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Some food for thought by a concerned local citizen

By the time you finish this column, there are some who will see me as shaking my fist and yelling at the kids to get off of my lawn. Be that as it may be —

Point One: Public Service Announcement–Smart meters do not cause cancer. Please stop allowing stupid people to propagate this conspiracy theory. It is not news. It is a conspiracy theory and does not belong in a credible news source. Speaking of stupid people —

Point Two: Stupid people are easily sway-able by specious arguments, namely that hate symbols are heritage, ignoring the fact that the symbol causes emotional pain for a large segment of our fellow human beings. If you are a stupid person clinging to your argument that the Confederate flag is just about heritage (which as long as we’re on the subject should under no circumstances as the losing side’s flag be flown next the U.S. flag herself) and conveniently ignore its symbolism as a white supremacist tool, that makes you oblivious to the pain in your fellow human beings caused by same. If you are, in fact, not oblivious to the pain and choose to inflict it anyway, that just makes you a jackass. I have been the length and breadth of this big beautiful country and it is filled with a lot of caring people who get it. And a few jackasses. Don’t let the jackasses win.

Point Three: Speaking of being the breadth and length of this country, some of us have traveled it all. And we made the conscious and deliberate decision to come back here, to Houghton specifically, because of its wonderful unique quirkiness and beautiful natural character. It does not need lipstick, an enhanced sense of place, another hotel or gentrified waterfront condos for the privileged few. If we wanted to live in Traverse City, or now Marquette, we would be there. It is wonderful to step out of the “back” door of our favorite shopkeeper, pub or restaurant to the breathtaking open sky view of the Portage Canal and the hills of Ripley. It is available to all, not just tourists and moneyed elite.

Point Four: Speaking of tourists, they (and a few locals) may think the loud and obnoxious float plane is charming. The rest of us, do not. Its intrusive noise of taking off, landing, and buzzing around the canal area daily at all hours of daylight from 8 a.m. to sundown is an unwelcome pox. With just a little foresight and planning, tourists and workers alike can ride out to Isle Royale aboard the Ranger or other maritime (preferably sail) vessels. We have an airport. If the plane “must” be used (one can imagine legitimate emergency situations), the planes can take off from there, a designated airport noise area. As it is, it is akin to your next-door neighbor mowing their lawn, every single day including your days off, at all hours of the day. There are plenty of studies that demonstrate the adverse medical effects of extraneous manmade noise on human physiology. The benefits to the company owner are manifold, while the rest of the community must just tolerate it? Again, if we wanted that environment, we would have chosen to live elsewhere. And, it uses fossil fuels unnecessarily.

Which brings me to Point Five: The science is settled on continued use of fossil fuels. Our children’s future is at stake. Climate Change is occurring and we have an opportunity before us now to begin mitigating it in the form of HR 763 (Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act), a middle of the road business friendly beginning solution. Our Congressman needs encouragement to cosponsor it, but has, since taking elected office, studiously avoided doing so, citing multiple specious reasons that have been thoroughly refuted. We need political will to match demonstrated public and business interest in developing freedom from fossil fuels. Learn more at www.citizensclimatelobby.org

For the record, I don’t mind you being on my lawn. Just please don’t trample the flowers and watch out for the bees and other pollinators. They’ve got it particularly rough these days.

Anne Newcombe is a registered nurse and is a co-founder of the Houghton Chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby.

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