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Smith Islanders should direct ire at Washington

8:15 AM EDT, May 14, 2013

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Tim Wheeler's report on the future of Smith Island and the state's idea to buy residents out so they may relocate tells a heartbreaking story of people whose attachment to the island goes back many years, 400 years in some cases ("Smith Islanders debating a state buyout proposal," May 13). If the buyout is taken by just some residents, it may make life untenable on the island for those who want to stay. They have organized a letter-writing campaign to fight the buyout idea.

It is very important to fight climate change on the local level. However, this letter-writing campaign is not fighting climate change and is not aimed at adapting to the rising seas. Rather, it is born out of loss, anger and grief and is sadly misdirected.

A better letter-writing campaign would direct all their fury at Congress and the White House demanding that legislation be passed this year to address climate change. In particular, a carbon pollution tax that would charge fossil fuel producers a fee based on how dirty their fuels are would lead consumers to use cleaner fuels, rather than dirtier ones. It would also spur private investment in new, clean energy technologies creating thousands of jobs Americans will be proud to hold.

Judy Weiss, Brookline, Mass.

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