by Naiem Gafar
Consider this: only 4 percent of New York’s energy is generated from wind power. Shockingly enough, a 2015 graphic by The Washington Post reveals that overall, a diminutive 1% of the nation’s electricity is generated from solar-powered plants. In a world where coal and natural gas dominates the electricity sector, the envisioning of a future abundant in windmills, solar panels, and hydroelectric dams seems unattainable to many.
Nevertheless, Governor Cuomo has outwardly displayed his optimism for the future. In the decades to come, millions of New Yorkers could find their homes being powered by a locally harnessed renewable energy source. With the collaboration of developer, Deepwater Wind and the Long Island Power Authority, construction may soon begin on the nation’s largest wind farm. Located off the Long Island coast, 15 turbines could power almost 50,000 homes in the area. In an effort to fiercely defeat climate change, the governor is prioritizing the state’s desire to be 50% renewable by 2030. “We are not going to stop until we reach 100% renewable,” declared the Governor with great enthusiasm at his regional State of the State address in Long Island.
Governor Cuomo certainly deserves much praise for standing with the educated professionals and scientists that are aware of the lethal consequences associated with global warming. This gives so many concerned Americans confidence about the future by providing solutions to the problems that the next generation will be forced to inherit. Despite the fact that we live in a country whose president believes that, “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese,” and would have the audacity to depreciate the EPA, Americans are still taking a stance against existing environmental dangers.
However, it’s no surprise that the execution of such a task will come with great difficulty. Granted, the Governor delivers numerous speeches and sets high aspirations, the greatest leap toward a greener future lies in the participation and full support of the average citizen. Logically analyzing the situation, we are forced to choose between the easy solution and the correct solution. Indeed, the current system in place which depends greatly on oil and coal functions perfectly, given its affordability, reliability, and the fact that the appropriate infrastructure already exists. However, this only attains to our short-term goals. In the distant future, we will be bombarded with even greater difficulties. Perhaps it’s our human nature to resist leaving our comfort zone, but this is taking a toll on our environment. Governor Cuomo’s leap to expand wind power aspires big, but is it truly attainable given our current circumstances?