We humans are strange birds. We put our trust in scientists and drive far away to watch an eclipse of the sun they predicted with pinpoint accuracy. But when scientists tell us we risk ruining the future of the entire world if we don’t quickly stop burning fossil fuels, we dither.

The Gulf of Maine has the potential to generate half of the electricity our state will need by 2050, triple what we use today. An intentional process begun years ago has brought us to the hopeful point where permitting for the identified staging area on Sears Island must begin. But a bill needed to exempt the project from protecting a small sand dune failed in the Legislature. Those who voted against it expressed concern they would be undermining an environmental law with a “yes” vote.

This is false equivalence. To say that protecting a small sand dune, created by a jetty, should stop a groundbreaking major project from moving forward is at best foolish. Sea level rise will soon destroy the sand dune anyway.

We must put our trust in the scientists who tell us there is little time before climate tipping points run rampant. We must trust the process and the people our Legislature put in place to develop this project. But our human brains are at it again, as we take foolish aim to shoot ourselves in the foot. Meanwhile, the clock ticks. Where is our common sense?

Sam Saltonstall

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