Editorials 1-08-2021

Emissions bill is a big step for the environment

The approval on Monday by both houses of the Massachusetts legislature of a bill that requires the state to reduce its carbon emissions by at least 85% below 1990 levels by 2050 represents a huge step toward the goal of mitigating the effects of climate change in our state.

Although the total carbon emissions emanating from Massachusetts obviously is only a small fraction of global emissions, the legislation provides a blueprint for other states and private industry to follow.

Some say that the ultimate goal of net-zero by 2050 is unattainable, but in our view, that is understating the reality of what is happening in the world today.

Despite the best (or worst) efforts of the Trump administration to perpetuate the use of coal and other fossil fuels, renewable energy actually is cheaper than fossil fuels thanks to the advances in technology of wind and solar energy.

Most excitingly, the progress in the development of hydrogen fuel cells, which has been more than two decades in the making, finally is beginning to look like it will become a feasible source of energy within 10 years, making the goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 more than just a dream.

We applaud the action by Gov. Charlie Baker and our legislature in bringing to fruition an environmental action plan that recognizes the pressing need to address the issue of climate change.

Although the pandemic rightly is in the forefront of government leaders’ attention today, that problem will seem like a stroll in the park if we do not take immediate action to avert the looming climate catastrophe that threatens our planet’s very existence.

It was a great run, Pats’ fans

The 2020 season for the New England Patriots came to a merciful close this past weekend. The woeful Pats finished with a 7-9 record, their first losing season since 2000, and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

We have to admit that we feel badly for young Patriots’ fans, those born after 1990, who have become accustomed to the dominance and excellence, year-after-year, by Bill Belichick’s crew. This season has been the equivalent of having an ice bucket thrown over your head, a rude wake-up call to the reality of the ebb-and-flow of professional sports that the Patriots alone among all sports franchises in the modern era have managed to avoid for an unprecedented two decades.

Admittedly, even for those of us who are long-time Pats’ fans who can recall all of the decades of ignominy, from Braves Field to Fenway Park to Harvard Stadium and then to Schaefer Stadium, the relegation of the Patriots to the bottom tier of the NFL this season, in which Foxboro and Gillette Stadium no longer were the epicenter of the football universe, was jarring.

So let’s be grateful for the two decades of fun that Bob Kraft and his team brought our way.

But as the proverb says, all things must come to an end — and so they have for our Patriots. 

It was a nice ride — and those championship banners always will be there to remind us of the good times.

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