It’s important for our state to note what is happening to our environment and act. I am reminded of the expression, “Think globally, act locally.”
This means speaking out and supporting sustainable practices through my work at the Gullah Geechee Chamber of Commerce. Our mission is to raise global awareness of profitability and sustainability of African American businesses and other entities supporting the Gullah community.
South Carolina has a unique opportunity to create new careers and small businesses within marginalized communities by leading on green, renewable energy.
For our community and businesses to thrive, let’s adopt sustainable practices and support an ambitious transition to renewable energy.
What’s true of small business is even more critical for big business. For me, part of “acting locally” means supporting the sale of Santee Cooper, to make way for a utility with the resources to aggressively lead the way to renewable energy.
Gullah communities must have a voice at the table regarding the environment and energy.
Santee Cooper’s plan to move from carbon was the nuclear plant at V.C. Summer.
As everyone knows, that failed and left a debt that Santee Cooper’s customers can ill afford to pay, especially low-income communities.
If you are hobbled by debt, you can’t lead the race to renewable energy.
While South Carolina has made progress, we are behind. We could lead the way.
We deserve clean, affordable energy and access to economic opportunity, both of which are necessary for growth. Unfortunately, Santee Cooper has not delivered.
Google is requesting to increase to 1.5 million gallons the maximum daily draw from the groundwater aquifer to cool the computers in its server farm in Berkeley County.
It is already permitted to draw up to 500,000 gallons each day. This is one-and-done water, used to cool its servers and then released to flow to the sea.
South Carolina would be better served if Google created a chiller to cool and recycle water to manage its servers, leaving groundwater for other uses such as agriculture in which it is allowed to flow back into the aquifer.
In a study conducted by Google, groundwater was deemed the best way to cool servers. That should be read as the least expensive way.
Using groundwater to cool servers may be the best alternative from Google’s perspective, but not from South Carolina’s. Groundwater is a scarce commodity. How, where and why it is used requires thorough study.
Long-term consequences need to be considered along with immediate needs. And it should be mandatory to consider alternatives to groundwater in all DHEC decisions.
Cat Tail Pond
Recently, the U.S. House passed a bill to ban the search for offshore oil and gas. The bill was led by Charleston Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham.
On Sept. 13, South Carolina’s Republican Gov. Henry McMaster stood beside Cunningham and announced his support.
This is a great example of bipartisan support for the cause of the environment.
Other areas, however, are in danger of oil and gas drilling and it is our duty to act.
The Arctic Refuge is one our nation’s last great wildernesses, home to threatened species such as the polar bear and the indigenous people of the Gwich’in Nation.
The administration is rushing to lease the area to exploration at the expense of science and sound process; the Interior Department is barreling forward with plans to explore drilling while ignoring the serious biological, cultural and climate impacts that fossil fuel extraction will have in the rapidly warming Arctic.
It is essential that Congress pass legislation to restore protections for the Arctic Refuge. This isn’t a bipartisan issue. It is a fight for human rights. Together we can prevent this disaster.
Nation in crisis
Today our country has reached a new crisis that threatens to destroy our democracy. It does not matter if you are a Republican, a Democrat or an independent if the country you love comes crashing down around you.
The Founding Fathers gave us a form of government unique in the world, and put in place checks and balances so that no one branch of the government could take control over the two others.
Today that position is threatened by an executive branch that believes it does not have to comply with these rules, and that the president is above the law.
If there is nothing being done wrong at the White House, then opening up to Congress for all Americans to see is the only way to set things straight.
It is time for our two senators to put aside their own political aspirations and agendas and follow the oath they took to defend the country and the Constitution of the United States. They swore they would do this when they took office and they and all of Congress needs to stand up now for our country to survive.
We do not need a dictator running America. The wheels have come off of the wagon, and we, the American people, are looking at our elected representatives to put aside party allegiance and serve the country. This is a crisis that cannot be ignored or explained away with sound bites. God help us.
A matter of math
My No. 1 question to elected officials in Charleston is “Can you count?”
I know that seems absurd, but we have a lot of evidence to suggest many are not able to use whole numbers.
Hint 1: For every new residential structure permitted to build, there will be at least one car.
Hint 2: How many cars can our current infrastructure handle?
I like the new folks who came here over the past 15 years, but they did not appear out of nowhere overnight.
Many of our elected officials have been in office that long and are acting surprised that a fallen power line shuts down Johns Island for a whole day. Really? Please resign.
Lack of grammar
The Oct. 2 Post and Courier had an article about paying college athletes.
When Clemson coach Dabo Swinney was asked to comment, he said, “I ain’t got no thoughts.”
Nor does he have any concept of correct grammar.