Letter: Aspen is green with hypocrisy
December 18, 2013
I am one of many "little people" who commute from Munchkinland, upvalley to the lovely Emerald City — our goal, to serve the fine people of Emerald City, and eke out enough of a living that we too might continue to enjoy the beauty and fun of this great valley.
At the risk of offending the "green movement" which so permeates our Emerald city, I would like to remind you that not all that is green is good. For I fear that the Grinch (the mean, green Christmas fiend) has taken up residence in this city that we all so dearly love.
It was brought to my attention just last week that, in an effort to save the earth and keep it green, the mayor of Emerald City and all his fine wizards have once again made it their mission to "search and destroy" anyone who has the audacity to idle their engines for more than five minutes.
While I understand the motivation behind such an effort, I would like to remind those green enforcers that for the last two weeks or more, we have been grappling with sub-zero temperatures. (And, what is global warming, again?) Now granted, our engines may be able to warm up within five minutes (maybe), but expecting we munchkins to drive up and downvalley with our little hands frozen to the steering wheel and our breath frozen to the windshield — well, that's simply wicked as the witch of the west.
You all speak a good story when it comes to reducing carbon emissions, but words and actions are usually two different things.
So, let's talk about carbon print, why don't we? Because I don't think you can blame the altitude for the height of this town's hypocrisy.
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1. You've put an HOV lane on a road that runs directly past an airport having more private jets than probably any other town in the country. And then, as if that's not enough, directly in front of that airport's entrance, you've installed a traffic light designed to punish those who, for whatever reason, have the need to commute alone.
2. You've joined ranks with those who are bent on reducing our fossil-fuel usage, while totally tolerating (if not encouraging) the ever-growing number of mountain-side mega-mansions, all of which consume unfathomable amounts of oil, gas and electric, even when most of them are empty 90 percent of the time.
3. You whine about the number of vehicles clogging up your streets, and then decry the noise of the very RFTA coaches that alleviate much of the traffic.
Now I realize that many of you Emerald City folk would be ecstatic if we munchkins were able to provide you with our service, and then simply disappear from your fine town. However, until you provide us with a fleet of flying monkeys, or devise a way for us to click our heals together and magically be home, we munchkins have no alternative but to head upvalley in our vehicles, thereby "polluting" this pristine valley with our tiny, carbon footprints.
The day-glow elephant in the room that nobody wants to see — that all the carbon footprints of we munchkins combined would probably not even fill the little toe of the carbon footprint of many of the residents of this town.
The manner in which the richest of our community get a free pass when it comes to things green has not gone unnoticed, while we little folk are constantly being held to a ridiculously unreasonable standard.
It begs being said that perhaps the only thing green about Aspen is its money.
Cheryl "Ollie" Natale
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