Vail Daily Editor Don Rogers: Just frogs in the pot |

Vail Daily Editor Don Rogers: Just frogs in the pot

Don Rogers
Vail, CO, Colorado

We cooking ourselves. Well, actually our children and their children.

We could fix it with only pennies on the dollar, or at least ease the effects of human-enabled global warming enough for humanity to survive past 2090.

But if we do nothing — or next to nothing — the ice will disappear, the sea level will rise 250 feet, we’ll have a permanent dust bowl in the Southwest including Colorado, and probably trigger some feedback loops such as the tundra releasing vast stores of more greenhouse gasses.

And oh yeah, the oil will run out.

We may well have just enough oil and other fossil fuels left to kill ourselves off, but not enough to maintain civilization as we know it.

This is not just happening. It’s happening faster than scientists who predict such things have predicted.

How’s that for the takeaway from a morning of presentations by a scientist, scholar, journalist and oil man during the Vail Valley Institute’s annual seminar in Vail? This year’s topic was prescient as usual: “Axis of Oil: Will energy be the political weapon of the future?”

I was out of town last week until dropping in on Friday morning’s session. So this reflection by no means attempts to sum up the whole seminar. Just the stuff that scared the hell out of me that morning.

So the tamer presentations by Oxford history Ph.D. John Ghavinian about Africa’s geopolitical position with oil and energy investor Thomas Petrie about peak oil and pricing were interesting enough. But I sat up for alarmist writer James Kunstler and physicist Joseph Romm, a leader in climate change science.

As Romm put it, you can ignore your doctor when he informs you that the diagnosis is diabetes, based on science. You do that to your peril, however.

The science for global warming is compelling, and the evidence so far shows it’s proceeding faster than forecast, not otherwise. The predictions are more than panning out.

Romm said it’s time now for humanity to get serious about global warming. After we get serious, for perhaps two decades, then we’ll get desperate. That’s when change will be forced upon us, he said.

Only it may be too late. If we stopped all human emissions right now, the earth still would warm, just not as much.

We’re the frogs in the pot, the water temperature only slowly heating even with warmer and cooler seasons. By the time we realize it’s hot, we’ll be cooked. Unless more of us are alarmed enough to do more now.

Don Rogers is the editor and publisher of the Vail Daily. He can be reached at or 970-748-2920. He welcomes your comments.

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