Over recent years, we have been made aware that climate change is already having an alarming effect in the world’s oceans. We know that increased acidification of the marine environment – related to the increased absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – poses a serious threat to Maine’s lobster and shellfish industries.

A recent article in the Press Herald (“Kelp, the forests of the sea, vanishing from southern Maine as Gulf warms,” Nov. 16) describes another, even more direct, factor that is threatening our fishing industry in general. It reveals how this once-abundant marine plant (which provides breeding grounds and protection from predators for lobsters and many fish species) is retreating north to the colder water it requires in order to thrive.

In addition to the broader global impacts of climate change that we read about daily – the droughts, superstorms, floods and wildfires – this new information reveals how the warming of the planet – if allowed to increase – will substantially alter a cornerstone of our Maine way of life. It is another call to action for Maine citizens to demand governmental policies that could effectively prevent the worst effects that climate change has in store for us.

I fervently urge Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, and Rep. Jared Golden to join Rep. Chellie Pingree in sponsoring legislation (such as the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act; HR 763) that will quickly steer our country away from fossil fuels – a fundamental cause of this existential crisis.

Tom Berry


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