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Protect the Environment, Reduce Fossil Fuels’ Use

October 1, 2018

On Sept. 13, environmentalist Ariel Hoover gave a presentation at the Fitchburg Public Library on the subject of climate change. Ms. Hoover gave a professional video presentation showing the gravity of climate change’s effects, as our oceans and atmosphere increasingly heat up. Climate change is devastating our economy, forces us to deal with major forest fires, destroys our plant life, brings on new diseases, and threatens our water supplies. Scientists warn that as long as we ignore it, and continue feeding it with fossil fuel, it will only get worse.

Also that week governors, mayors and policy makers from around the world gathered for the Global Climate Action Summit organized by California Governor Jerry Brown. The conference came days after Brown signed a new law to shift California to 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2045.

But not everyone is satisfied. A coalition of 800 community groups asked Brown to stop granting new oil well permits and to remove those oil wells located next to where their homes, hospitals, and schools are located. People there have been victims of ground and air pollution and destruction of their environment.

Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org , says, “Jerry Brown is in a unique position to take leadership here because he’s leaving office. He doesn’t need the millions of dollars from the fossil fuel industry that he’s taken in the past. ... He could simply say, ‘We’re not going to take more oil out of the ground. We don’t need it. We’re moving in a different direction.’”

McKibben sees the question of money supply as the big problem. He also sees good news in the fossil fuel divestment campaign which reached $6 trillion in endowments and portfolios. Time for everyone to take this step.

Betty Gelinas

Fitchburg

As years go by, things get even more expensive

Last week I went to an ice cream shop and ordered a small cone of maple walnut. The young lady came back said that would be $5.08. I said I can get a half gallon at the supermarket for $3. She said, well, that’s what you should have done, so I gave her back the cone and went to the supermarket.

On the drive back I was thinking of the increase to the cost of everything. Back when I was a young boy you could get a two-scoop ice cream cone for 5 cents. Then I remembered being sent to the store to buy one pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes for 13 cents.

My Dad gave me 15 cents and when I came back and told him the price was now 15 cents, he said, “What damn fool would pay 15 cents for cigarettes.” So he then rolled his own and, of course, died of lung cancer. Now you can do the same for $10 a pack.

Back then I was also a paper boy. The paper was 3 cents a day and 18 cents for six days. No Sunday paper. I had 100 customers so I had to carry 200 pennies for change as everyone gave me two nickels. I decided to charge 20 cents a week. Some said it was crazy to pay 20 cents. So I told them to walk to the store 1 1/2 miles away when it was 100 degrees in the summer and below zero with 20 miles per hour winds in the winter and save 2 cents. In two weeks, seven of the 10 customers who canceled the delivery came back. Now the paper is $1 a day, up from 3 cents.

I can’t imagine 80 years from now what the cost of anything will be. Instead of carrying around a $10 bill you will need $100 and it won’t buy as much.

Thankfully, I won’t be around to experience it.

Edward P. Walsh

Fitchburg

Senate hearing was a fiasco

Congratulations to the Senate Judiciary Committee for putting on a great show.

Instead of letting the FBI do its job, the committee had to drag two people, Judge Kavanaugh and Doctor Ford, through the mud. To what end? It will make no difference because the Republicans will confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court anyway.

The hearing reminds me of the Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas televised fiasco of years ago when Thomas was accused of sexual harassment and nothing came of Anita Hill’s accusations against him. He still became a Supreme Court justice.

The #MeToo movement may have gotten some traction in the public sector, but it is still a long way from influencing the “good old boy” club that still exists in the Congress.

Karen Buckley

Leominster

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