Canary or Pika: We need to be more focused on environment

Rookie Aspen Ski School instructors asked for “post-apocalyptic” costumes at their annual spring party. Some had no idea what that meant. Answer: think of the Mad Max movies. The extraordinary 1A radio show heard on KAJX covered the recent report on the extinction of species. The host asked his expert guests whether the human race also was doomed. The professor said the numbers say doomed, but we ought to be able to change that. Good luck with that.

To wit: A lady writes to the paper that a proposed solar array should not be allowed to further degrade the “already unattractive Entrance to Aspen.” I’ve noticed this same attitude in Carbondale where a subdivision of upscale homes discourages solar collectors on roofs because they are considered “ugly.” If we are to remove ourselves from the doomed species list we will need to completely flip this point of view. Renewable energy sources like solar collectors and windmills should be considered a “badge of honor.” Whole communities are being built in Europe where all the roofs are completely covered with collectors. What these people find “attractive” is stopping the use of fossil fuels now. What I find most “unattractive” to the Entrance to Aspen are the rows of private jets that burn huge amounts of carbon fuels. Aspen has the “Canary Initiative” which uses the coal mine poison gas metaphor to inspire good environmental practice. Put that canary out at the airport and see how long it lasts.

I lobbied the environmental department to consider using the Pika as the climate warning mascot. The ever-so-cute little critters are dying off in this valley due to the increasing temperatures. They can only survive in a very narrow temperature band. Poignant and relevant.

Patrick Hunter