HOPEWELL: An open letter to scientists and environmentalists

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Reader Submitted
To the editor:
Hopefully you’re not skipping the upcoming election because you’re too busy in the lab or office, thinking that’s okay because this isn’t a big national year after all. That’s true but this election will determine the next governor of New Jersey who will strongly influence state science and environment policy. Look again and remember that local candidates become the foundation supporting the weight of the whole apparatus, and realize there is great risk thinking that Nov 7 is not important.
In Hopewell Township for example, the candidates for township committee are light years apart in perspective on issues of major importance – such as climate change, and the need to take local action and develop intelligent plans to foster solar energy and green infrastructure and reduce fossil fuel dependency. The two parties sponsoring the local candidates present markedly different views on the need for protective measures on open space and wildlife habitat preservation and the issues around biodiversity loss. We are decades beyond the time when backwards-thinking, unscientific, climate-denying candidates with environmental exploitation mindsets can be accepted for such important leadership positions.
Please go to the polls on Nov 7 and make the choice based on your scientific sense, knowing that the needed change on the big scale requires serious attention to the local stage now.
Rex Parker, PhD
Hopewell Township