Clicking our heels

To the Editor:

I have been following the exchange between John Fehlauer and Tom Rolfes with a mixture of interest and disgust. Fehlauer is just the latest in a line of letter writers to respond to Rolfes’ ideas. In Rolfes’ latest missive, we finally see him for what he really is. The only thing he does not mention is white helicopters from the U.N.

Actually many of us do trust the government, except when the Republicans are in charge. Then we have to fight for every scrap of respect and protection, especially if we don’t happen to be wealthy.

Elderly or poor? Don’t expect any relief from the right. Governor Paul LePage is trying to rewrite the tax code. If you make $30,000 a year, you spend most of your money on taxable goods. If the tax rate goes up by 1 percent, you will be able to buy 1 percent less.

The Environmental Protection Agency is the last line of defense many of us have from rapacious businesses. Am I anti-business? Heck no. But I am very pro-health for my children.

Do you like to fish in fresh water in Maine? I am happy for you. Just don’t eat it. Maine’s fresh water fish are not safe to eat because of mercury. Did Maine cause that? No. Despite strong scientific evidence that coal fired power plants were causing the pollution, and pleas for regulation, it was not until 2012 that regulations were finally put in place.

Why was this? An industry refused because it did not want to bother. Too expensive; we did not cause it; give us proof. Excuses, excuses, excuses.

As to Figueres’ comments at UNCC, it is odd for Rolfes to assert that she wants to destroy capitalism. He has the quote right there. What she wants to do is “…change the economic development model.” That is because it is obvious to anyone without blinders on that the current model is not sustainable. At least not if we want our children to have any kind of future.

Rolfes states that “The only economic model in the past 150 years that has ever worked at all is capitalism.” Let’s take that logic back 150 years, or better yet, just a little further, 155 years, to just before the start of the Civil War. Back then, if you lived south of the Mason-Dixon line, “the only economic model that had ever worked at all” was cotton plantations and slavery.

Actually, now that I think about it, this comparison is incredibly apt. It was not just the slaves that were at a disadvantage. Here was a system designed to enrich a few, at the expense of all the rest. Given that 155 years later the wealthiest 1 percent are predicted to own more than half the world’s wealth by 2016 (Oxfam), I guess it really is the more things change, the more they stay the same.

The science on global warming is not debatable (actually it has been well known for at least ten years). I echo Fehlauer’s call. It is time to stop debating, and time to start acting. I recommend two indispensable books. “Merchants of Doubt” by Oreskes and Conway, and “This Changes Everything,” by Naomi Klein.

I wonder if Rolfes thinks that if he just says it enough times, it will be true. “I want to go home. I want to go home. The earth hasn’t warmed. The earth hasn’t warmed.” Keep those heels clicking.

In the mean time, I will fight to keep the world a livable place for my children.

Lunn Sawyer

Southwest Harbor

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