Regarding the May 13 stories, "Record CO2 seen as scary trend" and "Natural gas boom stoking fear of disrupting nature":

They tell the stark reality of our planet's alarming, man-made increase in levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and the Russian roulette our country continues to play with underregulated fracking of natural gas.

It is therefore disheartening to recall The Press Jan. 24 editorial "B.L. England conversion/A net win," which praised the conversion of Upper Township's B.L. England generating station from occasional use of coal to ramped-up use of natural gas and said "people concerned about the environment" should look at "the big picture."

The big picture is surely what is at stake here - think global collapse. Sadly, the editorial missed the point.

Since the industrial revolution we have extracted and burned billions of tons of oil, tar sands, natural gas and coal. This released CO2 at a far higher rate than the natural cycles can adjust to, resulting in warming and global climate change.

Recent extreme weather may be a small sample of the cataclysmic events yet in store if we don't reverse our course.

Your endorsement of using a bridge fuel, natural gas, is akin to advising a patient dying of lung cancer to switch to a low-tar cigarette instead of quitting.

And then there are the problems with fracking. As energy companies rush to cash-in on the "acceptable alternative," we are not only gambling with our water table and people's health, we are encouraging a technology we know is harming our planet.

Instead, B.L. England, situated in a natural wind corridor, is uniquely positioned to support offshore wind farms and could become a renewable energy center. We could supplement peak demand periods by building a solar farm on the land. Would it cost more? Not if you factor in the actual cost of our continued use of fossil fuels in terms of environmental damage.

Those who lead the way in renewable energy will reap the harvest. We need to invest in a renewable future that will keep our future generations and our planet healthy.

PAUL UTTS

Northfield