ashland.news
May 19, 2024

Viewpoint: Let’s go electric

March 23, 2023

It’s time for Ashland to stop consuming fossil fuels

By Rob Hirschboeck

I’m writing in support of the Ashland student youth and Rogue Climate initiative towards the electrification of all new infrastructures, and the conversion away from the existing fossil fuels and gas-reliant grid.

I attended both the recent student organized walkout and downtown Plaza rally and Tuesday, March 21, City Council meeting, where our high school age leaders eloquently made their compelling case; one advocating for a carbon pollution free future for themselves, for their children, and for all of us on a planet still sustainably able to support us.

My name is Rob Hirschboeck. I’m a 77 year “oldster” and a 44-year resident of Ashland.

I’m an early Baby-Boomer born into a hopeful post-war 1945 world of only 2.3 billion of us; a humble precursor to the 8 billion that we’ve grown to in just my lifetime. 

My/our generation has mostly had it good, living in relative abundance. We experienced blue skies, mostly clean air, green open space; a welcoming world of increasing possibilities, butterflies, broad horizons and delightful myriad magnificent species, some now gone forever.  

Most of this abundance has been brought us by utilizing the “gift” of millions of years of earth-stored carbon fossil fuels and the “cheap” energy richness of oil and gas we only began drilling and harvesting in the late 1880s. It made our lives much easier, saved human and animal labor, increased longevity, enriched us. Meanwhile it’s increased our numbers exponentially — seven-fold from the 1 billion of us in 1800. And it is significantly burdening our planet’s homeostasis, the conditions and fellow species that support us. 

Over only a handful of generations, first innocently but now greedily, we’ve sent our atmosphere millions of years of stored heat trapping carbon, and done it most massively within the lifetimes of those of us still living on the planet.

We know this!  We have known it now for decades. It’s physics, not politics. Our best science, our own evidence informs us, warns us, that we must change now.  

These students, our kids, know it and know what is at stake. Their lives.

Ashland’s electrification won’t solve all of that, but it is what is there before us, a good example to ourselves and sister communities, and what we can do. Please — let’s do it.

Thank you Ashland and community students for your initiative, the Ashland City Council, and Ashland.news for your article focusing on this initiative.

I Support Ashland Youth For Electrification. So must we all.  Go electric.

Ashland.news welcomes Viewpoint submissions of 500-700 words. Viewpoints may be emailed to betling@ashland.news or submitted through the “Article Submission Form” link at the bottom right corner of the home page. Please include your name and city of residence with your Viewpoint (which will be published) and, in case we have a question, your contact information (which won’t be published unless you say it’s OK).

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