The Newnan Times-Herald

Opinion

Peaches suffer from pollution


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Aug. 04, 2017 - 6:18 AM

Georgia's days as the Peach State may be numbered if we don’t curtail the carbon pollution that is heating up our climate.

Because of an unusually warm winter, this year’s peach crop in the state was decimated, reduced by 80 percent. Peach trees require 800 “chill hours” each winter in order to produce. This past winter, there were only 500 such hours.

This anomaly may become the norm if temperatures continue to rise. We can slow and eventually stop this warming trend if we reduce the carbon pollution that essentially places an extra blanket on our atmosphere.

The efficient and effective way to reduce these greenhouse gas emissions is to place a steadily rising fee on fossil fuels, thereby creating the economic incentive to transition to cleaner forms of energy and transportation. If we take the revenue from that fee and return it equally to all households, we protect families from the impact of rising energy costs associated with the fee. This solution enjoys support from a many conservatives, including former Secretaries of State George Shultz and James Baker.

Given all the other risks associated with climate change – sea level rise, food shortages, extreme weather, it’s not just the peaches that will be saved if reduce carbon pollution.

Steve Valk

Atlanta