Email Letters: September 5, 2017

It’s questionable whether commissioner can deliver sound scientific advice

Montrose county commissioner Glen Davis has said that he doesn’t believe that global warming is being caused by human activity but instead by the presence of sunspots.

Davis was recently appointed to a four-year term on the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests Resource Advisory Committee. One of the functions of the committee is to provide advice and recommendations for projects proposed for funding. Anyone who values scientific research as part of the decision making process should be concerned about the appointment of Davis. With his thought process it is questionable whether he is capable of delivering sound advice regarding the health of our forests.

DAVID RYAN
Montrose

Financial burdens thrust on businesses are passed on to the consumer

Just hoping everyone understands all the unending financial burdens thrust on American businesses from all levels of government are passed on to you, the consumer, through higher prices. We business owners have no choice and the government burdens just won’t stop increasing. So when you look at your high cost of living and then think of the unnecessary name change of North Avenue, just remember it’s you who will pay for it. And all for what, to make a few people and progressives feel good? I’m proud of Colorado Mesa University but for the sake of all our pocketbooks, somewhere these endless burdens on business need to stop or I guarantee the skyrocketing cost of living on all of us never will.

MIKE BAMBINO
Grand Junction

Hurricane is the latest of a continuous flow of warnings being sent to us

Has anyone noticed – in this day of climate change believers and deniers – that Hurricane Harvey, one of the most devastating hurricanes on record in terms of loss of life and property, came ashore with destructive force and flooding severe enough to wipe out over half of the petroleum industry along the Gulf Coast? This industry produces the product, which is a major source of the pollutants that cause global warming and the dying of our planet. Is Mother Nature telling us something?

This hurricane is the latest of a continuous flow of warnings being sent to us: extreme weather, melting of the ice caps, rising temperature of the oceans, death of the coral reefs, ocean dead zones off our coasts, mass extinction of animals, fire and drought, etc., etc.

By failing to take heed, are we as a species genetically stupid?

ROBERT A. TALLARICO

Grand Junction

How bad does it have to get before we address climate change?

Like most, I am saddened by the devastation in Southeast Texas from Hurricane Harvey and uplifted to hear how so many are helping with relief efforts.

I am also saddened by the lack of leadership and action from our government to address the factors that worsened the flooding from Harvey – climate change. Michael Mann, a distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Pennsylvania State University, explains the cause-effect of climate change and severe weather patterns. When there is an increase in sea temperatures, the warmer water increases moisture content in the atmosphere. That increased moisture feeds a weather system, like a hurricane, increasing potential for greater rainfalls and flooding. He states “Harvey was almost certainly more intense than it would have been in the absence of human-caused warming, which means stronger winds, more wind damage and a larger storm surge.” He concludes “While we cannot say climate change “caused” Hurricane Harvey, we can say is that it exacerbated several characteristics of the storm in a way that greatly increased the risk of damage and loss of life. Climate change worsened the impact of Hurricane Harvey.”

How bad does it have to get before we address climate change? The cost of doing nothing is totaling billions in severe storm damage. I ask our congressional leaders Sen. Cory Gardner, and Sen. Michael Bennet to support legislation to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. I ask Rep. Scott Tipton to join the 52 member bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the house.

SUSAN ATKINSON
Durango

We need to back the badge and support issue 1A in November

Picture for a moment, to the extent you can, what it is like to be a police officer or sheriff’s deputy. Most of us can’t. Most of us simply have no way of knowing what it is like to go to a job every day in which you put on a uniform and a badge which, although you do so with immense pride, you know makes you a target. And then you hit the streets, not knowing what awaits you, but knowing that it could be the worst humanity has to offer. You stop a car for a traffic violation, not knowing if the driver will produce a gun instead of his license and insurance. You respond to a domestic disturbance and approach the house not knowing how many are inside, what weapons may be present, or the mental state of those involved. You deal every day with the knowledge that just by doing what you do, you are risking your life.

These are issues common with law enforcement officers everywhere. But in Mesa County, our cops not only have to deal with these common professional stresses, but they are exacerbated by the facts that more crimes are being committed, while fewer resources and street officers are available. Entering a dangerous situation is stressful enough as it is – how much worse must it be entering such a situation alone and not knowing how soon backup might arrive because the funding isn’t available to keep an appropriate number of officers on the street?

Our local law enforcement deserves the support of the community they serve. They expose themselves willingly to grave danger so we can stay safe. A few extra cents on a hundred dollar purchase is not too much to pay to say “thanks.” We need to back the badge and support issue 1A in November.

MELANIE BALLEWEG

Grand Junction

Ask yourself why climate change is a political issue

I have just returned from a recent road trip to Jasper National Park in Alberta. On the way north we saw our first forest fire in Montana. Two weeks later fires were burning in Jasper, Banff, Kootenay, and Glacier National Parks, as well as on forest service land in Idaho and Utah. Arriving home, after (blessedly) being out of phone and internet range, we learned of the Houston flood. Although no single event can be convincingly tied to planetary warming all of the events are consistent with the effects expected of a warming Earth.

So, I wondered what if, instead of finding that human consumption of fossil fuels was a significant driver of warming, scientists ruled that cause out and found that an increase in solar radiation was the cause. Would that have become a political issue? Would we still be arguing with thermometers? Personally, I don’t think so. I think we would have acted together as a nation to come up with a plan to identify the most at-risk regions of the country and planned steps to mitigate the dangers to them. A responsible government would have formed a high level task force to put in place infrastructure changes; to reevaluate new construction in endangered areas and to upgrade emergency services in all endangered areas. The State Department and DoD would have been tasked with evaluating how planetary warming might affect allies and non-allies and stress unstable governments.

If you think my argument is reasonable, ask yourself what’s the difference between those two scenarios. Ask yourself why the most powerful part of our government is still arguing with thermometers.

GARY STETLER
Grand Junction

Mesa County should live up to its potential for solar energy

Mesa County has so much potential. After reading “Groups question oil, gas leases in BLM ‘solar areas’” it had me questioning why we don’t already have more renewable energy development in Mesa County. As the article points out, “the BLM statistics indicate it has approved enough renewable energy projects to power 7 million homes (nationally), and that BLM-approved projects that have become operational since 2011 have provided 9,000 construction and operations jobs and $13.8 billion in capital investments.” Let’s get some of that here!

Colorado is a leader in renewable energy, with investments in wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and small hydroelectric. Let’s get on board with renewable energy development so we can see the benefits in our community. With 300 days of sunshine, what a great place for some more solar panels! I would hate to see Mesa County fail to live up to that potential for more solar energy.

THERESA V. OTERO

Fruita

A balanced energy portfolio in Mesa County is a good thing

The Sentinel’s article on Aug. 29 about oil and gas leases on BLM land that would eclipse solar areas highlights the importance of having balanced energy development in Mesa County. As it is right now, the vast majority of the energy development in Western Colorado is focused on oil and gas, which has subjected our economy to the boom and bust cycles that come with oil and gas prices. Let’s be frank. We lack balance, and as a community we will continue to have some oil and gas development, but we also need to balance it with renewable energy development so we aren’t so vulnerable to boom and busts.

The article details several areas with solar energy potential, identified by the BLM as “solar emphasis areas,” including two areas are just outside of Mack and Fruita. If developed with solar energy, the electricity could power our homes and businesses and bring in jobs. As a domino effect, embracing solar energy development would aid in attracting new businesses to make Grand Junction their home which would bring about a stead uptick in economic growth year to year. According to the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, we are already seeing interest from new businesses looking to locate here but many delay or choose not to due to a poor school district or a lack of a potential workforce. We can fix these issues by stewarding our resources wisely.

If we lease everything to oil and gas development, then we eliminate potential for all other renewable energy. You simply can’t have a bunch of oil and gas wells and infrastructure, and a solar energy facility, on the same piece of land. It is time we support renewable energy and help our energy economy to diversify.

PRISCILA RAMOS
Fruita

Why bother with fixing potholes when the streets are still full of manhole depressions?

The council is doing a good job in improving the quality of our road surfaces. Gradually, the potholes are diminishing. What aren’t diminishing are the deeper and deeper manhole cover holes. When I have to make a decision on what to avoid while driving in Grand Junction something is very wrong when the decision is to hit a pothole instead of a deep manhole cover hole. Why bother with fixing potholes when the streets are still full of manhole depressions, which seem to get deeper and deeper with ongoing street “maintenance?”

Hitting any holes definitely affects the suspension of your car negatively. And it ain’t cheap fixing the damage!

It has been suggested that I send a list of roads so degraded. That is not a reasonable suggestion since I seem to find them all over town. And, by the way, they are everywhere and not in a straight line so it is like trying to drive through an obstacle course to try to avoid them.

So, to start the ball rolling, here are two streets I drive frequently that need help badly: most of the entire length of South Camp Road. There seems to be some question as to whose responsibility this is, the city or county. Get together and decide and get it fixed.

The second candidate is 3rd street between Grand and Main Streets. I think that is undeniably city territory.

Both the city and county should survey all urban roads in the area. Why bother with potholes when manhole cover depressions are deeper in far too many roads and streets? It can be handled in a commonly used fashion but it, admittedly, will cost money. The question remains – why bother with the potholes when manholes probably are causing more damage to citizens’ cars? Isn’t that why potholes are fixed? Or is it a cosmetic thing to prove that streets are being maintained?

JOHN BORGEN
Grand Junction

Sentinel’s editor missed the point of readers’ objections

The comments of the Editorial on Sept. 1 again tell us that the editor completely missed the point of the objections from the readership regarding the cartoon published on Aug. 31. While the editor admits it was insensitive to the residents of the Houston area, he totally disregards the fact that the sole purpose of that cartoon was meant to be a demeaning attack on the president and his administration, which he and his staff seem to do at every opportunity either with the paper’s editorial comments or those they choose to publish from the outside news sources the Sentinel subscribes to.

To prove the point, on this very same day he chose to publish another cartoon meant to demean the president but determined that the news concerning the president donating $1 million of his personal money to the relief efforts in Texas be reduced to a mere snippet on page 10 under Sentinel Wire Services.

Mr. Editor, your job is to have the Daily Sentinel report the news in a balanced manner, not to “nudge” your readers out of their comfort zone and into a political philosophy or leaning. You apparently don’t recognize the fact, though some may disagree, the majority of your readership is conservative and looks to The Daily Sentinel to be an honest and evenly balanced news source.

MS. J.C. SMITH
Grand Junction


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