In this July 21, 2022, file photo, a group of egrets stand in the Scarborough Marsh in Scarborough. The marsh's future is threatened by climate change. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

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The news is mixed. The Inflation Reduction Act offers incentives to weatherize and insulate our homes, and switch to greener, cheaper energy at home and in our vehicles. We get money to save money for years, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Google “rewiring america calculator” to learn more.

However, our country’s slow permitting process could stop the Inflation Reduction Act from building needed green energy infrastructure. We could end up burning more coal to meet our increased electricity demand.

And getting to net-zero emissions is not enough. “Climate restoration” involves removing the excess greenhouse gasses that have been pumped into the air since the Industrial Revolution began. There are many techniques, for example, growing huge gardens of kelp and sinking that organic carbon in the ocean depths.

We should be forever grateful to U.S. Sen. Susan Collins for proposing research on how to safely scale up approaches like this (CREST Act, S. 4420).  

Our bathtub of greenhouse gasses is already full, spilling over and causing the climate disasters we read about each week. Our only good future comes if we reduce greenhouse emissions faster, and also pursue climate restoration just as quickly.

So there is reason to hope, but only if we take action. Ask our politicians to support permitting reform for green energy projects, and pass Collins’ CREST Act. And use the “rewiring america calculator” to plan energy projects that will save you money and reduce climate warming.

Richard Thomas

Waterville