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Ann Berwick is absolutely right that global warming will be a man-made catastrophe (“The Paris deal is not enough — and time is running out,” Ideas, Jan. 1). She wants fossil fuels kept in the ground.

But I have to wonder if the former head of the Department of Public Utilities has ever looked out her window at the miles upon miles of wood frame homes that can only be heated by No. 2 heating oil or natural gas — forever. Renewable energy means electricity. You cannot heat a home only with electricity unless it is designed from the foundation up to be so heated: super-insulated walls and triple-paned windows. Homes and offices can be made more energy efficient, but in the northern tier of states, they will need fossil fuels for the winter.

The Paris Climate accords, which President Obama pledged the United States to uphold, include a provision to “completely decarbonize” our society by 2070. You simply can look out over Cambridge, Somerville, and Newton to realize that is not going to happen.

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Dr. Alan Rottersman
Wellesley