To The Editor:

When I attended what I thought was going to be an official courtroom procedure this morning (Jan. 11), I was prepared to listen and learn how our judicial system works. I left Judge Robert Schollmeyer’s courtroom 10 minutes later dumbstruck by the judge’s lack of knowledge about the whole issue before him — toxic waste and climate change.

There is no debate anymore about climate change and the damage being done by burning fossil fuels. Judge Schollmeyer said “both sides” can find scientific evidence to support their claims. No they can’t. Not any more. I’m shocked that a man in a black robe with as much power as he has doesn’t know this.

After telling the audience that he was going to give us a “sixth-grade civics lesson,” he inarticulately told us that county commissioners get to make the decisions and he can’t do anything about that unless they do something “outrageous.”

That’s the whole point of citizens of Franklin County opposing a toxic waste dump in the Missouri River floodplain. It’s outrageous. Franklin County has one of the highest rates of cancer and lung diseases in Missouri. This is not about the canary in the coal mine anymore. The canary is already dead.

But the judge was right about one thing. The county commissioners are elected by the voters, so this must be what the people want. Ironically, “the people” are led to believe they enjoy low electricity rates when, in fact, the rates go up constantly.

Ameren Missouri makes huge profits, pays its managers millions in salary and benefits all the while pretending to be looking out for their customers. But, if this is what the voters want, so be it. The only sad thing is that those of us who did not vote for these county commissioners have to breathe the same polluted air and drink from contaminated wells right along with those who choose not to learn the facts, like Judge Schollmeyer.