I read with interest the “GOP Picnic in Keene” article in the July 29 Sentinel, and comments by Corky Messner, who is running for the U.S. Senate. In response to a question posed — “tell me you don’t believe in the climate change crap” — Mr. Messner replied: “Going through school and hearing about the impending ice age, and the acid rain would deforest New England, and then an inevitable tear in the ozone layer that would give everyone cancer — and none of it happened. The climate changes are just part of the earth’s life cycle.”

As I recall, in the 1970s, there was great concern with chlorofluorocarbons (contained in aerosol sprays) depleting the ozone layer. Countries around the world, recognizing the dangers, signed treaties to ban or limit them. After many years the upper levels of ozone have healed, except for areas over the Antarctic and parts of South America, reducing ultraviolet radiation.

In the ’70s and ’80s, there was great concern in New York and New England about the effects of coal burning power plants in the Midwest spewing acid rain and turning lakes acidic devoid of aquatic life in the Adirondacks and stunted tree growth in New England. Congress enacted legislation, which led to scrubbers on smoke stacks, which in turn led to decreased levels of acidic rain.

I don’t recall stories of an impending ice age, but continuing rises in the earth’s temperature, sea levels rising, glaciers disappearing in Newfoundland, disappearing ice in the Arctic regions and now shipping through the Northwest Passage, and seemingly more extreme weather-related storms concern me for my grandchildren’s welfare.

All of us need to be concerned and work together, as we once did years ago, to find answers and proper responses to today’s pressing environmental problems and challenges.


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