Addressing Climate Change is a Matter of Priorities in Old Saybrook


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Re: “Republican Leadership in Old Saybrook was Forward Thinking on Climate Change,” by Laura Gregory, (Letter, Aug. 22).

Gregory applauded Republican leadership on climate change and her proof points were largely based on a comparison to surrounding towns. This is NOT the standard voters in Old Saybrook should use to assess our current government. The Red Sox are outperforming the Yankees this year but, if the season ended today, they certainly wouldn’t make the playoffs.

The standard voters should use to judge our leaders is the highly professional Coastal Resilience and Adaptation Study completed FIVE years ago. Gregory herself references the study as if having completed it and filed it away is sufficient. It isn’t.

In that study, the consultants made 33 separate recommendations more than 80% were rated as high priority. How many of these recommendations have been implemented to date? The answer – pitifully few. When asked at a budget referendum meeting how much money was in the current budget to address climate change, First Selectman Carl Fortuna said, “none”

Is that really the leadership we need?

We see the impact of climate change nearly every day and yet the number of choices will narrow, the urgency will grow and the dollars needed will swell beyond our reach. The time to act is NOW. We need to get off the dime and begin to implement mitigation projects that will help alleviate pollution in Long Island Sound and provide stronger coastal resiliency.  It is a matter of priorities. As shown by the budget created by the first selectman, coastal resiliency projects are still not a priority, nor is protecting Long Island Sound from Old Saybrook’s wastewater even though we have been under court order to do so for 26 years.

Let’s get people on the necessary boards and commissions in town that see that these will be
our priorities

Carl Garbe
Old Saybrook, CT