Thoughts from Conservative Climate Conference conference

I attended the Conservative Climate Conference conference on Sept. 8 at Utah Valley University and found it to be a significant step in the right direction. Our U.S. representative, John Curtis, is to be lauded for organizing the conference and stepping up on a difficult topic for his party.

Curtis was able to get three other GOP members of Congress, including Chris Stewart (Utah), Marionette Miller Meeks (Iowa) and Bruce Westerman (Arkansas), to participate and Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon, as well. 

Just getting a GOP leader to talk about climate is a step of courage for them. Witness the recent presidential debate where some candidates called it a hoax and I did not sense that any of them would step up to deal with the climate crisis. 

A number of us from the Citizens Climate Lobby attended, including Glenn Wright, who has a great relationship with Curtis as they ran in opposition for Congress. Wright asked about carbon fee and dividend legislation, and a representative of a fossil fuel organization said they would support it. 

I asked Curtis about the cost of adding carbon capture and sequestration to fossil fuel generation that is already not competitive with solar and wind. He said that was an issue, but he hoped that over time it would be competitive.

Solar, wind, batteries and electric vehicles are all on sharply declining cost curves, similar to Moore’s law for semiconductor chips. These cost declines make it inevitable that fossil fuel energy use and generation will phase out for purely economic reasons. 

But getting solar wind and batteries and electric vehicles to be dominant faster is a critical race for our future generations’ survival.

One area of commonality that came up a lot was the need for permitting reform in the government bureaucracy and that is really good news for moving many energy projects ahead in a timely fashion. Another area of agreement was on the need for more trees and forest management.

Utah Valley University seemed like a great institution and President Tuminez remarks were well spoken. I would hope that future events would have more of an open debate between fossil interests and the rapid growth of clean energy. The fossil and clean energy discussions were separated.

There was also discussion of national security impacts of climate. An important impact is that a huge part of our military is focused on safely transporting oil and gas around the world.

Another issue discussed was clean hydrogen made by electrolysis of water, which has great potential for energy storage and clean refining of metals, but has issues with safe storage and transport since it can leak through many metal containers and is very explosive. 

Our changing climate is sending us unprecedented disasters with more severe and frequent fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and heat events. These are clues to our leaders and all humanity that we need to stop putting ever more CO2 and methane into our air.

These greenhouse gases are obeying long known laws of physics, which are not subject to amendment or overrule by presidents, Congress or the Supreme Court!

It was great to see a climate event that was well organized and with capacity attendance in Utah county.

Dan Syroid

Park City

Letter to the Editor

No, you missed point

Mr. Rutan claimed that I had “missed the point” of a guest editorial submitted by Frans Bicker Caarten. I am afraid that it is Mr. Rutan who missed my point.

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