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Act quickly for climate, too

Last year at this time I submitted a letter concerning Earth Day, which was started 50 years ago under a Republican administration. As we pass Earth Day 2020 we need to ask, what have we as a country done to reduce carbon dioxide in the last year? Nothing. The present administration in Washington, D.C., has done a great job of dismantling everything the Obama administration did to reduce our emissions. Now the Trump administration is fighting with the state of California about regulations for auto emissions.

Since 2019 we have witnessed the worst fires in Australia. Now fires are burning in Russia near the site of the worst nuclear disaster at Chernobyl that occurred on April 26, 1986. I can’t remember which news channel reported this. The fires and wind are now carrying radiation into the surrounding areas. Also, I have not seen any statistics on how Russia is handling the coronavirus pandemic.

Is the pandemic tied to the climate crisis? Well, yes, some places are seeing bluer skies due to lack of auto and plane travel. That would change quickly if all rush to return to “normal.” But now the use of plastic bags and containers has grown due to shopping without cloth bags and more carry out from restaurants.

The lessons we could learn from this virus is that we must listen to scientists, we must act quickly as our earth is not well. In an article published by Beth Gardiner, she says, the virus teaches us that we must act with great urgency to save the planet. Maybe, our “new normal” will be working from home, teleconferencing rather than continental/intercontinental travel, using public transportation vs individual cars, only traveling for essentials, living with less vs more, respecting the beautiful outdoors, raising our food, enjoying the ones who live in our homes, helping neighbors, making sure all have food, clothing, and shelter as well as health care and sufficient income to live regardless where we live or the color of our skin.

As we stay home to protect our neighbors, may we think of ways we can save the earth.

One way is to elect government officials who will listen to scientists, act quickly for the good of all people, and protect our air, water, food, etc.

Margaret Meeker

Williamstown

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