An 18-step program for climate action
I listened to public comments on the Pitkin County commissioners’ Climate Emergency Resolution, which included an impassioned protest not to listen to a “bartender” … “bartender!” for advice.
Well, seriously, who hasn’t? This was after our younger citizens quoted Greta Thunberg’s UN speech. As Ms. Thunberg has repeated and repeated, “Listen to the science.” If your bartender happens to have a PhD in climate science, well, then, you’re in Aspen.
There are plenty of things each of us can do on an individual level but that is not enough and that’s the point of a “climate emergency.”
What’s our climate action? Here are a few ideas:
1. Make all county- and city-owned vehicles electric or hybrid (incentivize EV purchases through HOV access and free parking).
2. Make all county- and city-owned owned properties net zero.
3. Carbon tax all jet fuel at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport.
4. All energy supplied to county/city buildings and new construction must be from renewables.
5. Ban all single-use plastics and micro plastics from retail vendors in the county/city.
6. Use recycled plastic as paving material.
7. Plant trees to mitigate for every habitat area which has been destroyed for roadways (the roundabout springs to mind).
8. Build wildlife bridges over roadways.
9. Protect wildlife corridors (do not allow human encroachment — houses and/or ski trails).
10. Reduce the number of trails (foot, bike and motorized) through wildlife habitat.
11. Install a diagnostic PPM network, which will give data points for carbon and air pollution.
12. Monitor the carbon content of soil throughout the county.
13. Pitco landfill, start pyrolizing construction waste and beetle kill for biochar compost, making rag paper, and mandating “drop and swap” for contractors.
14. Revegetate abandoned mine sites in the county like they did at Coal Creek.
15. Keep the water in the Colorado River Basin.
16. Reinstate grazing for fire and weed mitigation (looking at you, Aspen Skiing Co.).
17. Mandate carbon offsets for all air travel by county/city employees and elected representatives.
18. Enact a billionaire tax to pay for it all.
Less talk. More action.