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'Root Causes'

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Editor:

I completely agree with your Oct. 31 editorial ("In the Dark and On Our Own") calling out PG&E for criminal negligence of its transmission lines and putting profits for shareholders ahead of safety for residents. Without minimizing the company's culpability at all, we need to look more deeply at the root causes of the extreme fire danger.

Increases in greenhouse gas emissions, largely due to burning fossil fuels, has led to changes in global climate causing California to have hotter, drier and longer-lasting fire seasons. We need to get off of fossil fuels as quickly as possible and switch to renewable sources of energy generation, including solar and wind energy. In this situation, it's not an either solar or wind but all of the above.

Humboldt County is really leading the way in microgrid technology with the installations at Blue Lake Rancheria and, soon to come on line, at the Arcata/McKinleyville airport. Both of these were largely funded by grants from the California Energy Commission as research and development sites. These projects are groundbreaking and what is learned from them will guide technology as we go forward to becoming more energy resilient.

The Humboldt Wind Project has an important part to play in that goal, as well. Wind power is a proven renewable technology and could come on line here within a couple of years and become part of the solution we need. The real problem is climate change and we need real solutions now, not just kicking the can down the road hoping for some magical fix in the future. That's why I strongly support the Humboldt Wind Project.

Mary Sanger, Manila

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