Climate activism on the rise
The recent editorial about climate change’s effects in Maine was refreshing since that huge threat gets little to no regular coverage elsewhere. Why is there radio silence on this critical issue? Because oil companies might get their feelings and bottom lines hurt. We should prepare for rising seas, but we should also continue to push for cuts in carbon emissions.
Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, is doing the opposite with his roll backs of fuel efficiency standards. One silver lining of having a climate-denying government is that Americans, as citizens, are learning how important our voices are and how to make them heard through running for office, voting, meeting with our representatives and so on. Civic engagement — along with sea levels — is on the rise.
The activism skills young are developing will serve our planet and our society well. The climate won’t wait. Clean air, clean water are good for all.
Maine needs St. Clair in Congress
Lucas St. Clair is the ideal candidate to run against the 2nd Congressional District’s incumbent, Rep. Bruce Poliquin, in November. I met St. Clair recently (I had only seen him on stage before) at a house party in Belfast, and I found him personable, attentive and altogether present.
Over the past few years, the opportunity of talking to Poliquin has proved impossible as the man has abjectly refused to meet with his constituents. At one point, I heard he was only seeing “job creators” on his trips home to Maine. I did make a few visits to Bangor for the purpose of visiting his office, and the experience was wholly unsatisfying.
The opportunity to seat a responsive human being in Washington, D.C., to represent all Mainers is an exciting possibility, and St. Clair fits the picture of the type of person I’m looking to represent us all: He listens, he is articulate, he cares about the needs of Maine.
I’ll be voting for St. Clair in June in the Democratic primary.
Climate action needed
It’s hard to deny that climate change is affecting us in Maine, with our lobster industry threatened by increasingly warmer, more acidic coastal waters, our winter sports affected by a shorter season and less predictable snow cover, with wildlife and humans affected by ticks and tick-borne illnesses, with cyclone bombs and flooding as sea levels rise.
The problem is too much carbon released into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels. The solution — reduce carbon emissions. Though as individuals we can each take steps to reduce our carbon footprint, we need to address climate change at the state and national levels of government for serious solutions to occur.
I appreciated John Tjepkema’s April 20 BDN OpEd, “It’s critical that we reduce our carbon footprints to slow our changing climate.” He encourages us to elect members of Congress who support action to minimize climate change. One action: passing carbon fee and dividend legislation to place a fee on carbon producers and return the money as a dividend to every household to offset the higher cost of fuel. This would incentivize renewable energy development. What a good idea.
With the upcoming primary elections in June and the midterms in November, many candidates for office are out campaigning and showing up at various events. So take the opportunity to ask each candidate, “What are you planning to do about climate change?” Let’s make sure that when they get to the State House or Washington, D.C., our representatives will pass legislation to mitigate climate change.
Thank our public servants
In our community, and throughout the nation, local, state and federal government employees serve and protect us. Public servants deserve our appreciation daily, but Public Service Recognition Week, May 6-12, is a time set aside to honor our men and women in government. Public service is a calling to serve one’s fellow Americans, and this is a week for honoring those who followed that calling.
Our diverse workforce at the federal, state and local levels consists of highly talented individuals with a strong drive to improve the lives of the American people. They ensure a clean environment, safeguard the food we eat, protect our communities from violence, stabilize and grow the economy, come to our rescue after disasters and teach our children, to name a few ways public servants make our lives better.
This week is an excellent time to reflect on the hard work and dedication of our government workforce. Please join me in thanking our public servants for the important work they do for our community.
Hills for House District 97
I am writing in support of Caitlin Hills for House District 97, which covers Belfast, Waldo and Northport. Hills has a world of experience in public service under her belt. She has worked for Sen. Bob Graham in Washington, D.C., as a policy adviser, attended law school and was an environmental lobbyist for the Alaska Rainforest Campaign and the American Lands Alliance.
After moving to Belfast to care for and raise her family, Hills didn’t turn away from the issues. She ran for and won a seat on the school board, where she has been a force for six years, the last two as chairwoman. She uses a good and steady hand in guiding RSU 71 through the complexities of providing a safe and nurturing environment in which our young people can learn and grow. She has proven herself to be fiscally responsible with the school budget while also being committed to providing the best educational opportunities available for our children.
Hills is the real deal. She is experienced, she has a proven track record, she knows the district and has already worked hard for its people and children. She has the energy, she has the passion, she has the know-how. I am 100 percent for Hills. We need experienced, proven leaders. We need Hills.
Seth A. Thayer Jr.
American Arts Consulting LLC