Letter: We can no longer afford to tolerate polluters

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Letter: We can no longer afford to tolerate polluters Letter: We can no longer afford to tolerate polluters To the editor:

Why do we tolerate industries that pollute our environment and not even make them pay for the damage they inflict?  Why aren’t we demanding legislative relief in the form of punitive taxes from politicians who are supposed to serve our best interests?

Pollutants taint our atmosphere and rivers, the air we breathe, the water we drink.  Folks with respiratory ailments, weak immune systems, and young children are most vulnerable.  Health insurance premiums rise when folks are treated for conditions exacerbated by pollution.  

Are polluting industries picking up that tab?

Climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuel is threatening our very existence.  Naysayers financed by fossil fuel industries have no credibility.  Climatologists who assimilate and analyze data with no political axes to grind or vested interests ought to influence the policy decisions of lawmakers, not the wealthy puppeteers who pollute our political process with campaign contributions in order to get their way.

Occasionally, those who put Mother Earth, humans, and other living creatures above bottom lines do win out.

Thank goodness the pipeline project was voted down by the Pinelands Commission, countering the Christie administration’s strong-arm tactics to pass it.  

Blocking construction of a 22-mile natural gas pipeline through this pristine wooded nature preserve, a reservoir holding 17 trillion gallons of pure untapped water, succeeded at least for now. However, corporate interests will no doubt try again to put our pine barrens at risk.  

Our one home in the universe ought to take priority over everything else.  

We can create millions of well-paying jobs that do not jeopardize our planet and all her life forms.  Dirty jobs like coal mining need to be phased out.  Coal miners and others employed by environmental unfriendly industries concurrently need to be trained and provided with alternative careers.

Profits and wages mean nothing if our planet is destabilized and can no longer support life as we know it.

There are no guarantees our species is invincible.  Mother Earth, indeed, will determine our longevity if we are unworthy stewards.  We cannot continue to push the envelope in the wrong direction.

Lawrence Uniglicht


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