Editor: I was very disheartened to read about the plight Loudoun farmers are facing due to the record-breaking wet season. While farmers raising sheep or select plants are experiencing outstanding results, others less fortunate are rolling the dice as to what to plant next spring.
The “typical” growing season is a thing of the past. Tonya Taylor concludes, “If you want to talk about climate change, I think this erratic, unpredictable weather is the effect. I don’t know if we’ll ever experience a normal growing season.” Climate change impacts Loudoun’s local economy.
If climate change is not addressed poste haste, more impacts will affect more members of our community. In North America, the multiple extreme weather events from flooding to drought to wildfires, experienced this past year and currently in California and the Arctic, is incontrovertible evidence that climate change is real and impacting us now. A rapid transition from dirty, carbon polluting fossil fuels to clean, renewable sources of energy is urgently needed.
The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, DMME, is hosting listening sessions on the Virginia Energy Plan. The plan will shape our energy policies for the next decade. On Thursday, Aug. 16 at Merten Hall, Room 1201, George Mason University, we have an opportunity to comment on the plan and make recommendations for what is needed. This will be the last listening session. If you cannot attend, written comments can be submitted until August 24, 2018 directly to DMME: http://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewNotice.cfm?gnid=856.
Make your voice heard. To avert the most devastating impacts of Climate Change to our health, and safety, the energy plan must include concrete, actionable policies in the following areas: grid modernization and planning for a clean energy futures; distributed, customer-owned solar; energy efficiency (nationally, Virginia ranks 29th); energy storage; offshore wind; electric vehicles; no more fossil fuels.
Natalie Pien, Leesburg