Email letters, August 15, 2013

Create a happy medium between drilling, protecting Mother Earth

There were five governors at the governors’ summit this summer in Aspen. All more or less were sitting astraddle of the fence on the subject of drilling and fracking for natural gas and oil. (In the end, you know what sitting astraddle of a fence will do.)

Following this news item was one showing protesters opposing all drilling in fracking for development of oil or gas.

The next new story following was the people on the corridor from Glenwood Springs to Aspen were elated over how their air-quality had improved since the public transportation buses had started to use compressed natural gas.

There has been drilling for oil and natural gas and production for more than 100 years. If it is so bad for the environment and Mother Earth, why hasn’t the sky fallen by now?

Not in my backyard. Can we have it both ways?

SCOTT WALCK
Grand Junction

Planet has seen changes in climate for thousands of years

The to the editor on Wednesday, Aug. 14, made me smile. What a great presentation of the division of opinions regarding “global warming” or “climate change.”

You have to love the never-ending parade of “consensus,” “scientists,” “experts”, “studies”, “models” and apparently qualified “facts” that both sides of this issue throw around like a puppy tossing a toy. An example is the phrase, “accepted by 97 percent of climate scientists.” And all this time I thought it was only accepted by 95.31 percent. Am I a dunce or what?

It appears that many have strong opinions based on so-called facts that are all centered upon mankind’s seeming massive influence on our entire planet – well, at least the climate. It’s a big planet and the planet has been here a really long time compared to the brief instant mankind has been around.

Before we (modern man – not historic man – historic man never seems to be included in any of the climate change “facts”) started supposedly “changing” things, the planet went through the equivalent of climate changes almost unimaginable to us. We’re on the warming side of one of those small changes now (mini ice age that began warming 10- to 12,000 years ago). Is there global warming? Absolutely! There has been for multiples of thousands of years – this time.

I find it hard to believe that we, as incredibly temporary inhabitants of this planet, have reached anywhere near the level of actions (i.e., burning carbon based fuels thereby emitting enough CO2 into the atmosphere) that will have a lasting impact on this great big planet.

I have nothing against anyone being eco-friendly. I do have a real problem with others attempting to dictate that I must be heavily taxed because others think they know so much about what they don’t know.

TOM HOWE
Hotchkiss

Deaf Camp Picnic was a huge success

Even though it has been a month, we’re still reeling in on the success of the return of Deaf Camp Picnic. The best part was the finale on Saturday, when all the performers got on stage to sing a few John Denver songs.

It hit us: “We did it.” And “we” doesn’t just refer to Aspen Camp and those who worked tirelessly behind the scene. It also refers to the volunteers, donors, partners, board members, family, friends, neighbors and those who came to the event.

Every great moment in history happened because of a team that shared the same passion. And this team made Deaf Camp Picnic successful. For that, we at Aspen Camp truly thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We can’t wait until next year!

One other thing: Because the event went so smoothly, we truly believe that John Denver was with us in spirit.

LESA THOMAS

Snowmass

Early morning cock-a-doodle-doos make neighbors peckish

My gosh! Clifton rooster owner, who are you to have a rooster within our busy, non-farm neighborhood? Your rooster, as you must know, begins his incessant, daily crowing at 4:30 a.m. and continues until, well… it is
presently 10:30 a.m., and he is still at it.

How can you disregard the entire neighborhood’s right to sleep? We live in a full neighborhood where there are laws regarding nuisance animals. Your rooster is no less annoying than is nuisance dog barking.

While many may understand why you might wish to own hens so to collect eggs, to own a rooster while residing in a neighborhood such as ours is nothing less than completely rude. Please rid our neighborhood of the noisy bird, or else be aware that Animal Services will surely do so for you.

JILL JOHNSON
Clifton

Determining acceptable level pf risk in fracking is key

I agree with the recent writer who urged the North Fork to get the facts on fracking before opposing fracking for natural gas in our valley. 

A good place to start is on the Internet with a Google search on “fracking dangers.” Once you scroll down through the gas industry-paid sites, you come to thousands of sites to “non-industry” articles outlining the monumental danger fracking can cause to the air, water, land and thumans, like us, who inhabit this land.

You will find credible articles reporting damage to drinking water sources, seismic activity created by fracking causing earthquakes, air pollution from fracking chemicals creating greater risks of serious health problems and many other bad outcomes.

Keep in mind as you analyze the divergent conclusions that the gas industry is making billions from drilling wells all over the United States.  There is so much gas being produced in our country that we are building export terminals so that Liquid Natural Gas can be exported to Asia and other international destinations.  Plus in Asia, they pay four times as much for the American gas as we have had to pay so far. 

The real question, based on the conflict between “facts,” is to decide what the acceptable level of risk is for you.  Check out the facts, evaluate the source of the facts and then make up your own mind. 

If you are looking for a compromise, consider the North Fork Alternative Plan that seeks to allow fracking in specific areas yet protects the current agricultural, coal and tourist economy by designating certain areas where gas exploration and fracking are prohibited. 

MICHAEL MCCARTHY
Hotchkiss

Republicans prefer to demagogue Obamacare
Dr. Michael Pramenko’s guest column – “Affordable Care Act is grounded in principles once endorsed by GOP” (Aug. 11) – and today’s timely editorial – “Obamacare at risk?” – accurately bracket the real threat to affordable health care for millions of Americans:  unprincipled partisanship.


If “the law’s problems” are only “growing pains” typical of any grand new government program, then Congress is remiss for not already “tweaking” the Affordable Care Act to quickly ameliorate them.  If those problems are more serious, then Congress is derelict for not intervening to avert the predicted “train wreck.”


As Pramenko explained, in addition to the financial collapse and two wars President Obama inherited from his Republican predecessor, he also faced accelerating health care costs impelled by profit-driven providers and health insurer’s who gouged their insured’s while investing millions in “death panels” devoted to denying claims.


Because rising premiums and health care costs threatened to bankrupt the “middle class” and Medicare/caid, “doing nothing” was never a choice.  Liberals wanted “Medicare for All” – a “public option” that would have freed employers from health insurance costs, raised taxes, and essentially eliminated private health insurance companies.


Republicans long-advocated a more market-driven approach — which co-opted existing for-profit insurers by imposing individual/employer “mandates,” was successfully implemented in Massachusetts (“RomneyCare”), and was the model for “ObamaCare.” 


Now, hypocritical House Republicans are reluctant to hold oversight hearings on the implementation of “Obamacare” – lest doing so publicly promulgate its benefits and confirm that recent “problems” are ultimately insignificant.  These saboteurs — including Scott Tipton —would rather demagogue “ObamaCare” for partisan political advantage than fix it. 


Instead, irresponsibly opportunistic Republicans are cynically inciting intergenerational divisiveness between younger/healthier Americans — whose premiums are essential to the “risk pool,” and older/sicker Americans (and especially, women) — who are already benefiting from access to more affordable health care.


BILL HUGENBERG
Grand Junction



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Those “scientists” and “experts” that believe in “climate change” caused by “global warming” of which human’s are a major cause, include: American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Chemical Society, American Geophysical Union, American Medical Association, American Meteorological Society, American Physical Society, The Geological Society of America, International academies: Joint statement, U.S. National Academy of Sciences http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus. Even Chevron and Shell (which notes: “Government action is needed and we support an international framework that puts a price on CO2, encouraging the use of all CO2-reducing technologies.”) http://www.shell.com/global/environment-society/environment/climate-change.html

Regarding Climate Change…

The last “Ice Age” began around 110,000 years ago and peaked around 22,000 years ago. If it took 88,000 years going into it, it is reasonable to believe that we are still coming out of the last ice age and temperatures are going to climb due to the natural cycle of ice ages. We humans are much more aware of clock time rather than deep time. The short period of time that we have been tracking the climate change is a drop in the bucket. Man may be contributing a tiny bit to the warming, but mother nature is doing almost all of it. Sorry, but we can’t control mother nature…yet. We will just have to learn to adapt. After all, the current state of man has only been around for approximately 10,000 years.


Regarding balance in energy development… I’m all for it.

If only the uncompromising extremist environmentalist movement knew the definition of the word COMPROMISE…we might be able to reach an agreement. Unfortunately too many of them complain about carbon footprints while their own car exhausts and home heater and wood stove vents continue to contribute to the so-called problem. These people are too young to remember the smog levels in L.A. and Denver during the 1960’s & 70’s. We have come light-years in cleaning up our environment since then.

If the greenie extremists want access to heat, light and gasoline, then they need to allow reasonable development. If all they want to do is stop all development…cut off their access to energy!

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