For the past month, I have joined with protesters in front of TD Bank in Rockland and Camden asking TD Bank to stop funding the Dakota Access Pipeline project in North and South Dakota.

I am doing this because I believe climate change is real and a threat to our economy and way of life here in midcoast Maine. TD Bank’s funding the construction of oil pipelines promotes climate change by delaying the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.

In the 1950s, scientists predicted that the burning of fossil fuels, like oil, gas and coal, could change the global climate by trapping the sun’s heat energy in the atmosphere. In the 1970s the public first became aware of this possibility. Little has been done to slow this process. Today we see the early impacts of climate change both locally and globally.

Scientists tell us that, because of climate change, the Gulf of Maine is warming more rapidly than oceans as a whole and becoming more acidic. Fishermen working in Penobscot Bay and out in the Gulf are telling us that species of fish from warmer waters farther south are showing up in their traps and nets. Scientists also believe that a warming Gulf of Maine directly threatens our lobster fishery.

I use fossil fuels like everyone else, but I believe we have to get serious about shifting to energy sources like solar and wind and funding energy efficiency as we transition to a sustainable economy. TD Bank and other financial institutions should show leadership by investing in a new sustainable energy economy rather than looking for short-term profits in the fossil fuel sector. Investing in technologies causing climate change is not “responsible energy development” by TD Bank.

Sherm Hoyt

St. George