Friday letters: climate change, Menconi, justice, method to remedy, the outdoors, America’s soul
Individual actions will not solve the warming problem
418 ppm is the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air at Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The earth has not seen this level in ages — archeological that is. This number is going up even as the pandemic has pushed down the daily emissions, and by an amount more than we have seen in years. What will be done about this?
Let me describe a similar problem about the will to make painful changes. The Ogallala underground reservoir runs north and south from Texas to South Dakota. Huge amounts of water are pumped up to water crops. The water level is declining rapidly at an ever-increasing rate. More wells are going dry. As wells dry, the farms will stop producing. Everyone there knows about this, and practically nothing is being done. Individuals are locked into making a living. Individual actions will not solve the problem.
The coronavirus pandemic has given us a pause to see a significant change. But the overwhelming pressure is to get the economy going again as fast as possible, and then some. In other words, to keep doing all the things that have brought us climate change, and then some. We are missing a great opportunity to re-frame the paradigm. Again, individual actions will not solve this problem.
Locally, in Carbondale and the rest of the valley, building projects are cranking, more are in the pipeline, and the population is increasing rapidly. Community leaders are demanding more housing, which will force more development and more population growth.
I have been fretting and writing about our little problem for years now. (The demise of life as we know it.) Locally, we are going the wrong way.
I am open to suggestions: What will we do about this?
Menconi embodies integrity, maintaining focus on greater good
Your ballot arriving soon gives you a clear opportunity to vote for change. The Democratic primary contest for Colorado Senate District 8 is an important opportunity to send a voice of conscience to Denver. Arn Menconi embodies integrity, maintaining focus on the greater good of all people and our planet. He’s well-acquainted, over decades, with many of our current leaders in Denver, as he was an Eagle County commissioner for eight years. Arn Menconi founded and ran a nationwide nonprofit designed to mentor at-risk youth. An avid recreationist and father, Arn has become increasingly involved in the effort to safeguard our environment.
I attended a debate here at Durango Public Library in 2018, among Arn and two other candidates for U.S. House (one of whom is his current opponent). Everyone was unanimous in saying that Arn won the debate, including folks who had shown up in T-shirts from his current opponent. They all cited his broad knowledge of issues, as well as solutions, his articulateness, his ability to inspire and his commitment to be of service.
Please vote Arn Menconi in the Democratic primary for Colorado Senate District 8.
Not revenge — justice
Annette Roberts-Gray’s letter on Wednesday really sums it up. Addresses every one of the attributes a president should not have. Like Steve King’s Republican defeat yesterday in their primary. Defeated by a man who couldn’t care less who Donald Trump is. Trump used to like Steve King when he was in Iowa. He used to re-tweet some of King’s idiotic tweets. So the people of Iowa woke up. Glad to see it. Great news. Not fake news, just good old news reported by Republicans in Iowa’s 5th Congressional District.
So, Bruno Kirchenwitz from Rifle, the number of “rogue” policemen in Minnesota who killed George Floyd is now four. One now has a second degree murder charge (mandatory 40-year minimum sentence), and the other three policemen are charged with aiding and abetting a murder — mandatory sentence 40 years for all.
Now, the other important bit of trivia is that Minnesota’s African American population comprises only 7% of the general state population. but Minnesota’s prison system has 51% of the population being African Americans. Guess what happens next? 40 years for those former cops in solitary confinement for their own protection.
My heart goes out to George Floyd’s family. I could only watch the video once, that’s all.
My heart soars knowing where these relatively young police officers in Minnesota will be for the next forever. Not revenge. Justice.
There is a method to remedy
As we go about our diverse methods of taking it to Church this Sunday, let us consider there is a method to remedy. If we do wish the Enlightenment ideals and Biblical truths that formed the ethics of our justice system to come forth from the feudalism that remains its dissonant structure, we too must come forth to accept our portion of remedy.
In the Western world, and not missing or omitted from our Constitution but the unintended consequences of this condition of governance brought about by warring factions, is spelled out in the chapter Matt 5, of the Bible. Something AA people somewhat understand but misapply to keep the recovering stuck in the structure of fearing their nemesis; the molecule of alcohol — much as does military style training leaves cops in fear of going home to their family via flawed application.
The correct way to approach the Beatitudes is as a ladder of concentric spheres of influence. Each is operable only by the fulfillment of the lower, more intimate level within the coaxial relationships. First, to address any grievance, upset or injustice one (be they victim or the accused) one must admit being poor in spirit; admit one is trying to solve dualities by remaining effected by them, thus one is availed to properly grieve the grievance, placing one in the inheritance that be our terrestrial struggles in proper balance as to ensure our hunger and thirsting for righteousness is at a level that can effect the change needed, within a pure heart then capable of being the peacemakers of those of us (as humanity) remain persecuted by the Son of Cain and the outcomes of his poor offering, given in that first school of ethics and justice, forming their and thus the tribe’s, and later the society’s, constitution.
The outdoors is everyone
Some questions challenge us. Some questions divide us. Some questions we debate.
But there’s one idea that is not at all challenging.
Nor is it divisive.
It’s not even debatable.
This question is simple and its answer easy:
Who is the outdoors?
The outdoors is you. The outdoors is everyone.
For 25 years, Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers has built, maintained and restored trails through the efforts of community members like yourself. All our volunteers sweat together, regardless of age, ability or background. Every hiker, biker and horseback rider who then uses our community’s trails gets to experience what we share: nature.
Yes, there are stormy days … or even stormy months. Rain can erode the fine-packed dirt. But when clouds darken the sky, we plan for the fruitful work that sunshine will allow.
Whatever the national weather, our trails remain. And although our nation’s map may seem confusing, we know that our local trails will always lead towards greater community.
Our open spaces are public spaces, and they’re public for every person. That’s the reason RFOV is proud of you: By taking care of a trail, you ensure that our region will have a pathway to find ourself, wherever we may be. Join us as we make community with our own hands.
And when you ask the question “Who is the outdoors?” please remember to answer:
The outdoors is you.
The outdoors is everyone.
Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers
Selling the soul of America
Almost every day of the last three and a half years of the Trump presidency, my friends and I would be in conversation on the phone and one of us would say, “Can things get any worse?”
It’s finally happened. It cannot get any worse, unless some foreign power bombs the U.S. of America, We are now living in all of the following times: 1974 (corruption in the government), 1918 (pandemic in America), 1929 (the Great Depression — we are heading for it), and now the race riots of the ’60s, specifically 1968.
To top it all off, President Trump is the worst combination of George Wallace and Richard Nixon. In the middle of the protests of George Floyd’s murder by the Minneapolis police officer, President Trump is now threatening to send out the military against the American people. We have tolerated his 18,000 lies and all the other corruption of the last three and a half years, his cussing and insulting everyone who doesn’t agree with him or praise him, rolling back all the good that President Obama did for our country, and I am extremely concerned that he may start murdering Americans any day now.
People of the Republican Party, please wake up. This isn’t Democrat against Republican anymore. This is truth against fiction and right against wrong. Can you be so scared of the black- and brown-skinned people that you are willing to sell the Soul of America to the devil? Please turn your TV channel to any of the other channels, other than Fox News, to hear the truth of what is happening in our country.
I am praying continually every day for something positive to come out of all of this. It’s so very hard to see it now, but we must all vote in November of this year and pray for some civil and honest leadership in our country.
God help us, and God bless America.
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