Australian wildfires a warning
The wildfires in Australia have been going on for the past several months. Australia has had bushfires in its history, but this is one of its worst droughts. Twenty-five people and nearly half a billion animals have died from this year’s wildfires. The world is giving Australia support by sending additional firefighters. People around the globe are watching Australia and praying for its people to recover from the deadly conflagration.
Researchers say that climate change is driving the increasing rate of natural disasters. As global temperature increases, spring snowpacks melt rapidly, causing soils to dry out faster and longer, resulting in more flammable forests.
People need to acknowledge that Australia is a warning light that nature is sending us. People need to wake up from the illusion of questioning climate change and see the reality. The warning signals have been appearing all over the globe, and they are a sign that the Earth cannot bear the heat anymore.
Senate impeachment process
Rep. Jared Golden has been clear about his desire to follow a process as part of impeachment proceedings as well as his explanation and rationalization of his split vote on the articles. As this moves to the Senate, I hope he will encourage Sen. Susan Collins and other lawmakers to support a valid impeachment trial process that includes witnesses.
Anything less will render an acquittal meaningless, and disrespect the intentions of our Founding Fathers and Constitution. These charges are more serious than any previous impeachment proceedings and directly threaten our democracy. If Golden stands for both process and principle, I hope he will make this known.
Response to Fuller OpEd
I would like to respond to the Jan. 6 OpEd in the BDN written by Abigail Fuller, who is a member of Maine Voices for Palestinian Rights.
I will simplify this as much as possible: If all Palestinians and Arab nations that see Israel as their enemy laid down their arms tomorrow, there would be immediate peace in the Middle East conflict between the Palestinians and Isaelis. However, if only Israel laid down their arms tomorrow, then the nation of Israel would be decisively and immediately destroyed.
Portraying Palestinian fighters and tactics to be simply a group of rock-throwing teenagers is an absurd misrepresentation (and, yes, some Palestinian teenagers do protest by throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers). But Iran is not sending hundreds of million dollars worth of weapons, support and technology (including supplies to build sophisticated tunnels) to simply send them large piles of more rocks and stones to throw.
Support for Vitelli’s bus bill
State Sen. Eloise Vitelli has sponsored a bill to replace diesel-powered school buses with electric ones. The electric school buses are more expensive to buy initially, but they pay for themselves over 10 to 13 years because they are cheaper to run (no diesel to buy).
From the perspective of climate change, it’s a good move. But even more importantly it’s a good move for the health of our kids. Diesel exhaust includes particulate pollution that affects children disproportionately, making it difficult to breathe, making existing allergic reactions more severe and, over time with high exposure, increasing the risk of cancer.
Children are more susceptible than adults to the effects of particulate pollution because their lungs are still growing and because they breathe at a faster rate. At many schools the buses line up at a discharge area, spewing exhaust in a concentrated area as the kids get off, and once again as they get on again in the afternoon. This change would help mitigate climate change, but it’d also help our kids stay healthy and breathe well.
I hope the bill, LD 1894, will gain strong support from all quarters.
Never on track
Hang on tightly, boys and girls! A couple of years ago, many of us cautioned that President Donald Trump — far from being the ” stable genius” he later claimed to be — would inevitably go completely off the rails. Our error: implying that he was ever on track.
Rodney L. Hanscom