An electric vehicle charging station on top of the Riverfront Garage on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019, Albany, N.Y. (Will Waldron/Times Union)

An electric vehicle charging station on top of the Riverfront Garage on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019, Albany, N.Y. (Will Waldron/Times Union)

Will Waldron

As the owner of an electric car, I’m not affected by the “Demand for used vehicles surging amid pandemic,” Sept. 8, but this is bad news for the environment.

A used, low-mileage sport utility vehicle could be good for getting a pandemic-weary family out of the house without relying on public transportation, but their choice is a terrible choice for the planet.

It is time for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to exercise some of the exemplary leadership he demonstrated in confronting COVID-19 to fight the on-going climate crisis by supporting planet-friendly alternatives to gas-guzzling cars. He must take on a leading role in the Transportation Climate Initiative, a regional effort to raise money for clean energy transportation projects, including electric vehicle charging stations and improved public transportation.

The pandemic will eventually end, one way or another, but climate change is a long-term, existential threat: the greenhouse gases in our atmosphere relentlessly accumulate at a rate of about two and half parts per million a year. This rate of increase is more than 100 times faster than the increase that occurred when the last Ice Age ended. We see the effects of a warming planet in the growing intensity and frequency of horrific wildfires, floods and droughts, as scientists have predicted. 
 
We need Cuomo to muster the political will to budget for a livable future now. As Paul Fisk recently advised in his commentary (“Remember realities of climate crisis when casting vote,” Sept. 3), voters need to remember the reality of the climate crisis when casting their votes and “…think of what’s happening at the poles when you go to the polls.”

Alden Pearl
New York City



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