Thanks to Dr. Lisa Ryan of the Maine Medical Association and Dr. Daniel Oppenheim of Physicians for Social Responsibility for their July 11 op-ed, “Maine Voices: Denial, delay by fossil fuel industry have slowed action on climate change,” outlining the potential public health disaster resulting from our failure to act now to limit the burning of fossil fuels.

The authors mention “Death by Degrees,” a report from the Maine Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility and an easy-to-digest summary of the adverse health outcomes we can expect here in Maine if the status quo prevails.

In light of the aforementioned threats, it’s particularly troubling that the Maine Legislature failed this year to pass any legislation that would have spurred further installation of solar energy on homes and businesses.

The session’s major solar policy bill was passed only as a “resolve” that directs the Public Utilities Commission to create a stakeholder process that could result in a comprehensive new approach. Support for renewables will ultimately depend on a less hostile stance by utility companies and a governor who’s not focused on the fuels of the past century.

Thanks are due to the Portland legislative delegation, though, for their support of the solar policy bill.

So Maine remains in last place among New England states in solar installations, in spite of Maine’s enormous potential to capitalize on this renewable resource.

As a representative of the Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network, this is particularly troubling to me. Our faith asks us to be good stewards of the earth’s gifts, believing that the web of life connects us all.

Our past actions have already guaranteed a hotter future. Unless we speak up and insist on something better for ourselves, our children and future generations, we can be assured of major havoc worldwide in the not-too-distant future.

Mary Ann Larson