Printed Letters: September 6, 2017
Why is climate change 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 re-evaluate new construction in endangered areas and to upgrade emergency services in all endangered areas. The State Department and Defense Department 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.
Appointment of commissioner to committee is concerning
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.
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.
Burdens on businesses are passed to 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.