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O'Malley is right on climate change, should speak out on Keystone XL

ConservationEcosystemsExecutive BranchKeystone XL Pipeline

Bravo to Gov. Martin O'Malley for his speech last week outlining plans for further curbing greenhouse gases in the state of Maryland ("O'Malley says state has 'moral obligation' to avert climate change," July 25)!

Have you seen the maps of Maryland showing the extent of land to be underwater as the ocean and the Chesapeake Bay rise? Has your homeowners insurance rate suddenly jumped to cover the potential for damage from extreme weather? Do you remember recent times when Fells Point was flooded or power was out for days at a time?

These and other consequences of global climate change are all too evident, and the economic costs are terrible, whether it is crops lost due to droughts or the devastation caused by wildfires, floods, hurricanes with storm surges, and so on. But it is not only here in the United States that such effects are occurring. In fact, climate change is occurring world-wide, affecting some of the most vulnerable and defenseless people on earth, as well as all other species and all future generations. This is the most urgent crisis of our time, and I am grateful to our governor for proclaiming it.

The proposed Keystone XL Pipeline that would carry tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico needs to be defeated. To build this pipeline poses multiple environmental hazards that carry unimaginable consequences for climate change. In fact, NASA's leading climate scientist, Dr. James Hansen, argues that it could well be the end of any opportunity to get climate change under control. Ask Governor O'Malley to speak out against this project and to use whatever influence he has to see that it is not carried out.

Sylvia J. Eastman, Baltimore

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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