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We are responding to the July 5 letter from Sharon Brenner concerning the recent Sierra Club presentation by Rob Smith on climate change. Brenner questions “the arrogance of environmentalists that preach, ‘Humans cause global warming.'” If you had stayed to the end of the session, you might have learned: A consensus of the world’s top climatologists say that human-caused climate change is happening. Even Bush administration science reports now say the climate is changing. No one denies the climate has fluctuated naturally over time. In fact, the Greenland ice core data have clearly shown that periodic fluctuations in the earth’s temperature and CO2 concentrations have been the norm for more than 650,000 years – allowing the Vikings to farm Greenland up to about 1430 AD. Scientists tell us the burning fossil fuels and cutting down tropical forests is adding a heavy load of additional carbon dioxide to our atmosphere. This causes the world’s average temperature to increase at a rate beyond any natural cycle ever seen. The recent CO2 concentrations and average temperatures have far exceeded any levels that occurred during the past 650,000 years. The temperatures we have seen during the last 10 years have been the highest in recorded history.Since this change is happening much faster than nature alone would produce, it is becoming much more difficult for plants and animals to adapt. In Colorado, predictions are for less snow and less water in our rivers. This will not make living here easier. These climate changes will not decrease seasonal respiratory diseases, but will allow tropical diseases, such as West Nile virus, to spread to higher latitudes and altitudes. The smart course is to take this issue seriously and do what we can to reduce CO2 emissions now. Becoming more energy efficient, and using alternative energy sources can help, and will create jobs in Colorado. Climate change due to CO2 pollution is a problem that will only get worse the longer we wait. Everything we need to do – saving energy, reducing pollution, protecting wild areas – makes sense anyway. So let’s get started.Bob Millette and Maggie Pedersen Roaring Fork Sierra Club GroupGlenwood Springs

A big congratulations is due to the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts! In June, this foundational organization of dance and art in the Glenwood Springs community was granted $25,000 by the Colorado Council for the Arts (CCA) for its 2009 Valley Kids Art Exhibit.The Valley Kids Art Exhibit features the artwork of hundreds of schoolchildren, ranging in grades from preschool to senior high, and who live anywhere between Aspen and Rifle. Begun more than 25 years ago by the Aspen Art Museum, Valley Kids is held annually, and culminates with a scholarship being awarded to the most advanced senior high school student artist. The 2008 Valley Kids-Carol Dopkins scholarship recipient was Anne Tempest. Ms. Tempest was awarded $1,000 and will be attending Grinnell University, in Grinnell, Iowa, this fall.In 2006, the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts acquired the Valley Kids Art Exhibit, and has continued to keep the torch of artistic creativity burning brightly for budding child artists in the community. Recently, collaborations have developed with the Aspen Music Festival and School, which, for the first time, will add a tremendous music component to the 2009 Valley Kids Exhibit. Thanks to the generous CCA grant, the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts will be able to bring young, professional musicians from around the country to perform as a part of the exhibit. A creative kudos to all involved.Gayle MortellGlenwood Springs Center for the Arts

In response to the Sheriff’s smoking question: Not what you are; oh, but then again, “It’s bad for your health?” and Clinton didn’t have sexual relations? Right? If you need to know what I am; Marlboro Ultra Light 100s. As for me knowing my facts? Wake up and get out of that office and back into the real world. Start talking to some of us who put you there years ago when you spouted you wouldn’t be like the last sheriff. My how things have come full circle, and now you are just like him.Some of us taxpayers are wondering if this so called “booking fee” isn’t a ruse to pay for that “Bearcat Rescue Vehicle designed to protect the law enforcement officers” that the commissioners just let you purchase. Big name for Hummer.Further more, all inmates have restitution, court cost, fines and fees that they are ordered to pay back. If these fees are not being collected, then maybe the system in place needs to be changed so that these fees are collected. I was also responding to what the reporter wrote about what you said. Nowhere in that article did it state that you were commenting on his question.I have to say, I am honored, though, that you took the time from your “busy schedule” to respond to me. All I can say to you, Lou, is, “We taxpayers are not stupid, so quit treating us as such. I just have to ask: ‘Truth hurts?'”Wendy LoughRifle


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