Letters to the editor
The recent articles in the Vail Daily concerning global warming, or “climate disruption,” as Mr. Saunders prefers to call it, are one more case of the hysterical fringe getting media attention while the more rational side of this important issue is ignored. The authors should be pleased that what media attention is devoted to global warming is all on his side. The common references to “scientific consensus” and “scientists are saying” (what scientists?) ignore the important distinction between growing scientific consensus about the occurrence of global warming and the complete lack of scientific consensus about its cause and, consequently, whether mankind can do anything to significantly alter the trend.There is large and growing scientific evidence of the fact of global warming, or significant climatic change. However, the Earth has experienced similar and much longer periods of global warming (and cooling) long before humans were burning hydrocarbon fuels. One might ask what was the cause of those warming periods? The hysterical fringe has already reached its unsupported conclusion that the climatic changes of the past 50 to 100 years are all due to human activities, most notably the burning of hydrocarbon fuels, choosing to ignore the question of what caused earlier periods of warming. Also, some of those earlier, and often much longer, periods of warming occurred in the midst of what we now know were longer-term cooling periods. The often cited evidence of the past 50 to 100 years constitutes a mere hiccup in this millennial trend.Yes, we should be concerned about the current period of climate change and its impact on our economy and lifestyle in Colorado. We should certainly do everything reasonable to limit the impact of human activity on the trend. But it is unlikely that anything within our power to do will have any significant impact on the millennial trend which has occurred numerous times in the past. The fact that Colorado produces more carbon dioxide emissions than 174 of the 212 nations in the world is another of those inflammatory but completely irrelevant statistics. Is it possible that most, if not all, of those 174 countries are physically much smaller, have a fraction of the population, and are economically un- or under-developed versus Colorado? Is there any substantial support for substituting our economic prosperity and lifestyle for that of, say, some tiny and isolated island nation?We will all benefit from a thorough, balanced and rational discussion of this issue in the media versus the one-sided hyperbole of the hysterical fringe represented in those two articles. Joe McHughBeyond the dollarMatt Zalaznick, I’m not sure if you are being cynical, or if you believe what you’re writing. For purposes of the letter I am going to assume you were sincere. I am pleased to hear your condo is worth more, but doesn’t that mean higher taxes for you also? Vail and Eagle Country sell “quality of life” experiences. People come here to escape their urban suburban existences elsewhere. I think Arn and Peter recognize this fact and are trying to do something about it. It’s a courageous move on their part. Two words can help define the situation: optimum and maximum. We have been steadily moving from from optimum development to maximum development for several years now. Maximum development can only degrade the quality of our lives here. More congestion, more pollution, more crime, more hit and run neighbors we really don’t know or understand until it’s too late, etc. The Eagle River is a classic example. How much more waste water (even if it’s treated) can the river handle, how many more rafts and kayaks, trout fisherman, etc., can we stuff onto this little river? It’s not dead, but I can tell you it looks pretty sick next to what it used to be. This brings up the issue of water. It seems we are promising water we may not have if the Lower Basin states choose to exercise their rights. Every “greedy” person in this county is scrambling for every drop they can get for development, horse pastures, etc., while the river gets more and more beat up. And one day in the not-too-distant future, someone is going turn on a tap and no water will come out. The citizens of Eagle County have to make a choice between the quality of their lives here and the size of their bank accounts. The powerful people in this county have mostly chosen to support their bank accounts. I think Arn and Peter are looking at something beyond the all mighty dollar, or maybe they just realize that when the quality of life drops below a certain level the businesses will suffer as well as the folks who love the wilderness. Maybe that’s why they are good choices as commissioners. Roger BrownGypsum Vail, Colorado
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