The heat of August began in May, and it has stuck around far longer than I would choose. The gazebo, where we spent so many pleasant hours last summer, is less inviting when the temperatures hover around 90 with sticky dew points. I am very spoiled with air conditioning in our home, cars, workplace, and stores. When India lost its power grid last week, I realized how dependent we are on everything that is powered by electricity.

The resources on which we depend are not renewable. Knowing that, we continue to exploit them, sacrificing tomorrow on the altar of today’s comfort and convenience. I applaud those who now heat and cool with geo-thermal or solar devices. Their immediate rewards are lower electric bills, but the long-term rewards belong to the environment.

In these last months before election day finally arrives, I want to hear some real discussion about clean air and water, about protecting the wilderness and its creatures, preserving the forests, reducing pollutants that have invaded our lakes and rivers, and providing a safe and healthy food supply for everyone. Safe neighborhoods are high on my list of priorities, as is support for our schools and for dedicated, hard-working teachers.

I know this country has caring people who share my concerns. We make progress toward peaceful, successful solutions in baby steps. All I can do is listen to what is and isn’t being discussed by politicians; then I will vote with my conscience, considering more than one or two issues that have divided our people as I cast my ballot.