of gasoline burned, almost 20 pounds of carbon dioxide (the most abundant greenhouse gas) is released into our atmosphere. The last time there was this much carbon in our atmosphere was over 2.6 million years ago and the average worldwide temperature was 3 to 4 degrees centigrade higher and sea levels were over 20 feet higher.

Climate experts tell us that the future of our civilization demands us to reach “carbon neutrality” by 2050. How is this done? We must immediately pursue a “just transition” to 100% renewable energy. Reduce by 7.6% greenhouse gas emissions each year from now to 2030 is the target we must reach. The immediate development of offshore wind is one of the critical pathways toward a just transition to the clean renewable energy required. The purchase of “carbon offsets” is another pathway toward the carbon neutrality goal.

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The honest pursuit of the goals of carbon neutrality is becoming the economic foundation for Generation Z. Our willingness to abandon the economic status quo is the indicator of hope for our future. Young people are eager for the life opportunities that carbon neutrality goal promises. Why can’t Ocean City leaders see the hope and promise offshore wind development provides for visitors the finest coastal resort on the East Coast (“If Ocean City loves its Ferris wheel, why can’t it love offshore windmills?” Dec. 4)?

Actually, younger people see the deny and delay strategy pursued by Ocean City town leaders as counterproductive toward being an attractive resort and thus to their economic growth goals. It appears the policies of Ocean City’s mayor and council really only represent a very small segment of wealthy property owners and the interests of the fossil fuel industry that clean renewable energy development threatens.

Bottom line, Ocean City’s elected leaders are just downright short sighted when it comes to their role in assuring a healthy and profitable future for their town for years to come. The time to make a real difference is now, not years from now. All evidence currently points to a future of battling higher and higher tides, and the Ocean City Council has no plans as to how to address that beyond more of the same. If they don’t take action now in meaningful ways to address climate change, it’s likely to be too late.

Larry Ryan, Berlin

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