Carbondale’s bear in the room won’t be hibernating

I’ve been devoted to climate action for about 10 years. We have been saying that the destruction from climate change will be a catastrophe for our children and especially our grandchildren. To be honest, that didn’t mean anything to most people.

But people now see, and many experience, the deaths and massive economic loss from hurricanes, heat waves and wildfires. What was a moral choice about two generations from now can be a matter of survival for us. Then throw in the delta variant.

I’ve been saying that getting people’s concern is just about impossible in our little paradise called Carbondale. Other than some smoke in the air, our biggest problems are a shortage of school teachers, bus drivers and dish washers. And maybe a few things missing on the grocery shelves. And of course, the perennial shortfall, affordable housing. Nothing like a horde of climate refugees to bid up the housing and rental markets. It’s a great time for longtime locals to cash out. But where do you go?

I think we are at a crossroad. Carbondale and the valley have been “vibrantly” perking along for the past few years. Many thousands of new units are built, under construction or planned. The population of the valley is rapidly increasing. And consequently, the new greenhouse gas emissions that go along with growth also are increasing. But that is just the opposite of what our various climate action plans call for. We are a very minor part of the world, but we ought to be doing our part. Instead, the short-term profits of development take precedent over all other values.

If you think development improves quality of life, take a drive down to Denver. Stop in Vail, Frisco or Breckenridge. See how people are driving each other crazy and ruining their health.

Any chance we could have some discussion about this?

Pat Hunter