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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 will soon 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 continue to rise. At the same time, increasing numbers of destructive storms and intense rainfall events have become the new normal — patterns that are symptomatic of what scientists call “rapid climate change.”

It is time we demand 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 and we must act now. Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) has asked the Maryland General Assembly to facilitate the building of 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 Sunday, Feb. 17, at noon 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 continuing subsidizing fossil fuel industries.

People from all over Southern Maryland plan to attend, to march together at what is expected to be the largest climate rally in history. For more information on how you can join them, email meredith.sweet@mdsierra.org, or call 301-848-0965. To RSVP, go to maryland.sierraclub.org.

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