The recent story about George Mitchell’s role in cleaning our air and water (”George Mitchell: ‘Shocking’ denial of science blocks climate solutions,” May 28) reminded me of my days of fishing the Kennebec in the 1960s and ’70s. The water literally smelled, and I don’t mean roses. It was putrid. Sure smells and looks a lot better today.

Especially noteworthy was the fact that the reauthorization of the Clean Air Act in 1990 is credited with saving 2 million lives. Just think, 2 million more people are alive today because of a single act initiated by a compassionate and responsible congress. I shudder at the thought of the billions of dollars we spend each year at fighting the far less fatal attacks by a few deranged terrorists. At the same time we are spending fewer and fewer dollars on solving a problem that can and will cause millions of long-term, agonizing deaths. We now have an administration that will not even admit that we are already in the midst of an extremely fatal climate shift.

I was born in Madison more than 74 years ago. With a few exceptions, I spent most of my life living there. Until about three years ago, I had never had a concern about disease-bearing ticks. Now, because of our warming winters and wet summers, I and my family cannot go out our door onto a mowed lawn without carrying disease-carrying ticks into our home. I can’t wait to see what volatile creatures this new world will bring next.

Oh yeah. One other thing, though I’ve been vigilant, I haven’t spotted one terrorist within a hundred miles of my home. Actually, though I’ve traveled the world. I’ve never personally seen even one terrorist. I did witness a couple of people beaten by Philadelphia policemen on a couple occasions.

Peter P. Sirois

Madison