Letter: Balentine's 'Big Environment' is a right-wing fantasy

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I am appalled after reading John Balentine’s “The real threat is ‘Big Environment.’” As a lifelong environmentalist, I am disheartened by the false narrative and lack of understanding of our current threats from global climate catastrophe.

Having worked for two dozen environmental organizations of many sizes for over 40 years, I have never seen a plethora of money. In fact, I have donated hundreds of hours and monies to these organizations.

“Big Environment” is a typical conservative ploy: Label what you hate as the enemy, and boost it as a monster – almost Trumpian. Money spent by the real Big Oil, Gas and Coal is an order of magnitude more. The Koch brothers, ExxonMobil, and companies of their like have donated billions to anti-environmental, anti-science think-tanks and lobbyists. On occasion environmental organizations get money from a single wealthy donor, but it pales in comparison. Environmental organizations rise above, are supported by regular people and science, and have credibility.

Oil spills in Portland Harbor influenced the decision of South Portland to adopt its Clear Skies Ordinance. Pipeline transport of tar sands would be a disaster; this is a good first step to stop this influx of the dirtiest oil. We are on the edge of catastrophic climate change; each day we ignore it puts us one step closer. While I have picked up roadside soda cans and trash for years, being an environmentalist is so much more than that.

Paul Weiss
Cumberland

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