Editorial

Shelter Island Reporter editorial: Staring us in the face

You have to wonder how many times some people have to walk into a wall before they realize, “Hey, that wall is the reason I keep getting a black eye.”

Same with human responsibility for global warming causing climate change and threatening our natural environment.

Islanders have a clear example of how it is affecting their home with rising sea levels. We’ve published stories about the state putting up funds to elevate roads and the dock at South Ferry on the North Haven side. And North Ferry had to raise its dock and had to shut down some boats to deal with docking difficulties because of rising tides.

Unprecedented high temperatures in the American and Canadian northwest, which have produced endless wildfires that are so powerful that the smoke has been seen as far as a continent away, present us with a situation that’s staring us in the face.

A map of warming temperatures across the United States shows that all of Long Island has already approached a significant threshold in how scientists measure climate change and its future impact.

In our debased political landscape, the subject of climate change has become warped by some who proclaim that it is either a “hoax” — former President Trump blames China — or exaggerated and no one should pay attention to it.

Some issues argued among elected officials have two sides to them. This one doesn’t.

Those ignoring the science of global warming should be voted out of office. They are being willfully ignorant — or just shamelessly conning constituents to serve wealthy donors — about something that’s a serious threat to all of us, here and worldwide, that must be addressed with urgency.

This is not — and should not be — a red or blue issue. We need our elected and appointed officials to act. If they can’t, or won’t, or want to pretend the issue was invented by some Chinese cabal, they should not have a seat at the table.

That’s why we salute the Building Department’s new purchase of an electric vehicle, and the Police Department leaning in that direction for a new police vehicle. Shelter Island is on the right side of history.

We can put up with a lot in our representative democracy. Con jobs, stupidity, or ignoring reality for whatever reasons, are not things we should ever have to put up with.

Climate change is happening now. It is not a future event.