What legacy are we leaving?

To the Editor:

My father taught us to “Always leave a place better than you found it.” As I write this the sky overhead is a solid gray. A local weatherman says this is due to the smoke from countless fires burning out of control in several western states.

Thankfully, because the smoke is thousands of feet above us, we are not subjected to its acrid smell.

Of all the crises our country is facing, climate change is the worst and most threatening. Here in Maine, we have thus far experienced only a rather short-term drought. Yet look at our rivers, or I should say the riverbeds, for there is only a trickle flowing.

A few days ago, a local couple told us how their greatest fear had become a dreaded reality. Their well has gone dry. They live out in the country and have a small farm and large garden. How will they cope? How many other wells in our area have gone dry? This summer, Caribou recorded the highest temperature and driest season on record.

The most devastating fire season on the west coast is a dire warning of what is to come. We have family in Washington and California. Most days they can’t go outside because the air is too caustic and dangerous. We worry about their safety every day. They have to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice if necessary.

A deep frustration/anger is that current leadership does not believe in climate change and has actually removed protections from air, water, and other areas that contribute to a healthy life. This is not “politics,” this is a quality of life — even life itself. 

What legacy are we leaving our grandchildren? We can all take steps to become more “green,” but the greatest help is to vote for leaders who will seek to reverse the ravages of climate change before it is too late.

Dale Holden

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