So, have other parts of the country simply gone nuts?

Why yes, yes, they have. Take the Sunshine State, the Land O’ Disney, for instance.

Florida’s new alimony law went into effect July 1 and the legislation does away with permanent alimony and sets a five-year limit on it. Also, the new law allows people paying alimony the ability to cut a new deal.

This is on top of the state’s new law allowing legally permitted firearms owners to carry their piece concealed without any further approval. Another law, the Pensacola News Journal noted, “According to the Protections of Medical Conscience bill (CS/SB 1580), ‘any healthcare provider or facility licensed under a dozen different statutes, including doctors, nurses, pharmacies, hospitals, mental health providers, medical transport services, clinical lab personnel, nursing homes and more’ may refuse services if they have a ‘conscience-based objection’ based on ‘a sincerely held religious, moral or ethical belief.’”


The good news is now you need a learner’s permit or a driver’s license to drive a golf cart in Florida, thanks to more recent legislation — our long national nightmare is over.

Not that I was planning a trip to Florida, but as long as they are leading the nation in the lunatic fringe point of view, I’m going elsewhere.

The real potential for change is absent in too many states and replaced with frequently far right concepts to preserve our “freedom,” whatever that means.

There are certainly real issues facing this country this summer, with one of the most prominent being climate change. The heat dome in the Southwest and huge forest fires to the north in Canada producing smoke-filled and dangerous air are just two examples. Just look at what is happening in Vermont, as well.

Massachusetts is certainly not perfect — after all we have a Legislature that can’t get a budget done on time — but at least we don’t make laws that are designed to propel us back into the 19th century.
In the ongoing attention-grabbing issue of transportation, folks in the eastern part of the state are grappling with MBTA issues and the shutdown of the Sumner Tunnel. I extend my condolences, but I’m hoping that something that could have significant effects on our carbon footprint is not overlooked by state officials.

The Department of Energy Resources has recently released a report that shows the Bay State has the land capacity to meets its 2050 decarbonization goals.

“Because of the amount of suitable solar potential identified, we can be aggressive with our solar policy while balancing land use priorities and protecting our natural resource,” the Department of Energy Resources noted in the report.

As the State House News Service reported, “State climate action plans released in 2022 estimate that between 27 and 34 gigawatts of solar energy would be required in 2050 to reach decarbonization goals, or more than 10 times the amount of solar currently installed in Massachusetts. Those few dozen gigawatts of solar energy are part of a broader effort, alongside building out reliance on wind and hydroelectric energy, to achieve net-zero carbon emissions statewide by 2050 as required by law.

“To meet these ambitious goals, the state will have to triple or quadruple its current annual rate of solar installations, researchers found,” the story added.

Rooftop solar panels, ground-mounted solar, canopy solar panels are the most likely applications of additional solar. “‘This study shows that with careful and coordinated planning and robust community engagement, the commonwealth can build the clean energy infrastructure needed for economy-wide, net-zero emissions by 2050 while avoiding most impacts to nature and people,’ said Steve Long, director of policy and partnerships at The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts. ‘We can both generate and transmit clean energy and meet our net zero goals while protecting sensitive natural and working lands and waters and the valuable benefits they provide including protecting biodiversity, enhancing climate resilience, and fostering natural systems to store and draw pollution from the air,’” Michael P. Norton and Sam Drysdale reported.

I hope that, unlike other state legislatures that are busy trying to fulfill the potential for turning the country into some sort of bizarro version of the United States, Beacon Hill can work to make Massachusetts a national leader switching to solar and continue the effort to combat climate change.