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LETTER: Fossil fuels are the real supervillian

Victor Joecks’ scary tale about the COP28 climate conference is either intentionally misleading or willfully ignorant. His claim that fossil fuels are necessary for economic growth is no longer true. Wind and solar are now cheaper than oil and gas, and the transition to renewables does not impede economic growth. Energy efficient buildings and appliances save consumers and businesses money while reducing pollution.

Unchecked climate change is a threat to a stable economy. Analysts at the International Monetary Fund project economic losses of at least 25 percent later this century if we do not take aggressive action to reduce the pace of global warming. Climate-fueled disasters cost the United States $165 billion last year.

Fossil fuels are causing increased drought and water wars, reduced crop yields, displacement and migration, wildfires and more diseases such as dengue fever and gangrene from Vibrio bacteria. Air pollution kills more than 100,000 Americans each year and causes many expensive health problems. Phasing out fossil fuels to net zero by 2050 would improve health and economic productivity so much that Nevada would see more than $1 billion in annual benefit.

Mr. Joecks has it backward. Fossil fuels are the real villains with a “license to kill.”

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