To the Editor:

I would like to commend Athens City Council for moving forward with a climate resolution. Leading the way and being the first city to introduce a resolution like this in Ohio is just the thing a city like Athens should be doing. We have the community and resources to help guide the way to a better future. 

Council member Chris Fahl has done a lot of work on this and seems to care very deeply about the contents of the resolution, and I assume others on council care deeply about this as well.

The compliments being given, I would now like to add my criticism. Some members stress the importance of planting trees to combat climate change. I’m not in any way against planting trees. Plant away by all means, but let’s not fool ourselves. Trees plant themselves. The wind plants trees; squirrels plant trees. Like I said, plant trees, plant good trees, but don’t be fooled into thinking that’s even a minor step in the right direction.

If we really want to do something real and valid for nature and the environment, we should be leaders and set an example (I’m looking at you, too, Ohio University) by canceling the useless Richland Avenue project that will pollute the air with unnecessary emissions from concrete. This ludicrous project that is a huge waste of time and money goes against any notion that the city actually has an interest is combatting climate change.

Here’s a thought exercise: We could look both ways before crossing the street and keep our eyes open for pedestrians, or in the alternative, further exacerbate the issue of carbon emissions so that we can get traffic flowing at an acceptable speed. Which is the more responsible option?

 This project is supposedly for safety. Well, what about the safety of the environment, which is clearly in danger?

The project is about traffic flow, money, legacy, and being a monument to “getting things done.” I’m sure it’s unstoppable at this point, but I had to write this letter to urge the city to abandon pointless development, for the sake of the environment. And unless they (city and university) think we’re all huge idiots, I think we can manage to cross a street. 

Consider the environment in EVERY choice for the future. No exceptions, even for money. That’s the hard part, though. Environment over cosmetic development. Will officials anywhere actually do it? Hopefully here.

Chris Monday

Garfield Avenue

Athens

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