A June 1 letter to the editor (“Writer wrong on reasons for renewable energy”) presented very good points for developing alternative sources of energy, but also noted we have enough coal to last for several more generations.

Let’s be clear. A generation is defined as the time between the birth of parents and their offspring. Several (two?) generations is only 40 to 50 years. So those becoming parents now would see coal run out as they entered their senior years. The children they are bearing would see coal run out as they entered middle age. These timelines will be shortened considerably as populations realize the need to curtail fossil fuel burning to preserve life itself on our planet.

Last week, Saudi Arabia adopted a program to wean its economy off the revenue from fossil fuel sales within the next 20 years. Do the purveyors of fossil fuels know something that we do not yet recognize?

Paul W. Dutram


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