Letters to the editor | Dec. 23 edition

Islanders weigh in about current climate change issues.

The Trap We’re In

I agree with most of Scott Durkee’s Dec. 16 Beachcomber commentary. Will we escape from the trap or remain in it, moving swiftly and steadily towards extinction? To state the obvious, we’re not inanimate objects and even plants sometimes modify their behavior to survive. As humans, we have the power to change what we do.

When I was 43 years old, I quit smoking three packs of cigarettes per day, stopped drinking, smoking pot, eating much red meat, and began exercising. Had I not done that, I wouldn’t be alive today to write this letter. But I’m not some special human being. Anyone can modify his own behavior.

The problem is that no one other than Scott is encouraging anyone to do so. Everyone from the president to The Beachcomber speaks of global warming but rarely says that we as individuals should do anything about it. That’s the job of big business and Congress. The president could be delivering “fireside chats” to encourage the populace to live more thoughtfully. He doesn’t, possibly because it might cost him votes in the next election. Unlike during WWII when everyone pitched in, we’re not supposed to do anything. Conservation is a dirty word.

How absurd that 330 million people continue their habitual destructive behavior out of ignorance, apathy, and a political climate wherein the first casualty is always the truth and the excuse is simply inertia and “it’s getting late.”

— Shelley Simon