As a Master Maine Guide (fly fishing), I depend on clean and healthy Maine rivers, lakes and streams for my livelihood. Maine’s traditional hunting and fishing industries are alive and well this summer, but the threat of climate change to these industries is too alarming to be ignored.

Recent data from the National Climate Data Center indicated that Maine is the eighth-fastest-warming state since 1970. The average temperature in Maine is rising 0.6 degrees each decade. Although this may not sound like a lot, even the slightest temperature fluctuations have a huge impact on freshwater ecosystems and the fish species that rely on them.

At particular risk are Maine’s wild brook trout, which rely entirely upon the ability to survive in cold, clean water. Brook trout thrive in waters that range between 55 and 65 degrees. Even a brief exposure to temperatures above this range is lethal. Once they’re gone, that’s it, there’s no coming back.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed the first national standards to limit climate-changing carbon pollution from new power plants. Every year, power plants dump more than 2 billion tons of climate-warming CO2 and other pollutants into our air.

The EPA proposal, known as the Carbon Pollution Standard for New Power Plants, will ensure that all new power plants in America are built with the most modern pollution-control technology available, significantly reduce the amount of carbon pollution emitted from their smokestacks, and stimulate new construction and utility jobs.

America’s wildlife is threatened more than ever by climate change. Taking action to reduce carbon pollution and confront our climate crisis is essential to safeguard our country’s wildlife and outdoor heritage. Please join me in support of the EPA carbon rules.

Bill Stevens

Topsham

Journalists must dig deep to give voters critical data

Now that the primaries are over, the election campaigns will be in full swing. The Citizens United decision has enabled enormous amounts of cash to be dumped into advertising — much of which is designed to confuse rather than inform. The only defense for the voter is good journalism and debates where critical questions are asked.

Unfortunately, journalists too often pose either softball questions or allow candidates to dodge the subject. In the 2010 debates, candidates were often allowed to answer questions with a version of an amorphous “I’m against waste, fraud and abuse.” I’m sure they were also against space alien invasion, zombie attacks and cholera as well. That is not the point. The journalist’s (or debate moderator’s) job is to press the candidate to state their real views on the topic and not accept platitudes.

There are too many real challenges to allow candidates to dodge questions. The voters deserve more. We need to know where our representatives stand on the economy and national health insurance, whether they would support a war with Iran, whether they believe in climate change and/or evolution, how they feel about abortion and what their stand is on gay marriage.

Additionally, we need to know how they feel about growing income inequality, whether they would support more banking regulation and whether they think corporations are people. And yes, Gov. King, we really do need to know who you plan to caucus with.

Without this information, Maine voters will simply be buying a “pig in a poke.”

Greg Rossel

Troy

Ex-governor’s Senate bid prompts skepticism, praise

As a former Washingtonian who recently moved to Maine, I find Angus King’s lead in the Senate race downright scary. King’s viewpoints are muddled and state-centric at best, while his rhetoric of “civility and making things work” lacks the conviction necessary of an effective legislator. I fear King would be vulnerable to the “compromises” (also known as dirty politics) that characterize policy enactment in Washington.

King’s campaign encourages voters to try a “new” approach by electing “someone who’s not beholden to a party.” This line is clearly attempting to mimic the essence of Olympia Snowe’s and Susan Collins’ Senate terms, indeed rendering his approach perhaps the oldest trick in the Maine electorate’s book.

King simply lacks the carefully calculated poise that Snowe and Collins have exuded for years. Any attempt to reach across the aisle from King would end in a vicious game of political tug-of-war reminiscent of Obama.

Maine needs a senator who has the courage to blur party lines and who exhibits the same powerful combination of eloquence and determination as Snowe and Collins.

Though my opinion may be skewed by years spent as a political consultant in Washington, I believe Cynthia Dill brings far more to the table than King in terms of clarity and loyalty to Maine voters. If elected, Dill would, I believe, be better able to induce true compromise without needing to take advantage of the corrupt practices that are so rampant in Congress these days.

Samantha Oliver

Cumberland

As someone who has worked at companies at the forefront of job creation in our state, I find it surprising to hear some of the recent misconceptions surrounding Angus King’s record as governor.

During King’s tenure as governor, I witnessed first hand the success of his administration’s efforts to create a thriving business environment.

Having been provided more than $34 million in non-university research, development and technology resources through the Maine Technology Institute, Maine was a center for innovation and a competitive location for business investment. King demonstrated fiscal responsibility.

King encouraged business investment throughout the state. In my experience, I saw the impact of these efforts leading to significant employment opportunities in southern Maine.

In order to get Maine moving again, businesses must want to locate to Maine, which is why I applaud his priority to improve rural broadband. In towns across our state, it’s clear to any business owner that high-speed and quality Internet is a necessity to be successful. It is for these reasons that I trust Angus King can help revitalize our economy.

Luanne Cameron

Naples

‘Lies, damned lies’ and parsing LePage’s address

Lies, damned lies and statistics.

In a recent Saturday morning address, Gov. LePage made reference to this witty phrase, which was popularized and misconstrued by Mark Twain.

While far from the most egregious remark ever made by our esteemed governor, it is interesting and insightful to consider the contrast between the originally intended meaning of the phrase and the implications of LePage’s usage.

The original remark is attributed to Leonard Henry Courtney (1895), and the full quote is: “After all, facts are facts, and although we quote one to another with a chuckle the words of the Wise Statesman, ‘Lies — damned lies — and statistics,’ still there are some easy figures (that) the simplest must understand and the astutest cannot wriggle out of.” In this context, it appears that “damned lies” is intended to emphasize “lies” and that “statistics” is offered as a contrast.

Demagoguery is nothing new. Today, as was also true in 1895, there are politicians who are willing to say anything to support an ideological position, regardless of whether these statements can be supported by facts.

Statistics, in the broadest sense, are the facts and figures that reflect the true state of the world, the economy and the environment around us. They aid our understanding of the world and should be used to guide reasoned decision-making.

We may chuckle at his witticisms, but do we really want to be governed by an individual who displays outright disdain for facts? Or perhaps we should prefer a less colorful but more astute official who bases decisions not on ideology but on the reality that the statistics reflect.

Gary A. Churchill, Ph.D.

Bar Harbor