Good news on the environment is rare. So it was encouraging to read on Aug. 27 that an Irish firm is joining with a Portland company to put $20 million into a solar farm in Hancock County. But the big picture isn’t so good.
The Gulf of Maine Research Institute has reported that the average ocean temperature here is rising more rapidly than in other bodies of water. Studies also predict that Maine’s lobster population will migrate to cooler areas. Nothing dramatized the trend more dramatically this summer than the death of a swimmer off Harpswell, bitten by a white shark usually associated with warmer waters — a tragic first for Maine.
If we are to reduce the environmental impacts changing our lives, we need federal support for more projects like the solar farm in Hancock. Unfortunately, our federal government is ignoring climate science; worse, it’s actively removing environmental protections. That will continue until leadership changes — especially in the U.S. Senate. Here, it is worth noting that the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) has withdrawn its endorsement of Susan Collins, backing Sara Gideon for the Senate instead. Their reason: “Sara Gideon has been a champion for environmental issues throughout her career, from her time as a town councilor through her tenure as the speaker of the Maine House of Representatives.”
On Aug. 7, Gideon set out a plan for climate policy. She promised to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, undo the Trump administration’s gutting of controls on harmful emissions, curb the power of oil money, and require utilities to increase carbon-free power on the grid. These are big promises. It would be exciting to see them put into action. I will be voting for Sara Gideon this November and hope you will, too.
Brooklin and Cape Elizabeth