Letter: Climate disaster is on the horizon | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Climate disaster is on the horizon

Last summer’s wildfires are a preview of our world with catastrophic climate disruption. The Paris Climate Accord identified an upper limit for average temperature increase on Earth if we hope to maintain a climate at all similar to the one on which human life has developed. Parts of western Colorado have already reached that upper temperature limit. Currently, we are in an extreme drought with unprecedented demands for meeting our water obligations to those downstream.

Gov. Jared Polis has identified goals for reducing carbon emissions, the primary source of climate change. However, Colorado is currently falling far short of the necessary time line for achieving those carbon reduction goals. Regulations and mechanisms must be put in place to assure the incremental decreases in carbon emissions needed to achieve carbon neutral by 2050. Unless these goals are achieved, we have little hope of preventing uncontrollable climate disaster.

Colorado Senate Bill 21-200 to Reduce Greenhouse Gases and Increase Environmental Justice is a bill being considered in the Colorado Senate right now. It details how Colorado can successfully achieve the essential draw down of fossil fuel emissions in a sufficient period of time to actually have an impact on climate disruption.

This bill will put the governor’s climate road map into law. It builds on the sector-specific emission targets established in Polis’ Roadmap and adopted by the Air Quality Control Commission.

The degraded environmental conditions that result from emissions by oil and gas development disproportionately impact the communities who live and attend schools near them. Senate Bill 21-200 also provides for additional staff at the AQCC to address environmental justice, closes a loophole that lets polluters off the hook and sets specific rules for engaging communities who have historically been harmed by pollution. Senate Bill 21-200 will address this inequity as it creates a safer environment for us all.

Call or email our Colorado Sen. Bob Rankin at 303-866-5292 or bob.rankin.senate@state.co and ask him to support Senate Bill 21-200. Colorado must quickly and effectively regulate greenhouse gas emissions starting now.

Diane Brower

Steamboat Springs

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