Letter to the Editor

Time to act on climate change

Of the many issues worthy of our focus, none may be more pressing than the mounting pressures and hazards of climate change. While many may say they don’t feel affected in their day to day lives, the consequences of climate change are all around us. Even here in Kentuckiana we see examples of what’s ahead for us, namely in the increased flooding rates in an area with a past of flooding issues.

When it comes to the number of individuals protected, Louisville has one of the largest flood management systems in the world. However, there are concerns about this flood management system as it is known some parts of it aren’t up to the Army Corps of Engineers standards, and others left improperly maintained. This compounds on the risks presented to us by climate change as flooding events seem to increase in number and severity along the Ohio River, just like in many other areas of the globe. It has even been considered changing the way we measure flooding events (i.e., 20 year events, 100 year events, etc.) because of the increasing rates of damaging floods we have seen in fairly recent years. If something is not done, we will be faced with billions of dollars in damages and thousands of households being displaced, which will include both sides of the river.

Thankfully, we don’t have to sit on our hands and wait for such events to occur. We can push for the improvement of our local flood control systems, but it will not be enough. We must fight climate change on an individual and societal level. People may be more familiar with what needs to be done on a large scale, but there is plenty we can do in our own lives to slow these effects. We can push for climate action in our community through advocacy and joining groups with such goals in mind. Recycling is never a wrong answer. Vote for people/policies with a focus on tackling climate change, like the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act proposed by the Citizen’s Climate Lobby. Switching energy use from fossil fuel based systems to renewable energy systems can be achieved with aid from many groups, such as Star Solar Specialists. There is no shortage of ways to act, and the time to do so is now.

— Grant Brown, New Albany

The wrong decision, continued...

I read Aprile Rickert’s story about Tri-Township’s continued planning to replace Sellersburg Volunteer Fire Department after its service of this community for 70 years. Even though she knows my role and I have offered to answer questions, she has yet to ask me any questions about the most interesting and consequential decision by a statutorily unqualified public Board.

So, for the record and some important context, I think it’s important for the taxpayers to know that the $1.8 million that this Board just received permission to borrow is more than it cost to fund the entire fire protection services provided by SVFD last year. The borrowing, of course, is just to fund a small portion of the $4,000,000 in firefighting equipment already available and used by SVFD. And, of course, that borrowing does nothing to fund the actual ongoing operations of a public fire department on an annual basis. The publicly appointed Board has just more than doubled the costs of fire protection services to the community and guaranteed less equipment and resources to respond to emergencies. Only a governmental entity could call that a success.

Thankfully, SVFD intends to continue operating and fulfilling its mission as a volunteer fire department. It will be needed.

— Rodney Scott, Jeffersonville