I’m inspired by Greta Thunberg, the young climate activist who is speaking truth to power and asking that, for the sake of her generation (and those to come), we reckon with the urgency of the climate crisis. In the spirit of Greta, I’m thinking about how to detour from our increasing reliance on fossil fuels for the sake of a more peaceful and secure future.

There are many things I can do personally – as two quick examples, Greta suggests ceasing consumption of meat and dairy as well as flying. I’m also thinking about what can I do locally to make my little voice valued and heard.

There is a huge opportunity in our backyard, pushing for the conversion of Bath Iron Works to a green energy-green technology producer (think high-speed rail, electric cars, solar panels, wind turbines, etc.) and ceasing the construction of fossil fuel-consuming warships. BIW has the space and infrastructure already, as well as smart, hardworking people. Instead of incentivizing General Dynamics (BIW’s parent company) with our tax money just to spare jobs, we could be creating more and better-paying jobs in a growing sector of the economy.

There is a deep connection between the climate crisis and the insanity of escalating the war machine. The Pentagon has the largest carbon footprint on the planet. It contributes substantially to total U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions. It uses more oil than any one of 171 countries.

Let’s send a clear message that we want different products from BIW. We can do this by joining the group protesting the “christening” of the new warship on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. This is a welcoming crew of folks from groups like Veterans for Peace and others like me just willing to hold a sign up.

Ashley Bahlkow

North Yarmouth

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