Letter: Cleaning up the mess we have | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Cleaning up the mess we have

There seem to be more frequent global disasters, social upheavals and catastrophic climate events occurring these days:

  1. Mega droughts.
  2. Increased asthma from poor air quality.
  3. Massive floods.
  4. Prolonged heat waves.
  5. Regional and global forest fires.
  6. Stronger and more frequent hurricanes.
  7. Faltering economies due to changing weather patterns.
  8. Global migration and immigration of climate refugees.
  9. Toxic industrial oil, gas and coal energy production.
  10. Global climate-related pandemic impacts.
  11. Faulty politically driven decisions.
  12. Floundering agriculture communities due to changing weather patterns.

At one time, these were events that happened some other place to someone else and did not impact the rural, isolated Yampa Valley.  But now we have:

  1. Our 10th year of drought.
  2. Poor air quality from oil, gas, coal and fires.
  3. A forest fire 10 miles from here.
  4. Migration from big cities to our rural valley.
  5. Unprecedented high temperatures.
  6. Water calls on the Yampa Valley River Basin.
  7. Climate impacts to our tourist economy.
  8. A pandemic made worse by uncertain climate changes.
  9. Partisan political decisions by our Republican officials and elected representatives.

We can no longer deny or avoid the climate science because we are we now experiencing what has been predicted.  We have our own personal first-hand experiences to reinforce what the scientists have been telling us all along.

The question now is what will we do?  We can recycle, reduce the use of plastic bags and compost. While all these activities are admirable actions that feel good, the 800 pound gorilla in the room that causes most of our problems is our fossil fuels consumption and inefficient use of energy. Our love of personal mobility, travel and large inefficient buildings and houses contributes more than half of our carbon footprint, according to the recent Routt County greenhouse case inventory. 

The present administration in D.C. and our Republican Colorado representatives have stood in the way of solving these problems for many decades, especially in the last 4 years. Saving our planet and our valley from the impacts of climate change we are now experiencing should be non-partisan. Yet once more, the Republican Party puts itself first in order to maintain their unrepresentative government, and the country’s needs come last.

It is election year, and it is time to deal with direct climate impacts that we are experiencing in the Yampa Valley. Voting for Joe Biden and the state Democrats will be the first step in cleaning up the mess we have now.

John Spezia
Routt County

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