Thursday, April 24, 2014
One year ago, Hurricane Sandy slammed ashore. It crushed homes and buildings and flooded tunnels all along the mid-Atlantic coast, but alas, it did not destroy climate change denial.
Waves pound a lighthouse on the shores of Lake Erie near Cleveland on Oct. 20, 2012. It is unusual for 20-foot waves, large surges and tropical-force winds to be recorded in the Great Lakes for a coastal tropical storm, but it happened with Superstorm Sandy.
National Public Radio’s new climate change program, “Burn,” revealed that many Miami residents are still not buying it. Miami’s government will not talk about it. Real estate speculators will not think about it.
My sister lives in Naples, Fla., 100 miles from Miami. Her house is 3 feet above the ocean. I once suggested that she cover her pool, to save energy, but she replied that she liked the reflections of her lighting on the pool in the evening. She also tossed out the CFL bulbs we had bought together. Sigh.
Meanwhile, I watch the documentary “Chasing Ice” (available on Netflix) which displays the ferocious melting of the ice in Greenland.
In South Portland, the oil industry, funded in part by Exxon, thunders that tar sands oil is good for you and our waterfront.
And President Obama hesitates over the KeyStone pipeline.
There are “interests,” and then there is the public interest.
Which one is to prevail?
Time to focus on emissions, fossil fuels and renewables
I was extremely disturbed when I learned that, until recently, there were practically no federal regulations limiting the amount of carbon emissions that can be spewed into the air by the nation’s power plants. The Obama administration’s plan to regulate new power plants is a great first step. According to a recent report by Environment Maine, emissions from power plants account for 40 percent of greenhouse gases, making them one of the largest single sources in the world.
Maine is also one of nine states that have signed off on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. However, Maine has huge potential for renewable energy that is simply not being fulfilled. Leaders within the state need to get serious about wind, solar and hydroelectric energy sources. In Washington, senators Collins and King need to be vocal supporters of Obama’s environmental reforms. There’s simply no time to waste.
According to a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, leading scientists are 95 percent certain that humans are causing climate change. The report also says that the last three decades have been the hottest on record since the start of the Industrial Revolution, and that by the end of the next century, heat waves will be longer and more frequent, and the rise in sea levels will accelerate. We cannot afford to wait any longer.
Our state motto, Dirigo, is Latin for “I lead.” We have a responsibility to lead the nation in the fight against global warming by holding power plants accountable for their carbon emissions, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and harnessing renewable energy.
Let dogs run free in park, but leash human vandals
It turns out that walking my dog in Memorial Park in Scarborough has been a positive thing all these years! Since the day Memorial Park opened, I have usually been the first one in the park every morning, regardless of the weather. I have discovered and reported many incidents of vandalism. They are as follows:
• A memorial tree was sawed off at the base.
• Railings and slats were destroyed on the gazebo.
• Cement blocks were removed from the retaining wall at the skate park.
• The beautiful Memorial Park sign by the entrance at Sawer Road was totally demolished.
• The restrooms have been trashed.
• The ramps at the skate park were spray-painted with graffiti twice.
• Tree branches on the young memorial trees have been broken off several times.
• Figure-eight car ruts were made in the lawn on the west end.
Every one of these incidents were reported by me to Stephen Quirk, facilities manager of Community Services as soon as they were discovered. Mr. Quirk gave me his cell number so he could be notified immediately in hopes that it all could be stopped and the beautiful park could be kept pristine and free from damage.
Now, I ask you, “Who really should be on a leash in our town parks?”
Think again, Scarborough; dogs on beach need a leash
I love dogs. I care for them at the Pope Memorial Humane Society of Knox County every Monday morning. I know dogs.
They chase moving objects, including piping plovers.
The people of Scarborough must rethink their desire to let dogs run loose on the beach. Piping plovers, an endangered species, live on the beach; dogs do not.
Humans have taken a dog/piping plover issue and made it theirs. Piping plover habitat is in critical condition mostly because of human indifference. On Cape Cod, humans want to drive their four-wheelers over piping plover habitat. Pathetic.
Dogs are adaptive to their surroundings; more and more, humans are proving they are not.
Take your dogs to a dog park (if you don’t have one, build one, and the dogs will come). I hope the people of Scarborough vote down this reconsideration.
Keeping your dogs on-leash at all times on the beach also helps you keep track of their feces (so you can pick it up).
Humans consider themselves “the thinking species.” I implore Scarborough residents to think about it: The beach is the piping plover’s only habitat. Dogs are not the issue here – humans are.
Words from my mother: “You want what you want when you want it.” Exactly, and as I learned through trial and error, it was not always the safest, most compassionate or fairest way to think. Nowadays it is called “instant gratification,” and it stinks where other Earth species are concerned. Just ask a piping plover.