As part of an effort to ban the use of natural gas, the City of Santa Barbara and other communities are considering adopting REACH codes that are more advanced than those required under state building standards code.

Mike Lopez

Michael Lopez

Yes, climate change is real. Yes, we are partially responsible. And yes, we need to do something.

But let us do something that works for all of us, not just the coastal elite and the wealthy.

Make no mistake, unwarranted hysteria is being created by environmental politics and environmental groups. They are advising us to make bad decisions, while these groups are profiting financially and politicly from these false narratives.

At no time in history can you find an incident when the removal or banning of a proven, economical and reliable technology is miraculously replaced by a better one.

Is natural gas a perfect resource? Of course not. There is no such thing as a perfect energy resource. It just happens to be vastly better and more cost-effective than any other option that we have at our disposal in 2021.

Look to the statistics of these proposed alternative processes where they have been in place for some time now. Solar is so expensive as to be out of reach by most working people. Even if you could afford solar, your home may be located where it won’t work.

In a day and age when our leaders claim to care about the poor and underserved, those same people seem to love adding more financial instability to our lives so they can feel better about themselves.

Natural gas is a cost-effective and environmentally responsible way of cooking and heating homes. Yet forcing people who are building new construction to provide only electrical forms of heat/energy will cause the cost of electricity to skyrocket.

It is important to note that California already has the highest energy costs in the country. This is even more true since the only form of reliable carbon-neutral power production in the state is shutting down.

When do you think the carbon haters are going to acknowledge the advantages of nuclear energy? My guess is never as it does not fit their agenda.

Why do you think the narrative on alternate energy sources is so unbalanced? What do their supporters not want you to know?

Do you know what runs a wind farm? Government subsidies.

Do you know what runs a solar farm? Government subsidies.

That is what a boondoggle they are.

Next time you see a group of wind turbines together, count how many are not working. The reason for this is that they are too expensive to fix.

Furthermore, the accident and death rate for workers on wind equipment has been skyrocketing well above almost all other energy providers combined. And let us not forget that they are also notorious for causing fires both in urban and natural environments.

There are plenty of negative consequences to these inefficient systems. The solar option also has dire negative environmental consequences, and don’t forget the horrific open-pit mining processes that are required to acquire the raw materials to build solar equipment and the batteries to back them up.

One of our local politicians is so proud of his electric vehicle. I wonder if he understands that the carbon footprint of his expensive electric car is only a tiny percent less than a gas-burning vehicle. Look it up!

My home currently has natural gas. If it had been it equipped with solar panels when it was built in 1977, I would have needed to replace the total solar system three times, with major repairs and upgrades along the way that could have cost in excess of $100,000. During the same period, my gas system has not needed $1 of upgrade or improvement.

The lofty ideas that are being bandied about these days seem to have forgotten two important details:

» Will the proposed scheme have any measurable environmental impact? And then demonstrate that impact to measure its effectiveness against other options.

» What is the economic impact on our society?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s original scientific analysis demonstrated that the impact that would be felt in the future is not anywhere near the catastrophic scenarios that are being shouted by my extremist friends. As a matter of fact, most of the issues will be able to be dealt with by improving the overall economic condition of the planet and implementing old-fashioned infrastructure improvements — boring plans that work and provide measurable results.

We all need to be aware and educate ourselves. The answer is to invest in research and develop new and better technologies for future energy options while currently using the best options that we have at our disposal, until new technology is proven and cost-effective for the whole, not just a few.

If we look at history, we can see that the advancement of better technology comes through cost-effectiveness and reliability. Not only have city, county or even statewide bans ever contributed a thing toward these goals, they are empty, short-term, feel-good policies.

We need to work together to find solutions that will advance toward new technologies that will benefit everyone, not just the wealthy.

Our leaders are currently planning on spending trillions of dollars of our money every year for decades to implement programs that several environmental economists agree will do extraordinarily little to improve the environment while financially crushing the society that it is supposed to be helping.

Unfortunately, our academia, politicians and news media are all profiting from this false narrative. You will have to work hard to find the truth, but I did.

— Michael Lopez is the business manager of U.A. Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 114 in Buellton. The opinions expressed are his own.