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December 12, 2012
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Things are changing, you know it

The white stuff that fell on us earlier this week was certainly welcomed, once you get past the slipping and sliding on our roads and highways and look at the big picture.

It seems like each winter gets warmer and drier than the one before it, especially compared to when I was younger.

I remember the winter of 1983, my first one in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys. I couldn't believe Glenwood Springs would actually plow all their snow into the middle of Grand Avenue. It was so high, you couldn't see the oncoming traffic, except at traffic lights.

This fall, I drove to the Front Range and back for Thanksgiving and could not believe how low the water was in Lake Dillon. Wow! And that seems to be the case for too many years here lately.

Whether or not you believe in climate change, global warming or whatever you want to call it, the earth is changing. All you have to do is look around. And you don't have to look very far. Check out the Colorado River as it flows through Rifle. That's pretty darn low for the start of winter, I think.

Check out how dry the ground is, recent snow notwithstanding. The entire state is in a serious, serious drought.

Then think back a few months. Remember how hot and dry it got? And how fast? We didn't really have a spring. (It seems to me we never do, but that may be because I like spring so much and it never lasts very long.)

Recall all those wildfires on the Front Range, where all the homes, and even some lives, were lost. I don't recall a summer like that, except for maybe 2002, a decade ago.

Then you hear about floods, earthquakes and all sorts of natural disasters. Our pine trees and aspen trees are disease infested and dying by the day. Makes me wonder.

We are the only species on earth that uses its resources in such finite ways. We burn its fossil fuels, which in turn pollutes its air, trapping the sun's heat and causing changes in our weather, helping to lead back to hotter summers and drier winters.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we're totally to blame. The earth has gone through ice ages and climate change before we started messing around. But it seems like common sense to me that we're aggravating things. I'm guilty, too, but I try my best to lessen my impact. The problem is we need several billion more people across the globe to try their best.

I'm usually not a believer in doomsday theories and such, like the end of the world on Dec. 22, according to some hotly disputed interpretations of the Mayan calendar. But I like to think I'm also an open minded, common sense type of guy. And when I look around and see things like I've mentioned, it gives me pause.

I hope for all us on this green globe that, someday soon, enough people will pause and realize we have to work together to help our earth, our only real home, instead of use and abuse it. Or, someday - maybe a long time after you and I are gone from the earth - we'll lose it.

But we will all have still lost in the end.

Mike McKibbin is the editor of The Citizen Telegram.


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The Post Independent Updated Dec 12, 2012 06:14PM Published Dec 12, 2012 06:12PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.