BUCKSPORT — Any mention of climate change was lacking in last week’s teleprompter bloviation by President Trump. He’s a climate change denier, which makes as much sense as being a nuclear war denier. A report from 13 federal agencies contains the devastating projection that global emissions rose 2.7 percent last year, after several years of no growth. The Greenland ice sheet is melting even faster than predicted. If it all melts completely, we will have a 23-foot sea-level rise. Imagine this Down East, where there is already a slow subsidence of land.

Our president recently told Californians that their ongoing lethal infernos happened because they didn’t take care of their forests, when the majority of the state’s forestland is under federal control. They should have raked the leaves off 19 million acres of federally owned forest floor? And removed all the standing and fallen dead trees, dry twigs and branches from living trees and the nutritious duff in various stages of decomposition into topsoil? A real bargain at any price!

There is nearly universal acceptance of the sobering reality that climate change threatens not only our way of life but possibly all life on Earth. Four years ago in Paris, 196 countries were willing to take collective responsibility and do something. A true world leader, President Emmanuel Macron of France, delivered a blistering lecture on global warming to Congress last spring and received an ovation. Trump has threatened to pull us from the accord. He can’t do it legally until 2020.

Then-Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s predictable veto of the genius of home solar net-metering legislation disrespected both science and the majority vote of the Legislature. Mainers who can’t afford solar would have benefited in the long run because unlimited harvesting of solar power would make it more difficult for fossil fuel monopolies to re-establish total market control.

Saying that solar power benefits only the well-to-do ignores that there are likely hundreds of well-paying, skilled jobs in solar installation. It’s like saying that mortgage deductions are unfair, when we have known for years that everyone benefits from that stimulus to the economy and to long-term community values, or that medical research, highway safety and vaccines aren’t good for all Americans in the long run.

I believe that the only ultimate solution to the world’s accelerating energy, starvation, disease and climate refugee crises is solar power. Energy technology entrepreneur Bill Nussey estimates that 10,000 square miles of solar panels in the California desert could power the whole United States. Every other form of energy is barely even a stopgap measure. Coal and oil will soon run out. Wind, wave and all other forms of water power will easily be termed out, because of ever-more-limited economically affordable siting opportunities.

On a favorably oriented roof, solar can pay for itself before most Mainers’ mortgages expire. Title should go with the house when sold, increasing its value. Soon solar panels will not be on the roof – they will be the roof.

Nuclear may have to be used as a temporizing measure, but Chernobyl continues to leak radiation and will have to be contained for tens of thousands of years. Treated water at Fukushima is still radioactive.

Among the most respected men in the world is Pope Francis, who crossed our land four years ago. He has stated that, beyond any doubt, global warming is real and is caused by human activity, and that every nation must do everything possible to save this beautiful planet.

So many of God’s grandest creatures are being wiped out by mankind, in what scientists are calling “the sixth great extinction.” Dominion does not mean domination and destruction. It means taking responsibility for the Creation.

“I don’t believe it,” our president said, referring to a U.S. government report warning that God’s civilization on God’s beautiful blue green planet will teeter on the brink of oblivion by the end of this century if mankind doesn’t do something huge starting right now – and maybe even if we do.

We must all get involved. Now!


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