We must curtail more than fossil fuels in climate battle

We have reduced our carbon footprint by curtailing travel and our thermostat. We recycle. But we can do so much more by cutting our consumption of animal meat and milk products. Yes, that.

A recent article in The Guardian argues that animal agriculture is a major driver of climate change, as well as air and water pollution, depletion of soil and water resources, and destruction of wildlife habitats. Oxford University's prestigious Food Climate Research Network reports that solving the global warming catastrophe requires massive shift to plant-based eating. The Netflix feature Seaspiracy documents the devastating environmental impacts of the fishing industry.

In an environmentally sustainable world, we must replace meat, fish, and dairy products with vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, and grains, just as we replace fossil fuels with wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources.

Each of us has a unique opportunity to heal our planet by transitioning to plant-based eating. We can begin with the 1-minute NY Times diet quiz. Then, let's celebrate Earth Day by checking out the rich variety of plant-based meat and dairy products at our supermarket. The internet offers ample advice and recipes.



Grand Junction

Wildlife highway crossings good for animals and humans

As a conservation biologist for Rocky Mountain Wild, I have seen firsthand how wildlife highway crossing structures improve the safety of our roads for wildlife and humans alike. For the last five years, I have worked with a team to monitor the effectiveness of the recently built wildlife crossing structures, which includes five wildlife underpasses and two overpasses as well as wildlife exclusion fencing and escape ramps, on State Highway 9 between Silverthorne and Kremmling.

Prior to construction, wildlife-vehicle collisions accounted for 60% of all accidents reported to law enforcement. Our research shows that these structures have been successful at reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions by 90%. Moreover, we have documented nearly 113,000 successful crossings by mule deer, in addition to those made by elk, bears, mountain lions, moose, bighorn sheep, pronghorn and even river otters.

The governor’s proposed 2021 budget, which is being considered by the Colorado Legislature, includes funding and resources for the protection of wildlife corridors and improvement of highway crossings in Colorado. Pursuant to Gov. Polis’s Executive Order 2019-011, it also creates a new position at Colorado Parks and Wildlife to coordinate closely with CDOT and identify opportunities for future highway crossing projects. This investment would not only improve wildlife conservation outcomes and public safety, it would also save money. Coloradans currently spend $80 million per year on wildlife-vehicle collisions. Wildlife crossing structures pay for themselves quickly through collisions avoided.

This investment would make Colorado’s a national leader in wildlife corridor conservation and provide a future where highway travel is made safer for all Coloradans and our guests.


Conservation Biologist/Habitat Connectivity Lead

Rocky Mountain Wild


Negative entertainment or positive results?

Thank you for your front page Easter Sunday promotional piece on U.S Rep. Lauren Boebert and her enablers. As the article implies, Boebert is not the craziest person in Congress as so many seem to think. That distinction currently belongs to U.S. Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia). Both women are vying for the title of the “AOC” of the extreme alt-right wing of the Republican Party. But unlike U.S. Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, neither has even attempted to accomplish anything for their constituents. They are both entirely focused on self-promotion and being in the limelight. They achieve this primarily by spreading misinformation.

For all of you who received $1,400 (or more!) checks recently, keep in mind that Boebert tried to stop you from receiving those. The biggest federal financial benefit for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District in at least the last five years and Boebert did not want her constituents to have that benefit.

So, the question now is what do the voters of the 3rd CD want for the future? Do you want to continue with the phony “conservative darling” who may be entertaining but ineffective, or would you rather have a competent, caring representative who can make things happen at the federal level for the benefit of western Colorado? Negative entertainment or positive results?

You have a little over one year to decide.



No matter what you call it, a lie is still a lie

Even though the number of us who remember anything about Nazi propaganda in general or Joseph Goebbles in particular is rapidly dwindling, I agree with Rick Wagner that the term "Big Lie" is a poor choice to describe the myriad of lies that were promulgated about the 2020 election results. Even a whiff of comparison to the horror that was Nazi Germany is totally inappropriate.

But lies they are and they deserve a name that reflects their magnitude and severity. I suggest the term "Mother of All Lies" for the collection of them, since they have spawned all of the lies about the need for laws to protect "election integrity" in states where it has been proven over and over again that there were no real problems with fraud during the election in the first place."Election integrity" in this case is just poorly disguised code for "if voting is more available and we can't overrule the results, we lose."


Grand Junction

There's more we can do along lines of police reform

Thank you Councilwoman Stout and Chief Shoemaker and others on the Impact Council for looking into “police” reforms. (“Relief over Chauvin guilty verdict”  by West and Burky)

But until there is concrete implementation along the lines of the Human Rights Watch recommendations, we will continue with the same societal problems. Human Rights Watch make 14 recommendations for police reform:

1. Reject overly aggressive policing tactics like “stop and frisk.”

2. Decriminalize the possession of drugs for personal use.

3. Explore the establishment of voluntary non-law enforcement and rights-based violence prevention programs.

4. End any police involvement in enforcing immigration laws.

5. End any police involvement with people experiencing mental health crises.

6. Remove permanent police presence in schools.

Investing in communities to advance public safety and equal rights

7. Prioritize social services and community development on impoverished neighborhoods over funding for police:

• Develop and preserve affordable housing and social services instead of policing homelessness

• Provide community-based volunteer drug treatment and harm reduction services, instead of policing drug use.

• Maintain effective, supportive, and voluntary mental health services, instead of responding to mental health issues with policing.

8. Provide sufficient and adequate health care, education and job-training services for all people in jail and prison and for people upon their release and re-entry in to the community.

9. Improve the quality of schools in impoverished communities, including funding quality after school, pre-school and child care programs for youth.

10. Fund, promote and encourage local initiatives and enterprises that provide employment, training, education a, and recreation for people in impoverished communities and for formerly incarcerated people.

11. Vastly reduce pretrial incarceration so that only those accused of serious crimes and found to pose a specific danger to others can be held in custody.

Developing independent accountability and oversight mechanisms

12. Establish independent community oversight bodies, with full access to police records, subpoena power, authority to conduct investigations and the power to discipline officers and command staff.

13. Collect data on police activities, disaggregated by race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability , and other relevant demographic markers, and make it public.

14. Remove federal and state legal immunities that protect law enforcement officers from liability, as well as laws that keep police misconduct records inaccessible to the public.

From “A Roadmap to Re-imagining Public Safety in the United States”


Grand Junction