Letter: Routt GOP’s ‘do nothing’ approach to climate change is a missed opportunity

I’m disappointed. The Routt County Republicans had a half page opinion piece in the Pilot & Today related to climate change and the “costs” of Routt County’s Climate Action Plan. There are many excellent conservative thinkers and policy experts, so I was hopeful that what we would read in the article would be policy alternatives to that plan.

It’s good that climate change was recognized as “real” in the piece, but there was a quick pivot to the statement that there is “no consensus” on the human impact. (They are right. There is not 100% consensus of all climate scientists. However, the vast majority fall squarely in the “humans have a huge impact” camp.)

Instead, what we read was the old laundry list of “what’s wrong with wind and solar,” and the “other countries are going to keep emitting” argument, and “the models are unreliable” statement. (As an aside, I have performed modeling for the oil and gas industry. I know how complicated modeling is. It’s difficult to get to know if you have the “right” answer. However, sometimes you’re satisfied understanding the range of possibilities.)

So, what is being advocated in that opinion piece? Do we really need to split hairs on whether climate change results in one or three fewer months of ski season (and the resultant one to three additional wildfire months) with its economic impact in Routt County? Are we to play a game of chicken with other countries to see who will blink first and reduce their emissions unilaterally?

Do we say “It can’t be done” and leave the potential consequences to our descendants? Or, do we innovate ways to address some of the challenges of renewables? Do we create new industries around this effort and help other nations implement them? Do we set an example for other countries and implement policies that move us in the needed direction with the least amount of disruption?

Unfortunately, the conclusion seems to be that we ought to do nothing. Business as usual is advocated as the best course of action. This is a missed opportunity. Einstein said: “We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”

Another way to think of it is: “You keep doing the same things and you’ll get the same results.” I hope we can do better.

Ron Wackowski

Steamboat Springs

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