Consider climate when voting
I scratched my head in disbelief after reading the OBSERVER editorial, “New leadership for governor” (Oct. 29). Incumbent Kathy Hochul may be a flawed candidate, but her deficiencies hardly match Lee Zeldin’s. And the idea that Zeldin’s extremist views would be tamed by a Democratic Assembly and Senate is absurd, a recipe for inaction on the most important issues facing the state.
Here are the facts: Zeldin’s idea of public safety is to put more guns in the hands of New Yorkers. His type of freedom exists to contest Joe Biden’s fairly won election, to belittle COVID public health protections that might have saved hundreds of thousands of lives had they been instituted during Donald Trump’s presidency, and to promote pollution in New York by reversing the state ban on fracking and repealing New York’s climate law, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Once conservatives actually cared about environmental protection. Think Nixon; think John McCain. However, today’s GOP rejects every sensible climate-change mitigation effort because for them facts and ideology are worlds apart.
Zeldin is a fantasist who believes natural gas is environmentally friendly. It is not friendly. Natural gas is a fossil fuel. A byproduct of its production, methane, has a warming effect 80 to 90 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over a 20-year timescale. Producers say they plug leaks, but studies show that in recent years global methane emissions have risen to the highest levels on record.
So let’s be clear: A Lee Zeldin and GOP win in New York would contribute to climate disaster.