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Response to NECEC column
I am responding to Richard Anderson and Richard Barringer’s Aug. 11 column regarding the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) corridor. They are correct about climate change. Then their column slips into the “it’s not what you say that counts, it’s what you don’t say” mode.
“This project was carefully reviewed’? An Environmental Impact Statement was not implemented (New Hampshire and Vermont did one for this project). How could anyone meticulously assess information if there was none? Many hours of testimony were reviewed, but
without an EIS there is not enough concrete data upon which to base a decision. The process
Anderson and Barringer describe is political, not scientific.
I believe the energy from Hydro-Quebec is not clean by any stretch of the imagination. I think that scientific research illuminated in the publications “Blue Deserts” and “Arctic Blue Deserts” describes the true, negative impact large dam complexes have on ecosystems and people.
There is no attempt to write new laws, the attempt is to enforce existing laws and Anderson and Barringer ought to understand that difference. A recent court ruling by Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy seems to confirm that backroom deals, rather than constitutional processes, were used so that CMP could cross public lands.
Anderson and Barringer write about recklessly dismantling the process to learn the truth. In my opinion, we have not seen the truth nor have we had a scientific process to determine what the truth is. Until we reach that point, all we have is corporate and political influence and that is not law.
Racist graffiti in Bangor
The young people who allegedly spray painted racist graffiti in Bangor should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. This was neither a teen prank nor simple property damage. I think it was a form of racist terrorism. By letting young people indulge in it, we say it is acceptable. And to many in this country, even in Maine, it is.
That said, this is a perfect case for restorative justice involving the teenagers and their families and/or guardians. We need to know where their embracing this hatred and acting out on it came from. But most of all we need to integrate these young people into the greater community and introduce them to the community’s better values. It would be a mistake to prosecute them and in the process let them stew in their own racist bile, or worse, be celebrated by their fellow racists.
I could not let August pass without mentioning two important anniversaries that were largely overlooked in this time of lingering pandemic fears and concerns over the crisis in Afghanistan. Both concern the state of Maine and Franklin D. Roosevelt, perhaps the greatest of our 46 presidents.
A century ago, on Aug. 25, 1921, on Campobello Island, just off our Down East coast, FDR, then 39, was diagnosed with polio after suffering fever and paralysis. The New York statesman, forever after a paraplegic, rarely returned to his family’s Canadian island cottage, now the center of an international park, but would rally to be elected president in 1932, a job he held until his death in 1945.
Twenty years later, on Aug. 16, 1941, Roosevelt visited Rockland by boat and announced that he had met off Newfoundland with British Prime Minister Winston Churchil to sign the Atlantic Charter, a bold document that laid out a vision of a peaceful postwar world. No sitting president has visited this midcoast city, 80 years after FDR’s appearance.
Both events are worth remembering in this time of war and peace. Historians of the world should never forget FDR’s victory over personal and global struggles. Although not a perfect man, he set the standard for dignity and measured relations in the world when, at times, many questioned whether democracy would survive.
Freedom-loving people everywhere stand on Roosevelt’s shoulders well into the 21st century.
Richard R. Shaw