To the Editor:
In the course of researching information for Acadia National Park’s Centennial, I have had the opportunity to read every Bar Harbor Times between 1979 and 1990 (so far, as I’m not finished yet). It has been fascinating.
What, you might ask, were the good citizens of Mount Desert Island worrying about and talking about during that time? Well, there were long running concerns and multiple articles about the following: the carrying capacity of Acadia National Park/Mount Desert Island (including a toll booth at Thompson Island), the lack of parking in Bar Harbor, the lack of affordable housing, the deer population, substance abuse and the global threat of terrorism. Oh yes, there also was the issue of climate change and sea-level rise.
My suspicion is that we will deal with these issues now just as we dealt with them then – by doing nothing. We’ll do a few things that allow us to kick the can down the road, and we’ll feel good that we’ve fixed the problem.
Then, in 20 or 30 years, when someone is doing some research project, they’ll review the Mount Desert Islander archive and, imagine the surprise, find that not much has changed.
Maybe that’s reassuring, but I am not comforted. I think that it would be a wonderful legacy if this generation of residents could make real, substantive and lasting changes that would allow future generations to deal with a set of new problems, not just round up the usual suspects.