I am writing in response to Bobby Wallace’s letter on Jan. 1, “Forum devoid of ideas,” in which he ridicules the Sierra Club Climate Forum held in Waldorf in December.
Mr. Wallace seems to be very authoritative when discussing the content of this forum. I find this odd, because, as an attendee, I can tell you that Mr. Wallace was not there.
Perhaps he has mastered some form of transcendental meditation where he can attend an event without physically being there. If so he should share his secret, as it would help everyone cut down on their travel times around the holidays.
Mr. Wallace asserts that the forum, and the greater environmental movement, is dependent on a “miracle” and has no ideas or solutions for the environmental crises we all now face. He particularly seems to think there are no plans or data for the transition from pollution-riddled fossil fuel power to clean, renewable energy. Had he been at the forum, any number of the attendees could have directed him to resources like The Solution Project, which lays out a precise, custom plan for renewable energy self-sufficiency for each state by 2050. These detailed projects even drill down into the footprint of the necessary generation and storage facilities and the likely effects on energy costs to the consumer. To me, that sounds less like a miracle and more like sound mathematical analysis.
Another assertion Mr. Wallace makes is that the environmental movement, while advocating for clean and renewable energy, wants to take society backwards in time. He says this while he defends coal-based electricity which was first initiated in 1882, when Jesse James was still alive, P.T. Barnum was acquiring his first elephant, and the heinous Chinese Exclusion Act was in effect. Meanwhile, environmentalists advocate harnessing the near limitless energy provided to us by nuclear fusion in the sun. Which seems like the future, and which the past?
Moving from the absurd to the disturbing, Mr. Wallace then attempts to blame the environmental movement for an uptick in the rate of suicides in the United States, because, he claims, environmentalists cause despair by scaring everyone with dire predictions.
Once again, I do wish Mr. Wallace had actually heard what was said at the climate forum. There was no fear mongering. There was no despair. There was a group of motivated members of our Southern Maryland community coming together in strength to advocate for a stronger, healthier region where our air is sweeter and our water clearer. We were appealing not to humanity’s fear, but to its ability to innovate, its desire to strive to be better, and for its hope for a better life for the next generation.
To finish off his whirlwind of accusations, Mr. Wallace then accused the entire environmental movement of being designed to benefit Russia. Perhaps, in his mind, Mr. Wallace thought he saw the Russian flag in our meeting room instead of Old Glory. But like Mr. Wallace, Russian agents were not in attendance. Unfortunately for his theories, the environmental activists in Southern Maryland work not to help some foreign government, but to help our neighbors, our friends, our children. We volunteer our time because we love our home and the people in it.
Benjamin Hance, Great Mills