Let’s keep climate change a community cause
August 31, 2006
Aspen knows how to argue, and in fact loves to argue. Witness the recent uproar about Paepcke Auditorium or the decades-long debate over the Entrance to Aspen. Aspen can pitch a community fit like few other towns.So it’s worthy of note when Aspenites agree on something. And judging from the city of Aspen’s public meetings this week on the subject of climate change, Aspenites are unified in wanting to combat the causes of global warming.They may argue about traffic, they may argue about leash laws, they may disagree vehemently about the pros and cons of growth and development. But Aspen residents appear willing to make sacrifices in order to reduce carbon emissions and do their part to slow or reverse global warming.This is good news on several levels.First, it’s a compliment to this community that residents are fired up about this issue. They have done enough homework and care enough about issues beyond their own front door that they’re willing to make carbon emissions a personal and community priority.Second, this community needs a bit of consensus. A common cause like this can remind us of the shared environmental values that help make this a great place to live, even as we tear one another’s hair out over construction noise and traffic jams.Third, Aspen is part of a growing consensus on climate change that will eventually drive national and global decision-making. As more cities, states, businesses and grassroots organizations make global warming a priority, so will our corporate chieftains in places like Detroit and our elected representatives in the alternate universe known as Washington, D.C.If Aspen can pitch a fit – and it certainly can – then Aspen can also make a statement. It makes environmental and economic sense for a ski town to make this kind of commitment. So let’s all do our personal best to reduce our fossil-fuel consumption, and support the city in its search for new and aggressive policies to combat global warming.