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Ben Garbus: Solving climate problem begins at home

To the editor:

As a student and future homeowner, I’m writing in the name of home efficiency. Home efficiency — the way our homes handle energy — reduces energy use and can have a great impact on the state of energy in our country.

First of all, lower energy use has personal perks. It means a lower energy bill, so simply, you save money. Home efficiency also makes your home more comfortable to live in, holding the heat in the winter and the cool in the summer. Beyond this, of course, my point is that home efficiency benefits the greater good.

Like a boycott, lower demand for energy, on a large enough scale, affects the production of energy. When energy producers see a drop in profit from our reduction in energy use, they drop their production levels, capping the thousands of tons of carbon dioxide they pump into the atmosphere each day. This decrease in energy production consequently takes pressure off our government, which would then have the freedom to guide the future of energy in our country without the burden of corporate obligations, something sadly unrealistic today. A freer government would shift subsidies and representation from large-scale polluters to clean-energy producers. This will be the first major step toward addressing our climate problem.

I praise area home efficiency programs, like Mass Save and the Weatherization Assistance Program, as well as the services provided through Community Action here in western Massachusetts, which help fund sustainable home improvement. However, I believe that if Massachusetts is to achieve its carbon goal of an 80 percent reduction by 2050, the state needs to support these home efficiency subsidy programs with even more funding.

Ben Garbus


Ben Garbus is a student at the Four Rivers Charter Public School in Greenfield.

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