Letter: A letter to Sen. Cory Gardner | AspenTimes.com

Letter: A letter to Sen. Cory Gardner

My husband and I have lived in Colorado since the 1980s and have spent the past 18 years in Aspen. We are a working-class family with two children in grades four and five. I am an interpretive naturalist and birding guide, and my husband is the city’s Open Space and Trails manager.  

Climate change is something we think about every day, especially this winter, with nearly 40 record-high temperatures recorded just over the hill at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. We see the warming trends happening not just with this past winter but on a climate scale over the decades of our experience here. With skiing as the basis of our local economy, climate change is a serious concern for our town. And more importantly, the mountain snowpack is chronically low and melting weeks earlier, resulting in less water in the rivers for both natural ecosystems and our industries and agriculture, municipalities and recreation.

Because Colorado is a headwaters state, whose rivers flow out through 18 surrounding states, our mountain snowpack is a frozen reservoir of critical importance.

If warming climate trends continue to deliver less precipitation in the form of snow and release this frozen reservoir much earlier and more quickly than historic timing, much of the southwestern U.S. will suffer serious water scarcity.

For us, we worry a great deal about the future our children face. Water and the local skiing economy are just a couple of the myriad issues climate change is bringing about. So much more is at stake.

As a member of the Aspen Citizen’s Climate Lobby chapter, I urge you to support carbon fee and dividend policy. It is an economic solution to getting us off carbon-based fuels in a fair, non-partisan, quick way. It provides incentives to entrepreneurs and investors, is market-based, doesn’t pick winners and losers and doesn’t increase the size of the government. Recent economic modeling shows that carbon fee and dividend would have a positive effect on the gross domestic product and employment. It is worth doing for the economic benefits, no matter what your views on climate change are.

Please support carbon fee and dividend as a way of steering us toward a livable future. Thank you for taking in my input as a resident.

Rebecca Weiss


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