We had the first snow day at Colby College since the 1990s. I’ll take it — with a side of caution.

The recent snowstorms and Arctic-esque temperatures that have smothered the Northeast over the past few weeks are the latest in a long series of warnings Mother Nature has thrown us. Similar to when the professor hands out the essay questions the day before the exam, we are being given a taste of what the future of our climate may look like, if we continue to dance on the edge of disaster.

There is a new normal for the global climate, a normal defined by unpredictable and drastic weather pattern changes. We can, however, prevent further, more severe climate change effects with stringent climate change policy that protects the Earth and its people, rather than the factories that dot landscapes across the country.

Policy changes at the federal and state level, enacted from 2007 to 2012, resulted in the reduction of 162 million metric tons of carbon in 2012. Wind and solar energy generation has increased four-fold during this period, which averted the amount of global warming pollution emitted by 13 million cars. Further energy reduction policies can be seen at the state and local levels, where these policies garner widespread public support. Climate policy works, but only if it has the chance to.

Let’s make sure the momentum behind climate change policy continues to grow. The EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan is the natural next step in a series of policy changes that have worked, and will continue to work, to drastically lessen the nation’s contributions to climate change. I urge others to reach out to Susan Collins to ensure her vote for the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

Shannon Oleynik


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.