By Shannon Thomas
One of the biggest issues being discussed in the news today is the environment. There are many people in Connecticut that are concerned about the government's involvement with saving resources and preserving the planet. Even though there aren’t many big cities in our state, we still contribute to the way the environment is today. The first way is with, of course, global warming. We all know that the earth's climate is changing, and that if nothing is done to prevent this, then there will be many problems in the future (like Florida being submerged in water when the glaciers totally melt). In this state, unfortunately, there isn't a lot of action being taken to prevent this. The Connecticut DEP has put items in place, such as the Global Warming Solutions Act, which is trying to decrease pollution by 10 percent by 2020. This is a step in the right direction for Connecticut, and hopefully we'll achieve this.
Governor Jodi Rell passed a bill in 2007 that works to reduce the amount of energy used and invests in energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy. It includes tax breaks for energy star appliances and cars that get 40 miles or more to the gallon. "Green" building standards are also included with these new laws, making a lot of businesses better for the environment. The bill is going towards helping the country stop being so dependent on natural resources. While all this is going on concerning preserving our planet for the future, there are still some things going on that are directly harmful to the environment. We all remember when the smell of dead fish surrounded the football field. Though that wasn't caused by pollution, it's an example of what the results are when people mess with the environment. Just recently in Branford there was a lawsuit about river. Atlantic Wire Company was accused of dumping toxic waste in the Branford River 21 times since 2005. That company has agreed to pay almost 2 million dollars to the state because of it (both the Department of Environmental Protection and the Connecticut Fund for the Environment). If something like this could happen in our own hometown, then we know that there are worse things going on in the more populated parts of the country. This begs the question: if no one cares what is happening to the environment, then how can it ever get better? If more people in places like Connecticut did care, then things would change, and the future of the planet wouldn't nearly be as uncertain as it is right now. Though we live in a small town in the state of Connecticut, our actions can make a difference in the overall condition of the environment. Learning about some of the problems that not only affect us, but other places in the country, is the first step that everyone must take. Protecting the environment is for the benefit of everyone that lives on this planet.