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Opinion: We need common sense about climate change

We can’t change the climate or human nature. We are changing our environments. Animals, nature and humans adapt, causing more change.  

Legislation is too late, so it must delineate best practices for future enforcement by local, state and federal governments. The urgency to conserve our environment is the moral of “Stand Up that Mountain: The Battle to Save One Small Community in the Wilderness Along the Appalachian Trail” by Jay Leutze. He said, “The grand American experiment is a lesson in building a country, in stripping a land and turning it into taxable assets,” a global story.    

Locally, acres of Georgia forests have been stripped for new distribution centers then covered in concrete and flat-topped buildings. At least, housing developments plant some trees. Amazon Prime and UPS stakeholders vie for rights and authority. Leutze’s gripping story pits lifestyle and nature against local, county, state and federal governments. It starts with desire for money and power, often resulting in corruption against the people. Author Jay Leutze details the complex interactions that keep lawyers excited. He balances local interests with the political machine where lies accumulate. There’s always a point when they would not dare tell the truth.  

I’ve been told that “You can’t stop progress!” I believe we can control it — not with protests in the streets but with research, phone calls, attendance at local commission meetings and hearings. Of course, hearings have to be provided. That was not done in Leutze’s community.  

Political parties do not define or fulfill our needs, desires or our best interests. We do. We can talk and work together for outcomes that benefit all.   

Easy to say, just as campaigning candidates promise to spend money to solve our “issues.” Common sense doesn’t seem to count as they ask for donations to win elections. They rarely explain strategies for carrying out their promises or expertise that would help the government manage its debts or save the planet.   

Money does not buy my vote. I look for proven integrity, experience and realistic strategies. Thanks to the media, we see speeches and varying viewpoints of history and global events, but we live with what actually occurs.  

The current administrative state has not lived up to past promises but has indeed “fundamentally changed our country.”  

Truth is hard to come by in politics and frequently ugly. I respect those who have the conviction and honesty to openly express it, not just to get elected to earn power and big salaries, but to keep the United States the republic in which I have thrived.   

E. A. Marshall 

Flowery Branch 

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