Printed letters, January 11, 2013

I think it’s about time Grand Junction and Mesa County put their heads together and begin addressing the air-quality situation. We need the snow. We don’t need the air pollution.

It is counterproductive to economic development. It’s not responsible government to attract more people here without addressing this crisis.

Yes, it’s me again writing about our air quality.

Maybe The Daily Sentinel could begin posting information in a more influential manner than a little blurb on the bottom of page two. Maybe the paper should expose the dangers of being outside driving around and shopping.

Maybe there should be a story about the old days when you could cough out the chunks in the air because the size of particles were so large. To get these smaller-than 2.5 micron particles out, you have to cough out pieces of lung or let the particles deposit in your arteries. It affects your blood pressure, too.

As I write this, we have entered the unhealthy category. Sensitive people or not, it’s bad. Maybe this is what the two empty top floors of St. Mary’s Hospital are for. We’ll be dying to get in there.

A local weather celebrity recently said it amounted to ” a dumb thing a smart person wouldn’t do,” to say it was “OK to burn” when it wasn’t.

You have to look outside to understand weather. Continuing to burn didn’t lead to this problem. It comes from deeper ideological issues. That’s where the importance of reporting news comes to mind.

But that’s why we’re kept “tipped over” with guns, debts, taxes and birth certificates. Where do you think those people responsible for this are? They’re called “snowbirds” — the 2 percenters.

PAUL MULDOWNEY

Grand Junction

Valley citizens can pull 
together, fight inversion

Come on, people of the Grand Valley! I thought this area was known as the “banana belt.” Are we going to let this little inversion get us down? We are better than that. Are we going to let Mother Nature do this to us?

It is time to take control of this “nature” thing. Here is my four-point plan:

✓ Everyone in the valley who owns one of those orchard-saving windmills needs to go out there and point them down valley and crank them up. Blow that cold air out of here.

✓ All the farmers with open fields need to get out there and plow the snow off all that dark-brown dirt.

✓ All of the city and county governments need to either clear the snow off all those parks and other open spaces or cover them with black, heat-absorbing material — BHAM.

✓ The rest of us, all political parties and individuals included, will have to buy the remaining BHAM and also cover our snow. (Slanted roofs are exempted because we don’t need injuries.)

If you choose to clear the snow into piles, it will still need BHAM covering.

I’m not sure about the science, but my guess is if we cover all the white stuff to increase the thermal retention of heat, and if we blow the cold air down to Green River, we will gain the degrees in temperature necessary to defeat this stupid inversion.

Go, Grand Valley!

CHRIS BRUBAKER

Grand Junction

 

Energy industry should 
work to appease citizens

David Ludlam’s recent column opining about environmentalists’ hypocrisy and Victorian attitudes toward gas drilling lacks historical and most Coloradans’ perspectives.

Persons involved in the original 1970 Earth Day expected U.S. buildings’ electrical systems, space and water heating to be sourced from at least 60 percent renewables by the 1990s.

Dismay has turned to anger for them when, 42 years later, they see a less-than 10 percent utilization of clean energies, federal subsidies and tax breaks for extraction industries three times the amount of those for renewables, continuing air and water pollution and now, the disruption of the world’s climate.

Many Colorado valley ranchers, mountain-town recreationists and urban retirees never imagined that their areas would become pseudo-industrial sites, either. Many of these people chose to live in Colorado because of the natural environment, not because of industrial jobs. Of course, they don’t want dirty activities in their backyard.

I beg to differ with the claim environmentalists don’t recognize the need for gas drilling. Their furnaces, boilers, hot-water heaters and electricity only function on the gas source, and most have only one monopolistic supplier.

If they have little choice, one would think the gas industry would be appeasing citizens, not combating them with lobbyists, PR spinners and attorneys.

Industry should do as Ludlam suggests and use the best standards possible, not just begrudgingly make tiny changes after litigation occurs.

Best standards might include drilling only in areas that don’t impact residences, critical wildlife and watersheds; using only non-toxic, biodegradable fracking fluids; and limiting dust-creating road construction. Unfortunately, the overbearing profit motive will probably foster nothing but contentiousness between parties in Colorado’s future.

JOEL PRUDHOMME

Grand Junction



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