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Inaction not an option on issue of climate change

To the editor:

On Jan. 26, a bus from Greenfield and Amherst arrived in Portland, Maine, for a rally. By the time the march started, well over a thousand people had assembled. Despite frigid temperatures, it was a sunny day, perfect for people of all ages to express their opposition to a possible pipeline carrying tar sands crude oil from Montreal, Canada, to Casco Bay, Maine.

I walked alongside a woman being pushed in a wheelchair and young people with babies in strollers. It matters that people show up; it draws both media attention and notice from our elected officials. Participate in these protests no matter how much you hate them. If you absolutely cannot get there, send money to organizers — there are several online sites; make it possible for others to go who can’t afford the bus fare. For President Obama to make the hard political choices he has to make to address climate change, he needs people to prove that they are willing to fight for it, too.

It isn’t enough to understand the science, or to make personal sacrifice in our daily lives. We either take responsibility for our future, or we risk allowing wishful thinking and our too-busy-to-participate rationalization to blind us to the serious consequences of our inaction. Ninety-seven percent of the world’s climatologists agree that the current upward concentration of carbon dioxide is driving unprecedented climate transformation with dire implications for every living thing on earth; it is immoral to ignore the mandate.

We have to leverage our courage and our commitment, prove that we will not give up our democracy, our environmental health and our future. Join the protest on Feb. 17 in Washington, D.C. This is the 11th hour and the clock is ticking.

Another future is possible.

Ceacy Henderson


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