Hearth belies larger issues | AspenTimes.com

Hearth belies larger issues

Dear Editor:

Thank you for injecting a much-needed debate into our energy-pollution dilemma in Aspen and Colorado (“Heat’s on over Aspen hearth,” Dec. 28).

At the same time, you’re invited to take it further. I visit Aspen every summer. Each time, I see hundreds of new homes being built. I see more traffic, more people, more congestion. With each house, more gas burns to heat water and light homes. More coal burns to create electricity. More cars burn gas. In other words, the hearth controversy belies a greater dilemma. No matter how much you conserve, energy use accelerates via population growth.

I invite Aspen and surrounding communities to engage in a debate to stabilize your communities by stopping all growth. Become the first community to engage an “Aspen Sustainable Population Policy,” “Aspen Water Usage Policy,” “Aspen Carrying Capacity Policy” and “Aspen Environmental Impact Policy.” How many people can the valley sustain in perpetuity? A limit exists, and either you live within it or suffer multiple consequences by exceeding it.

Colorado, at current immigration-driven, hyper-population growth, expects to add six million in 40 years. Those numbers portend a sobering future as to water shortages, air pollution, energy use, species extinction and quality of life issues ” to name a few. Let’s change the future toward a sustainable Aspen and Colorado so our progeny might enjoy a quality of life and viable existence. Otherwise, the hearth issue will prove the least of your problems.

Frosty Wooldridge

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