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This year that famous critter, Punxsutawney Phil, did not see his shadow on Feb. 2, forecasting that what little winter we have had in Southern Maryland soon will be over. Not that I am complaining, but we don’t seem to be getting much of a winter anymore.

Indeed, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that the United States has seen decreasing numbers of record low temperatures while the incidences of record high temperatures continues to rise. At the same time, increasing numbers of destructive storms and intense rainfall events have become the new normal.

These patterns are symptomatic of what scientists call “rapid climate change.”

It is time we demand that our government craft and implement policies that effectively slow, and hopefully reverse, this global warming trend we humans have created.

If we care about the world our children and grandchildren will inherit, we must act now.

Gov. Martin O’Malley has asked the Maryland General Assembly to facilitate building offshore wind turbines to generate electricity. We should support this. President Obama has called on the U.S. to invest more in sustainable sources of clean energy, and we can definitely support this.

The Sierra Club, along with more than 50 other environmental groups, is sponsoring a Forward for Climate rally at noon Feb. 17 on the grounds of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.

We are coming together to urge our president and Congress to say yes to wind and solar power, energy conservation and efficiency technologies, and no to continued subsidies for fossil fuel industries.

People from all over Southern Maryland plan to attend, to march together at what is expected to be largest climate rally in history.

For more information on how you can join them, email or call 301-848-0965. To RSVP, go to

Near President Lincoln’s birthday, we remember what he said in 1862: “The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise — with the occasion.

“As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.”

Meredith Sweet, Waldorf