Find way to help, act

Jan 19, 2020 Parkersburg News & Sentinel Letter to the Editor by Aaron Dunbar

Like millions of people around the world, I’ve watched heartbroken from afar as Australia’s hellish wildfires devastate the nation. These have been the worst fires seen in the country’s history, so far killing a total of 25 humans, scorching 25 million acres of land, and ending the lives of a scarcely fathomable 1 BILLION animals.

Words cannot express the enormity of the crisis still unfolding overseas. Even more horrifying, however, is the fact that such tragedies will continue to plague societies around the world, due to our failure to connect the dots between these worsening, once-natural disasters and climate change.

A 2008 report by Australia’s own government predicted that climate change would begin to set off earlier and more intense wildfire seasons beginning around 2020. “We knew this was going to happen,” says Australian climate scientist Sarah Perkins Kirkpatrick, even as her government continues to ignore its own scientists’ findings.

It’s an all too familiar story. As Australia’s Prime Minister and coal industry shill Scott Morrison infamously abandoned his burning homeland for a sunny Hawaiian vacation, America’s own leadership continued to betray its citizens on the issue of climate change. Our climate denying President recently pulled us out of the Paris Climate Agreement, despite 2019 wrapping up the hottest recorded decade in human history. Trump and his party of climate denial extremists continue to strip away protections of our environment and the living beings that inhabit it, ourselves included.

The exhausting refrain is the same as it has been since the very beginning. Again and again we’ve been told there simply isn’t enough evidence to act, that there’s nothing we can do until we’re absolutely CERTAIN climate change is happening.

This is, of course, in spite of the fact that the scientific consensus on climate change reached an unprecedented level of 100 percent in November of last year, according to one report. Even scientists’ crudest early models mapping climate change, dating back to 1970, have proven remarkably accurate in predicting the trajectory of warming — a reality that should chill us to the bone and spur us to action when examining future trends.

The fact of the matter is, climate change is never going to be an absolute certainty in the minds of the average layperson. The science is complex, and can often feel abstract. I have no doubt that even as our coastlines are buried underwater, there will still be holdouts who insist that it’s nothing but the effect of Earth’s naturally occurring climate cycles.

We are as certain as we’re ever going to be while still maintaining some chance of mitigating climate catastrophe. How many more tragedies like the Australian wildfires can we stomach before we feel compelled to act? I’m honestly afraid to find out.

For those who wish to contribute to Australian relief efforts, please consider donating to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal, the Australian Red Cross, and the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital. For anyone looking to get involved in the climate fight locally, consider joining Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action today!

A Green Resolution

Appearing in The Marietta Times:

January 9, 2020 Letter-to-Editor by Aaron Dunbar

Among the most egregious lies we’ve been told about climate change, is the idea that as citizens we’re powerless to do anything about it.

I consider 2019 to be the year that I became a climate activist. I began the year feeling that there was nothing I could do, that the problem was too enormous, and that someone else would fix it for us. But as environmental crises mounted and warnings from scientists rang in on a routine basis, I decided that apathy was no longer an option.

And so I did something. And then I did more. And soon I found myself taking action in ways I’d never believed myself capable of doing before.

At first I started small. I took easy steps throughout my day-to-day life, such as ending my use of plastic straws in favor of reusable metal ones, eliminating single-use plastic bags from my life altogether, and greatly reducing my intake of meat. I began educating myself through countless books on global warming. I wrote letters to share what I’d learned, and eventually participated in the Global Climate Strike in September.

My most ambitious project, by far, was to deliver a collection of 100 books on climate change to the office of Congressman Bill Johnson at Christmastime. Johnson has long denied the reality of climate change, perhaps in part due to the fact that he’s received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the fossil fuel industry over the years. I don’t expect him to experience his own Damascene moment any time soon- after all, that isn’t what he’s being paid to do.

Still though, it was important to me to be able say I’d confronted my Representative in Congress with all the evidence he could possibly ask for to make an informed decision. And if you’d told me at the beginning of last year that I’d be undertaking such a project at all, I wouldn’t have believed you.

I am by no means satisfied with the actions I took in 2019. I consider them in no way sufficient to bring about the change necessary to combat this crisis, and I have every intention of redoubling my efforts in the year to come. From getting involved with local groups such as Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action and the Sunrise Movement, to campaigning for political candidates who pledge to take action on global warming, I plan on pushing myself harder than ever before over the course of 2020 and beyond. The fight against climate change is one we cannot afford to lose, and time is running out.

I know there are people out there who are far more capable than I am of joining us in this fight, and helping us win. So why aren’t you?

In the timeless words of Anthropologist Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Say no to storage hub

Appearing in The Parkersburg News and Sentinel:

Sunday, October 20, 2019 Letter-to-Editor by Eric Engle, Parkersburg, WV

An Oct. 2 editorial, “Storage Hub: Legislation should be a priority,” states West Virginia’s congressional delegation should continue making the Appalachian Storage Hub a top priority and supports recent legislation from West Virginia’s U.S. House of Representatives delegation to direct the Appalachian Regional Commission to provide funding to aid in creation of the Hub. This is dangerous nonsense for several reasons.

First off, the editorial itself mentions a reason why the storage hub shouldn’t be built anywhere: “having about 95 percent of U.S. ethylene production on the Gulf Coast is risky business.” Why does the writer think that is? Well, maybe it has something to do with the increased intensity of hurricane and precipitation events in the Gulf of Mexico caused by anthropogenic global climate change. Warmer air holds more moisture and warmer ocean surfaces provide energy to increase hurricane intensity. This is well-documented climate and atmospheric science. Why does this matter for the hub? Because the storage hub plays a huge part in the continued extraction and use of fossil fuels, contributing to the climate crisis. Methane, for example, is released at every stage of oil and gas development and use, even use for the petrochemicals industry, and methane is 86 times more efficient a heat-trapping greenhouse gas over a 20-year period than carbon dioxide.

Then there is the storage of natural gas liquids. The proposed hub involves storage of these liquids (i.e. butane, ethane) in underground caverns around and even under the Ohio River. These liquids are highly combustible, for one, and the Ohio River is a drinking water source for 5 million people and already the most contaminated waterway in the country for the last 7 years running. Do we really want these highly combustible liquids stored under or near our already highly contaminated river and transported via pipelines to cracker plants up and down the Ohio River Valley? And who really benefits from all of this liquid natural gas (LNG) production? The people of West Virginia? That MOU from China we’re not allowed to see for $84 billion might clarify, but I’m highly skeptical that the value-added benefits go to the people of our state. Our state’s history with extraction industries would suggest otherwise.

Finally, in case you haven’t noticed, we’re a world drowning in plastics that we cannot safely dispose of. The storage hub is not about energy production, as the editorialist obviously knows, it’s about the production of more plastics and polymers. No matter how you spin the industry-provided jobs and revenue numbers, that plastic will end up in our oceans and other waterways and landfills and, well, everywhere (microplastics have been found in the deepest depths of the oceans and the most remote corners of the Arctic). Can we completely do away with plastics tomorrow? No. But 40 percent of the plastics market consists of single-use plastics we can do away with and engineering biodegradable plastics substitutes is the kind of thing Appalachian Regional Commission funds ought to go toward, not a massive increase in plastics production.

We need to say no to the Appalachian Storage Hub! For vital information on the hub and other oil, gas and petrochemicals issues, visit the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition website at ohvec.org.

Eric Engle

Parkersburg

The economy, jobs and renewable energy

Appearing in The Parkersburg News and Sentinel:

Sunday, October 6, 2019 Local Column: Op-ed by George Banziger, Ph,D.

The future of the energy economy and jobs in the U.S. clearly lies in renewables, especially wind and solar power. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (U. S. Department of Labor) predicts that the fastest employment growth from 2016-2026 is expected to be in the occupations of solar photovoltaic installers (105% increase) and wind turbine service technicians (96% increase). Also projected to grow are the occupations of environmental engineers, conservation scientists, hazardous materials removal workers, and wind and solar technicians. All of these occupations are predicted to result in median annual salaries higher than the median salary for all jobs in the U.S.; for example, environmental engineers are predicted to make $86,800/year, and technicians $50,230/year. The predicted growth in these occupations (faster than the average growth of all occupations in the U.S.) reflects the rapid increase in jobs in the renewable energy. There are currently 360,000 jobs in the solar energy sector (more than the jobs in coal and nuclear energy combined), and another 102,000 jobs in wind energy (generation of wind power tripled from 2008-2016).

In 1979 there were 225,000 jobs in the coal industry; now there are about 53,000 (NBC News, 2019). Utility companies are shutting down coal-fired power plants as the energy market shifts toward renewables and natural gas. These are market forces at work. Of course, we should not abandon coal workers to poverty and neglect — we should support them with vocational training, health-care benefits, and other assistance to help them through this transition toward renewable energy. While the market forces in the energy economy make this transition, it is in the national interest to support former coal workers but also to support the advancing economy of renewable energy. It is renewable energy that will address the urgent need to confront climate change and reduce carbon emissions, which should be strong national and international objectives.

Not only do renewable energy sources reduce carbon emissions to generate energy, but they are also less expensive than most other sources. The costs of wind and solar energy per megawatt hour are $50 and $58 respectively, while the cost of coal is $100 and nuclear $110 (Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis, 2018).

Electrical generation from renewables has tripled since 2001 (Energy Information Administration, 2019), mostly due to the rapid growth of wind energy. It is estimated that half of the world’s power will be delivered from solar and wind sources by 2050. We have seen some of this growth in our region in the new AEP-Ohio solar hub in Highland County.

There has been much discussion and promotion of natural gas in our region. Natural gas is an important resource to bridge the transition from coal to renewables, but at the current cost of $2.29 per 1,000 cubic feet (July 2019 price according to tradingeconomics.com; that price was over $9 in 2000), it is hard to imagine that many companies can operate profitably at that price, much less provide sustainable jobs to support the economy long term.

When I was vacationing in northern Minnesota this past summer, I took part in a boat tour of the Port of Duluth. The tour guide on our boat pointed to a recently unloaded cargo visible on the shore and noted that this cargo was a shipment of wind turbines from Germany that was bound for Kansas. I asked myself, “Why are such wind turbines (which are usually made of fiberglass) not made in the U.S.A., and furthermore why aren’t they made in eastern Ohio, where I live?” Ohio has a strong base of manufacturing, and our area once enjoyed major glass-making manufacturing facilities. It struck me that what is needed in our region is a major commitment by educational institutions to train engineers and technicians in renewable energy occupations and by the manufacturing sector with the development of capability in making wind turbines, wind turbine towers (80-foot [or higher] towers made of steel), and solar panel manufacturing (most of the latter also involving glass-related manufacturing).

Let’s get Ohio and the Mid-Ohio Valley in concert with the rest of the world and the rest of country in the rapidly growing opportunities in renewable energy before we are left behind.

*** George Banziger, Ph..D., was a faculty member at Marietta College and an academic dean at three other colleges. Now retired, he is a member of the Green Sanctuary Committee of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Marietta, the Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action group, and the Citizens Climate Lobby.

Congressional leaders focus on innovation in fighting climate change

Appearing in the Charleston Gazette-Mail:

 Friday, September 20, 2019 NEWS by Kate Miskin Staff writer

While West Virginia’s state leaders are broaching the issue of climate change by talking about renewable energy and answering students’ questions, the state’s congressional lawmakers aren’t making parallel strides.

Next week, two state delegates will hold a video conference with science teachers and students across the state who can ask questions about climate change. Evan Hansen, D-Monongalia, an environmental scientist, and House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, will lead the talks.

But in Washington, D.C., neither the state’s U.S. Senators, nor its three U.S. Representatives were available for interviews about climate change.

At this rate, global warming will likely reach 1.5 degrees Celsius between 2030 and 2052, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in a report published last October. That 1.5 degree jump above pre-industrial levels poses a threat to ecosystems, water and food supply and human health, the report says. Just to contain warming to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius, carbon dioxide emissions will have to be net zero by 2050.

“Climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth are projected to increase with global warming of 1.5°C and increase further with 2°C,” the report says.

Next week, top leaders will meet in New York for the 2019 Climate Action Summit to discuss “concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050,” according to the United Nations.

“What I want is to have the whole of society putting pressure on governments to make governments understand they need to run faster. Because we’re losing the race,” UN Secretary General António Guterres said this week.

Leading up to the summit, more than 250 news organizations around the world are part of Covering Climate Now, an initiative to focus news coverage on climate change. The goal, organizers said, is to shine a light on a pressing issue that hasn’t received the attention it deserves. This story is part of the Charleston Gazette-Mail’s contribution to Covering Climate Now.

Even as Washington, D.C., has recently shifted attention toward the climate crisis — CNN held a climate town hall with Democratic presidential candidates and climate activist Greta Thurnberg spoke in front of Congress this week about the urgency of listening to scientists — West Virginia’s national leaders are falling short.

Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Rep. Carol Miller, R-W.Va., all said they were in favor of carbon capture technology and an “all-of-the-above” energy policy — which refers to the idea of using both renewable and nonrenewable energy, and is criticized as not environmentally protective enough.

Both senators had sponsored the “FUTURE [furthering carbon capture, utilization, technology, underground storage, and reduced emissions]” Act, which incentivized technology to carbon capture, utilization and storage.

“[Capito] has a record of doing so in a commonsense, bipartisan way that improves our environment without jeopardizing our economy,” a spokeswoman for Capito said in an email.

These bills are good, said Jeremy Richardson, Senior Energy Analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“Technological solutions are great, but they’re not enough. There’s a lot we can do right now in terms of deploying existing affordable technology that can get us on the pathway to where we’re trying to go — affordable existing renewable energy,” he said.

Manchin, the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said in a statement that he’s been “resolute” that climate change is real.

“Many leading the climate change debate will suggest we need to eliminate certain fuel sources, but the truth is fossil fuels will continue to play a role in the global economy and West Virginia still has an important role to play. The U.S. must lead the world in pursuing cost-effective solutions that will allow us to use fossil fuels in a cleaner manner,” he said.

As ranking member, his committee has passed 22 bills, some of which focused on carbon capture and energy efficiency, he added.

“As Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I am committed to ensuring West Virginians are not left behind in the process but instead leading the charge on innovative climate solutions,” he said.

In March, Manchin and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post, saying they’ve seen the impacts of climate change in their home states, where they’re both “avid outdoorsmen.”

“The United States is at the forefront of clean-energy efforts, including energy storage, advanced nuclear energy, and carbon capture, utilization and sequestration. We are committed to adopting reasonable policies that maintain that edge, build on and accelerate current efforts, and ensure a robust innovation ecosystem,” they wrote.

“It’s not just about innovation, it’s about policies that can get on that pathway,” Richardson said. “Energy efficiency is a big thing. We should be investing heavily in energy efficiency, electricity and industrial sector, making processes more efficient.”

Rep. Carol Miller, R-W.Va., sits on the House select committee on climate crisis.

Asked about her efforts to address climate change, a spokesman said she’d supported the Affordable Clean Energy Rule — the Trump administration’s counter to the Clean Power Plan that would weaken environmental regulations — “to give power back to states, restore the rule of law, and support America’s energy diversity and affordability.”

“The clean power plan itself was pretty weak and most were actually on track to get those reductions it would’ve required anyway because of economics. The ACE rule takes us in the opposite direction,” Richardson said.

Representatives Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., and David McKinley, R-W.Va., did not respond at all.

WV can profit from fighting climate crisis

Appearing in the Charleston Gazette-Mail:

Sunday, September 8, 2019   Op-ED by Logan Thorne, project director for the WV Center on Climate Change

Defeating the climate crisis is necessary — unless we want to lock-in scorching heat waves, rampant insect-borne disease and thousands more flooding deaths.

To defeat the growing crisis, we need solutions. And one of the best solutions for defeating the climate crisis is innovation — through massive research and development in new energy technologies. And, right now, the United States Congress is considering legislation to increase funding for the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency — Energy-E.

ARPA-E pays researchers at places like West Virginia’s National Energy Technology Laboratory to develop high-risk/high-gain technologies that can help transform the energy sector. Increased funding would effectively secure more West Virginia jobs and transform our ability to research global energy solutions right here at home.

ARPA-E’s impressive track record now includes over $2.9 billion in private sector follow-on funding for a group of 145 projects since the agency’s founding in 2009. Equally notable, 76 projects have formed new companies and 131 projects have shown enough promise to result in partnerships with other government agencies for further development.

Yet to date, ARPA-E has only been able to support about 1 percent of the proposals submitted for its open funding opportunities, and 12 percent of the proposals submitted for its focused programs, even though the number of promising, high-quality proposals that the agency has received is many times higher.

House Science Committee Chairman Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, has introduced the ARPA-E Reauthorization Act, House Resolution 4091. The bill authorizes ARPA-E for 5 years, up to $1 billion in 2024.

Organizations who support Johnson’s ARPA-E bill include: the American Chemical Society, American Council for Capital Formation, American Council on Renewable Energy, Association of American Universities, Association of Public & Land-grant Universities, BPC Action (Bipartisan Policy Center’s Government Affairs Arm), the Carbon Utilization Research Council, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, ConservAmerica, Council on Competitiveness, Energy Sciences Coalition, the Energy Storage Association, the Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Entrepreneurs, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers — USA, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, National Association of Manufacturers, National Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Energy Institute, Optical Society of America, and the Task Force on American Innovation.

That’s a lot of true, bipartisan support for innovative legislation that will grow West Virginia’s economy and help maintain America’s role as an energy provider. And it is obvious, I believe, that all West Virginia members of Congress should join this effort. Our economic and environmental future is at stake.

Festival set for Veterans Memorial Park near airport

Appearing in The Parkersburg News and Sentinel:

 Thursday, September 5, 2019  LOCAL NEWS

Sep 5, 2019

PARKERSBURG — The Festival of Art, Music and Movement will be held 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 14 at Veterans Memorial Park adjacent to the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport.

The festival celebrates and fosters positive relationships among individuals, families, businesses and organizations, promotes sustainable lifestyles and interconnection to one another and strengthens the community through art, music and movement, officials said.

“What makes (the festival) different from other festivals is the emphasis on connecting people to each other and all the good things that already exist here to get involved in,” organizer Lisa Wynn said. “We’re featuring local music, especially up-and-coming young bands, local artists, local activities. The Mid-Ohio Valley continues to be challenged with significant difficulties. We wish to be defined by our strengths, rather than our adversities. That’s what FAMM is about.”

Free and open to the public, the Birth to Three program at the Children’s Home Society is sponsoring a tent dedicated to the needs of young families.

“Nursing mothers and those with small children will have a quiet place with everything they need to take care of their children and take a break from the busy activities,” Birth to Three coordinator Kim Kramer said.

The festival will feature hands-on activities for children and adults.

Arts activities will be provided for children by the Parkersburg Art Center and Artsbridge. The opportunity to try musical instruments will be provided by the Parkersburg High School band. Making useful objects from recycled materials will be organized by Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action.

Music is scheduled throughout the day and the audience should bring their lawn chairs and blankets. As a zero waste event, water will be provided for all, but the single-use plastic will be avoided.

Hot Dog Willie will be a food vendor. A bonfire will be lit as it gets dark and a drum circle will be organized to welcome the full moon later in the evening.

The schedule of music is:

∫ Evan Cunningham, 11:15 a.m.

∫ Emmett Tobius, noon

∫ New Old Age, 12:30 p.m.

∫ Abby Taylor, 1:15 p.m.

∫ Gal and Friends, 2 p.m.

∫ Guinevere Rose, 2:30 p.m.

∫ Canterberry Blues, 3:45 p.m.

∫ Forced to Engage, 5 p.m.

∫ Caitlin Kraus, 5:45 p.m.

∫ Brady Young Band, 7 p.m.

∫ New Old Age, 8:30 p.m.

∫ The Head Changers, 9 p.m.

For more information, contact Wynn at lisamarie.lmt@gmail.com, 740-350-8219 or the Festival of Art, Music and Movement on Facebook.

Robber barons are at the helm

Appearing in The Parkersburg News and Sentinel:

 Sunday, September 22, 2019

Letter to the Editor by Ron Teska, Belleville, WV

Reading this article brought a quote by John Prine to mind i.e. “It makes no sense that common sense makes no sense no more.” For Jim Justice to state “Now, we’re finally starting to tell our story; that West Virginia is the perfect place to live and work in paradise” is an “in your face” misrepresentation of the current “paradise” that is West Virginia.

We have tolerated the southern half of the state being raped and pillaged by coal companies that have blown up entire mountains to the tune of well over a 1/4 mile road from New York to San Francisco with four men and a 22 story tall dragline, and have buried over 1,200 miles of headwaters with the overburden.

In the northern part of “paradise,” such as Marshall County, there has been a fracking gas boom that not only is destroying the streams, air quality and way of life that people have enjoyed for generations, but has also brought in the drug dealers due to workers from across the country working six to seven days a week — and ten to twelve hours a day — making thousands of dollars. This is an open invitation for drug dealers as energy corporations could care less about drugs and the community as greed and overworking employees for the sake of less company cost is their driving force.

And even though a corporation such as EQT puts a sign on the interstate that says “please do not litter/EQT,” that does not mean they give a rat’s you know what about the water, air, land, animals and way of life in the communities they “serve.” But don’t take my word for it, just visit Marshall County and Boone County and talk to the residents.

The problem is that Justice and his friend Donald Trump are merely symptoms of the main problem, which is the unfettered capitalism practiced by fossil fuel energy and other mining corporations in over 136 countries with military bases protecting this “American Interest.” Were common sense to be a motivating factor in decision making, instead of monetary gain by our representatives, we would be installing solar panel factories, wind generation plants, geothermal plants and maybe a technical school or two to teach high schoolers the inevitable practice of alternative energy that is stimulating youth across the globe.

Instead, we are ignoring a stable and conscientious job market that demonstrates to our children, grandchildren and those yet to be born that we not only care about them but that we are also fulfilling our responsibility as caretakers of the planet.

Allowing Jim Justice and Donald Trump to have their way will only cause our grandchildren to look at all us as “criminal ancestors.”

Ron Teska

Belleville

Face of climate change

Appearing in The Parkersburg News and Sentinel:

September 8, 2019 Letters to the Editor by George Banziger

Sep 8, 2019

Hurricane Dorian strengthened over an ocean that is .5 to 1.0 degrees Celsius warmer than normal and nearly one foot higher than it was 100 years ago. Oceans are warmer, higher, and more acidic (the latter killing coral, the engine of marine life) than they were just 20 years ago. Warm air holds more moisture than cooler air and causes storms to intensify.

Climate change is real and human-caused. Climate change does not cause hurricanes but causes them to intensify. Dorian is the face of climate change and is grabbing us by the shoulders, shaking us, and urging us to pay attention and do something about it.

George Banziger

Marietta

Climate action is necessary

Sep 1, 2019

As a resident of West Virginia and the Mid-Ohio Valley, I am greatly concerned about our planet’s life. I am disturbed that the president of Brazil does not seem to be concerned that the lungs of our world are burning. He will not accept help from other nations.

As a person who has COPD, I am greatly concerned about the air I am breathing. The current administration in Washington, D.C., has weakened if not eliminated regulations on fossil fuels.

The people in Charleston have given our tax money to support a coal-burning plant but will do nothing to assist homeowners and others to install renewable energy. The government in Ohio has offered to help the nuclear power plant.

I live near the dirtiest river in the country, the Ohio River. Again, the EPA has cut regulations concerning chemicals and coal ash that can be deposited into the drinking water of many in adjoining states.

This week when at the G7 meeting in France, the president did not go to the meeting concerning climate.

I would urge my representative and senators as well as all who border a major waterway to pass legislation that will address the issue of climate disaster. Some in Congress will say that we do not have the money to pass the Green New Deal.

How much money has been lost by people in the midwest with all the flooding? How many homes were lost in the fires in the west last year?

How much damage will be caused by the hurricanes this season?

Our own state of West Virginia has not fully recovered from a flood nearly two years ago. Places like Puerto Rico, Houston, TX and Paradise, CA and many others damaged by wind, rain, and fire have not been rebuilt.

We must become realistic and face the facts we, humans, have caused this crisis that will only get worse if we do not act.

I cringe to think about what this earth will be like for my former students, nieces, and nephews and their children.

Margaret Meeker

Williamstown