Letters to the editor
Dear Editor,I write this missive after the electric power to my home and many others was shut off recently because of a shortage of natural gas on the front range due to subzero temperatures. A one-time event, you say. Don’t bet on it.Think about this; mankind is consuming 22 percent more natural resources than planet earth can generate. That 22 percent is a global average. The industrial countries consume many times more. In fact, the U.S. deficit is closer to 100 percent. We are using about twice as much water, food, energy, etc.Put another way, mankind is consuming the equivalent of 2.5 million soccer fields of minerals, water, and land per year.And it is not just nonrenewable resources, either. The world’s fisheries are collapsing, species are becoming extinct, deforestation and a loss of groundwater are a worldwide problem.Now consider the growth occurring in India and China. Granted on a per person basis, they don’t consume nearly as much as the rest of the world, yet. But when you consider they are the most populous countries on earth, they already account for 59 percent of global resource deficits. That is more than Germany, Japan and the United States combined.Now consider that their economies are growing at breakneck speed. Were they to consume at the rate the United States does, we would need two more planet Earths to fuel their economies. Oil, gas, water, coal, wheat, corn sugar, rice, you name it, it will not be enough.It is estimated that their economies will triple or quadruple in 25 years or so. If their oil consumption alone reaches half of what we consume, it will take another 100 million barrels of oil per day to keep up. Today the world produces 85 million barrels per day. Where does that oil come from?Bottom line; we have passed the line in the sand. An era of real shortages and rising prices has replaced one of abundance and low prices. Our global resources deficit is forcing us to devour ourselves. We have become environmental cannibals.Bob AndersonGlenwood Springs
Dear Editor,Advocates of recreational water rights have been critical of ongoing legislative efforts to ensure recreational uses are compatible with the state’s many other water needs. I appreciate their concerns, but as a member of the state Senate, I represent the wide-ranging interests of many different water stakeholders in our part of Colorado. I do not have the luxury of advocating for one kind of water right to the exclusion of all the others. My goal always has been to balance the competing uses for one of our state’s most precious resources – whether for agriculture, municipalities, storage, development, recreation or whatever else. Water policy long has been among the most contentious issues in our region. So, it is naïve to assume that innovations like recreational in-channel diversions, or RICDs, should dominate Colorado water law simply because of their newfound popularity among kayakers. That would be like the tail wagging the dog. It is also important to remember that RICDs represent a whole new and different kind of water right from the water laws that have effectively governed our state for over 125 years. This is the only right in which water continues to flow downriver and out of Colorado. Its sole purpose is to act as a pass-through for recreation. That is why pending legislation on the matter treats RICDs somewhat differently from other, more conventional water rights. Yes, RICDs generate economic development dollars, but they also let water flow downstream and out of the state, unrecovered. That is why we must take great care to safeguard the tremendous economic benefit to our entire state of water’s other, more traditional uses. Senate Bill 37, which has bipartisan support including my own in the General Assembly – and which passed the Senate 33-0 last week – goes a long way toward achieving a reasonable balance. The bill offers safeguards for recreation and would not affect communities that already have RICDs in place. The bill also upholds the prerogatives of communities that seek to establish RICDs provided they submit their requests to a review process with reasonable checks and balances. It seems at times that the more vocal advocates of RICDs, however well-meaning, wish to pick a fight with every guardian of historic water rights, whether it’s the Colorado Water Conservation Board or members of both parties in the General Assembly, including me. Let’s all come together instead. Only California wins in a water war.Sen. Jack Taylor Steamboat Springs
Dear Editor,We have attempted to be patient citizens, but our patience is really wearing thin these days. It has been more than a year since the drilling has picked up in our part of the state of Colorado. And though we undoubtedly need not call it to the attention of residents of Parachute – living with “mud” everywhere shouldn’t have to be something acceptable. Yet we continue to be forced to do so. Simply driving around the main/business streets results in slopping up one’s car. Not to mention the need to slush through the muddy puddles when getting in and out of the car to go into say, the post office, floral shop, thrift store, restaurants (i.e. Scramble, Outlaw, Subway, Rio, Chinese, to name a few), etc. Upon checking with the city office in Parachute, their response was they are still in the process of determining how to resolve the problem, mostly due to lack of finances. The County Roads & Bridges Department in Rifle indicates that not enough revenue is generated to cover such additional expense. Now, wouldn’t one conclude that the drilling folks are reaping enough profit that they could see fit to include this in their operating costs, taking responsibility for making life in Parachute less obtrusive for their presence?How about it, guys! Can’t you be good neighbors?Anna WheelockBattlement Mesa
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