Dear Editor: It was ironic news that Madison had secured the nation’s first electric fire engine while at the same time the county airport announced its $85 million expansion.

We hope the fire engine will help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions by saving 20 gallons of fuel per day. Meanwhile, a single flight from Madison to Denver will consume 1,683 gallons of fuel. Considering the additional impact of aviation carbon dioxide emissions due to radiative forcing, that single flight will have the same impacts as consuming 5,049 gallon of fuel. If we actually want to fight global warming, we need to stop being penny-wise and pound-foolish.

There is more irony. The new fire truck will save lives and property for everyone. The airport expansion provides a convenience for affluent flyers whose fees can only be used for their benefit, but not for cleaning up the airport’s PFAS contamination of our drinking water and chain of lakes, or for much needed noise abatement for thousands of Madison residents. Besides buying electric fire trucks, perhaps the city could educate its employees and other county residents so they are discouraged from the urge to “fly local.”

Steven Klafka

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