Editor, The Beacon:
I find the increasing evidence of global warming, as well as our inability to limit or appropriately recycle the waste products from our industries, agriculture and consumerism, alarming. The public’s apathy toward the long-term effects of all of these on our planet, our environment, our health, our economy, and future generations is also alarming.
Why does a young girl from Sweden, Greta Thunberg, clearly see and understand what so many of the rest of us cannot or will not?
We need to do what we can locally to slow and stop global warming and prepare ourselves and our communities for hotter temperatures, more frequent and severe storms, sea-level rise, and the effects of all of these on our habitat as well as the habitat of the various plants and animals that are integral to this world.
It is all interconnected, whether we like it or admit it.
The plants and animals don’t depend on us, but we depend on them and an uncontaminated environment.
Each of us must make the personal choices that, as a group effort, can make a difference for the better. We can plan shopping and other errands to limit driving; carpool when the COVID pandemic is over; use water-wise or preferably edible landscapes; limit use of single-use items; and use household items and clothing until they wear out or else donate them. We can also actively participate in and support local, state and larger initiatives to combat climate change and pollution.
Local governments, through the Florida Resilience Plan, are currently participating with the state and federal government to identify vulnerabilities in our cities and counties, and to develop defenses against the various problems associated with climate change and sea-level rise.
As citizens, we have the responsibility to educate ourselves as well as actively and constructively participate in the various governmental and nongovernmental programs to address the future, its many perils, and its wonderful possibilities.
John C. Baker