Jack Reetz’ letter (“Lead by Example on Climate Change,” Oct. 5) tries to ridicule a student-led effort to divest 100 percent of the University of Maine’s fossil fuel investments. He sarcastically suggests that UMaine students should “immediately divest themselves of every form of their fossil-fuel transportation for the rest of this school year” and that “the entire UMaine campus should also do without fossil fuel-produced heat.” He closes his letter by implying that divestment would take us back to “the pre-fossil fuel 1850s.”

Thoughtful Mainers will not be taken in by this cynical attempt to divert and distract us from pushing for effective climate policies, including divestment. Although significant atmospheric warming is already baked in, things will be far worse if we don’t quickly stop burning the fossil fuels that pump heat-causing pollution into the atmosphere. The students understand that reallocating investments to clean energy sources is of critical importance. They should be supported in their advocacy.

Reetz’ implication that all students should immediately stop using fossil fuels if they support divestment is false logic. Any reasoning person knows there has to be a transition period. Finally, his implication that divestment will deprive us of living without the modern conveniences we have grown accustomed to is patently false, a time-worn distraction.

Publishing letters like this is a disservice that deflects readers’ attention from the importance of implementing federal climate policy, including a price on carbon. The Press Herald could instead take a stand based on sound science and economics and advocate for this legislation.

Sam Saltonstall

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