Take action to bring about change

To the Editor:

The Times editorial “Create a climate for change” (Sept. 23, 2020) sounds a much-needed alarm about the effects of climate change — not far-off effects, but here-and-now impacts. The national news shows us the conflagration in the West and the record-breaking storm season down the Eastern Seaboard. But one needn’t look that far afield — 60 percent of our state, including the Cape and Islands, is experiencing severe or extreme drought, and coastal roads on the Vineyard face imminent peril from sea level rise. 

The prospects are daunting. But we shouldn’t fall into the trap of going from ignoring climate change to thinking we’re powerless to curb it. There are things we can do, and they will make a difference. Each of us can act as individuals, by such steps as insulating our homes, turning off lights, or buying an electric car. But concerted action is needed too, and our Island has a big opportunity to act now. 

As the editorial mentions, our Island energy committees have proposed that every town adopt a goal of moving to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040. Warrant articles to that effect will be before Aquinnah and West Tisbury at fall town meetings, and hopefully before the other Island towns soon thereafter. The goal will be nonbinding — the resolution won’t require any specific action. But our town governments should have this goal in mind to guide their actions going forward, so our Island can do its part to kick the addiction to greenhouse-gas-producing fossil fuels.

It’s our Island, and we can help to protect its future. And we can join other towns and cities across the country that are adopting similar goals, together setting an example that can help to protect the world’s future.

Bill Lake