Climate crisis must be
To the Bulletin:
By the time you read this many Valley residents will have returned home from the historic Forward on Climate rally in Washington, DC. Finally people are starting to become aware that a full-blown climate crisis is upon us and that those who have been denying that crisis over the years have a thinly veiled political agenda.
One of THE most critical aspects of the climate crisis is the need to both cut way back on CO2 emissions and to sequester as much CO2 as possible. Trees are a vital component in that pressing need. We’ve been reading in these pages about all the full-grown trees being cut down for road expansions and utility corridor protection here in Amherst. We haven’t read much of anything about carbon sequestration.
As I write this I just returned from the Big Y shopping plaza on University Drive where I noticed the few young healthy trees that grew on the parking island near the store were removed. The stumps show them to have been perfectly healthy trees. Why were these only source of shade in the lot cut down?
Now I read in the Bulletin that the mature oaks and young locusts by the lot behind the Unitarian Universalist Society are slated to be removed to make way for the Society’s expansion. One of the oaks might be saved if certain precautions were made but, disturbingly, Amherst Tree Warden, Alan Snow has stated: “The cheapest thing is to cut the tree down.” The cheapest thing may well be the reason for countless tree removals. In the long run, the cheapest thing could actually be to keep as many trees growing as possible and, of course, to plant many, many more. The climate crisis, the actual fate of the biosphere and future generations of most life forms on this fragile planet, means business as usual is over.
To the Bulletin:
Reading the report of another fiasco at a University of Massachusetts/Mullins Center “concert,” I was struck by the contrast with an event I attended the night before, also at UMass — a student recital at Bezanson Hall in the Fine Arts Center. Two music majors — a percussionist and a flutist — were the excellent, featured soloists, performing (in some works with other music students) before an enthusiastic crowd of perhaps 200 other students and assorted parents and faculty (of which I was one). The quality of musicianship was high, the response of audience was exceptional, and the overall experience reminded me that sometimes the ideal of education to which we aspire is real.
To the Bulletin:
U.S. Rep. Ed Markey has represented areas of eastern Massachusetts in Congress since the 1970s, but his strong record in Congress, particularly on environmental and renewable energy issues, makes him an excellent choice as the next senator from Massachusetts.
We may be feeling a bit of election fatigue here in the commonwealth, particularly when it comes to Senate races, but it is vital that the individual who fills John Kerry’s seat continue to represent the values and priorities of the people of Massachusetts.
The benefit of having candidates who have extensive Congressional records allows us to get a good understanding of their positions. Markey’s record on environmental issues, his work to end the proliferation of nuclear weapons and his strong support of working families shows he is the right choice.
His recent call for a People’s Pledge for all candidates in this race to keep spending by independent groups out of this election is yet another example of the type of senator we are looking for in Massachusetts. I believe it is good for the Democratic Party, and good for the commonwealth, that there will be a Democratic primary.
However, Markey’s record in Congress makes me excited to support him in his bid to represent all of Massachusetts.