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The vital importance of truth
Letter to the Editor generic

Dear Editor,

At a time when prominent public officials often ignore science and dismiss politically inconvenient facts as “fake news,” the catastrophic consequences of such willful ignorance must be honestly acknowledged.

COVID-19 aside, two examples in America’s energy policy are noteworthy, each causing precarious environmental harms. 

First is the blatantly false notion that fossil-fuel fracking should be condoned. Fracking is not only the most environmentally destructive method for extracting oil and gas. It is also the most expensive – subsidized by both taxpayers and “cheaper” methods of producing oil and gas [while fossil-fuel prices exclude environmental impacts.]

As widely documented, fracking poisons water supplies, makes residential plumbing systems flammable, and causes highly destructive earthquakes. Multiple scientific studies link the toxic chemicals used by fracking operations to serious human-health threats. 

The second example is burning wood and other organic materials for heat. Driven by the misclassification of such fuels as “renewable,” wood-pellets have become a major export for timber companies. Yet, reputable studies conclude that burning wood produces more pollution, including heat-trapping greenhouse gases, than coal – the dirtiest fossil fuel. 

Hundreds of thousands of acres of Southeast timberland have been clear-cut to produce millions of tons of pellets. Clear-cutting erodes soil, threatening humans and wildlife with contaminated rivers and streams, and the loss of trees sacrifices their vital carbon-storing benefits – further accelerating the disastrous overheating of Earth’s climate.

Ignoring facts has become increasingly self-destructive. Until the consequences of our actions are reflected in public policy, essential global life-support systems will continue being irreversibly endangered.

David Kyler, Co-Director 

Center for a 

Sustainable Coast 

Saint Simons Island, 


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