Obstructing planetary justice
At a recent meeting of the Arctic Council, an international coalition of the eight countries that comprise the Arctic, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described that rapidly warming region as a land of “ opportunity and abundance.” He cited its untapped reserves of oil, gas, uranium, gold, fishing and rare earth minerals that in addition to the opening up of new shipping routes — a new Suez Canal — will create “new opportunities” for economic growth.
Only six months ago, President Donald Trump refused to comment about the recently released Climate Science Special Report culminating three years’ research by myriad federal agencies and mandated by the Global Change Research Act of 1990. He’d seen some it, he said, but he didn’t believe it.
This president has supported the falsehood that climate change doesn’t threaten the planet and that people have little to do with it. Despite the efforts of communities throughout Maine organizing to lessen our carbon footprints, our commander in chief is working against what community sustainability groups — such as MDI’s A Climate to Thrive and Maine Sierra Club’s climate action teams — are engaged in doing: striving to act locally and think globally.
The president and his administration essentially admit they’re exploiting the planet for its worth, and celebrate the climate change he calls a hoax. Pompeo’s very words should indict the president for obstructing planetary justice.
Pickering Square buses
Is it time for the buses to leave Pickering Square? Here are two compelling reasons for them to relocate:
Every summer, the Childrens’ Discovery Museum has a summer camp from the end of June to late August. The museum is a great asset to the city and the children they serve need this outdoor space for their many summer activities. They will not use this area as long as the buses are there.
Right now, there are many people living in the downtown area. At least two or more buildings are being renovated and there will be even more residents.
With West Market Square leading into Pickering Square, it could become a sort of linear park. There are lovely shade trees around Pickering Square and several outdoor eating places along the way. From there, it is a pleasant walk to the waterfront. These parks would add greatly to the appeal and livability of downtown Bangor. And also benefit the merchants with the increased foot traffic.
Support overdose prevention sites
Who wouldn’t save a life if possible? In 2017, more than one person every day died from an opioid overdose in Maine. Each person who overdoses is a person who will never be able to remake their life or return to their family or their community.
Addiction is an illness, but it need not be fatal. Sites where people suffering from addiction can safely inject themselves — with their own drugs — under medical supervision have been shown to prevent overdose deaths, to minimize the spread of diseases associated with addiction, to reduce crime in the surrounding area and crucially to increase their chances of entering a treatment program.
LD 949, An Act To Prevent Overdose Deaths, would direct the state to license two overdose prevention sites. Education, treatment and long-term abstention are the ultimate goal for addiction, but our common humanity dictates that we do what we can immediately to reduce the harm being caused to people suffering from addiction and their families. I have had a family member who injected drugs. The worry that your loved one will die or contract HIV never stops. Overdose prevention sites can take away that worry.
Overdose prevention sites violate the Controlled Substances Act. It is also true that marijuana dispensaries and legalization violate the same federal law. States can lead the way to eradicate the failed and deadly war on drugs. Supporting LD 949 is another way for us to do that.
Each of us can act to save lives by encouraging our state senators and representatives to vote in favor of LD 949. There is hope for each life saved from an overdose that it can then be redeemed.