Projected sea level rise by 2050 would put Bug Light lighthouse in South Portland underwater oby 2050. Credit: Troy R. Bennett

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Thankfully, Gov. Janet Mills identified climate change as a major present threat for Maine’s economy, ecology and citizens when she became governor in January 2019 — before COVID hit — and formed the multi-sector Maine Climate Council, which produced the Maine Won’t Wait action plan in December 2020.

In April 1999 I co-chaired the first Maine Climate conference in Lewiston. The national scientist who spoke did not know whether or not climate change was going to be a risk to Maine in 1999. It is now 2022 and no longer is there a question —  climate change is happening.

Last week, I Zoomed the conference “Communities Leading on Climate.” The first panelists shared results from their local Climate Resilience Partnerships and then a panel on transportation. Maine has such a creative, positive, common sense group of leaders from all parts of Maine – rural and urban — that are getting things done.

I agree with the speaker who urged all to stop being polarized ideologues – it does not matter whether people agree or disagree about the science of climate change or adaptation – but we need to “get to yes” to reduce hazards and save costs and lives.

Pam Person