Speak from the Heart, Tell the Truth and Admit if You Make a Mistake

13 Jun Speak from the Heart, Tell the Truth and Admit if You Make a Mistake

Last week  when I wrote that I was joining mayors along with university and business leaders in opposition to the US dropping out of the Paris Climate Agreement, I stepped a little out of the box by writing about what some call a “national or international issue.”

Some have queried as to why I would get into a “hot issue” over which a small city mayor has no control.  Though I do not follow Facebook, primarily because I believe it brings out the worst in people lashing out in one-way conversation about elected officials, a friend called to warn me. He asked, “Billy, why are they are beating you up so badly on Facebook over your opposition to pulling out of the Paris Agreement?”

I said, “John, I guess it’s because at an early age and throughout the more than 16 years in elected office I adopted the manta “Speak from the heart, tell the truth and be willing to admit mistakes if you make them.”

I believe the future of our environment is important to people who live in small cities. Since I was elected to the Legislature, I have stood up against the unsafe storage of low level nuclear waste in SC; I personally sued the Department of Energy  over the unsafe storage of high level nuclear waste at the Savannah River Site (the former bomb plant for those new to the area); I led the first of thirty city councils in SC to pass a resolution against seismic testing and drilling in our pristine coast; and I have supported the Coastal Zone Management Act. I took these actions because these issues are important to most who love our special quality of life.

I spoke from the heart and told what I believe to be the truth.  If I made a mistake it was only that I did not emphasize that diplomacy takes time and we should continue to lead the world by staying in the Paris agreement, continuing to bargain and leverage our dollars and influence to put sharper teeth into the agreement.

To learn more about the issue and hear what others have said as well go to:

Beaufort, Charleston mayors back Paris Accord. Will other Lowcountry leaders follow?