Printed Letters: March 25, 2014

Worries about snowshoe hares not based on science

It is understandable that a seemingly smart man hunting elk in the beautiful mountains of Colorado could get a little dizzy in his thinking. It’s not so easy to understand that the same man, months later, sitting at a computer keyboard, could still be dizzy in the head. Yet, it’s happened, as evidenced by Andrew Gulliford’s commentary that snowshoe hares may provide clues about climate change.

Apparently, Gulliford saw some white snowshoe hares where there was little snow and became alarmed that, indeed, climate change might be responsible. Never mind that in Colorado we are at the extreme southern edge of snowshoe range. Never mind that we might be experiencing a population high that pushes some hares out of their normal range where snow occurs. Never mind that it has happened for years. I shot the only snowshoes of my life in the winter of ‘76-‘77 when I lived in Gunnison; there was little snow, and they could be spotted from 300-400 yards and then stalked to shooting range.

I’d hazard a guess that if snowshoes have existed for 500,000 years (I’m not sure how long) that there have been thousands of years when they were white and there was little snow. I’d bet it even occurred in the ice ages they have lived through. I’d also bet that somewhere it occurs every year.

Gulliford’s main problem stems from the fact that his “evidence” is anecdotal and/or from small populations. Anecdotal is not “scientific,” and what is happening to a small population can be completely at odds with the population overall. So, his additional evidence of butterflies, frogs and flowers is not useful.

Gulliford should take a big breath and realize that the “settled science” isn’t. We are woefully ignorant of understanding climate change, and anecdotal evidence and small populations do not explain much of anything.

Grand Junction

Senators urged to introduce carbon fee and dividend bill

Thank you to Sens. Angus King, I-Maine, and Mark Udall, D-Colo., for participating with 26 other senators to stand #Up4Climate recently, instead of being in bed with the fossil fuel industry.

I grew up in Maine and now live in Colorado, and I know how much both of these beautiful states have to gain from legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions. King’s comments focused on protecting Maine’s lobster fisheries, because the crustaceans may move north into colder waters as the climate warms. Maine’s ski industry, maple sugaring, small farms and other industries also depend on a stable climate.

Colorado faces increasing wildfire danger and receding snowpack, yet possesses some of the best solar and wind potential in the country. The all-night climate change discussion fell short on policy solutions, but not to worry. Where the people lead, leaders follow, and Citizen’s Climate Lobby now has chapters in more than half of U.S. congressional districts, as well as in several foreign countries.

CCL is working with our legislators to pass a revenue-neutral, free-market carbon tax. Carbon fee and dividend, as it is called, is a policy proposal to tax fossil fuels at the source and return the money to American households.

A great next step for Udall, King and others who participated is to introduce a carbon fee and dividend bill in Congress.

More information on how to build the political will for a livable world is available


Unaffiliated House 54 candidate 
offers ‘earthy authenticity’

With all the interest to replace Republican Jared Wright as House District 54 representative, the candidate list is a plethora of options.

Wright is headed out the door, as he tries shedding all the negative baggage he brought with him and continues finding more. The former officer, who resigned rather than being fired, is struggling to show any kind of legislative effectiveness. He should’ve taken the advice of party leaders to withdraw from the 2012 campaign rather then eventually embarrass himself.

His Republican challenger, attorney Yeulin Willett, now in the race, appears to have the backing of some well-monied interest groups. Willett’s endorsers include former Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland, who two years ago was a nominator for Wright’s election to the ticket. She apparently sees Wright’s flaws of the past 12 months as a threat to maintaining a Republican hold on that seat.

Democrats took a pass two years ago. Political and valley newcomer Brad Webb of Palisade is now on the ticket. The vintner’s platform of the economy, jobs, natural resources and education echoes the campaign picture of all announced candidates.

A refreshing approach is that of unaffiliated candidate “J.J.” Fletcher. This successful blue-collar Palisade businessman recently shed “the ties that bind” from the Republican Party. The leadership did not look favorably on Fletcher’s announced candidacy as a Republican, and the powers told him he couldn’t win.

I salute Fletcher on his decision to go it alone with a shoestring campaign. After all, look at where the two-party system has brought us.

Fletcher brings to the campaign that honest and original “earthy authenticity” sorely lacking in today’s political arena. The two major parties are more interested in money, power and control than they are in governing for the people.

I’m confident Fletcher will represent me, rather than a political party.


Sentinel thanked for providing balanced look at op-ed issues

I am a regular subscriber in good standing and have been for more than 25 years. Thanks for including more than one side of the issues brought up in the op-ed pages.



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