Letter: We’re Driving Toward a Cliff

A major United Nations report that came out last week found that some of the devastating impacts of global warming are now unavoidable. To borrow the headline from Ed Miliband, “Our biggest enemy is no longer climate denial but climate delay.”

I am fed up with the level of delay and illusion of action when it comes to the climate crisis. We have seen no meaningful attempt to address the emergency at hand. If you are a car speeding toward a cliff and you slow the car down by 10 mph, you’re still going off the cliff.

I feel the same about empty gestures such as Putnam County’s Climate Smart program (Putnam Adopts Climate Smart Proposal, Aug. 6). During my first seven months as Philipstown Climate Smart coordinator, I have never been contacted by the county’s Climate Smart coordinator. We haven’t seen any educational or outreach programs or movement toward legislative actions. Does the Climate Smart task force hold public meetings? When and where are those meetings? I’d attend if given an opportunity, and if they exist.

Also, the county hired a new Climate Smart coordinator, Vinny Tamagna, its transportation manager, without posting the job. Why weren’t any of the other Climate Smart coordinators in the county, who are already leading programs at very part-time hours, offered a chance to expand the scope of their work? If Putnam cares about the climate, and not just formalities and appearances, it should hire someone qualified who is not overtaxed with other jobs.

I want Putnam County to succeed and do an amazing job at reducing our emissions. Its success is our success because we all need to be working together (and fast) to transition from fossil fuels. But if you are going to sit there and pretend you’re doing something while the world is burning, I’m done being polite. Everything I do is about reversing the climate crisis, not because it’s a job or title, but because my children’s future is at stake.

Krystal Ford, Garrison

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