Monday letters: invest for climate solutions, missing climate plan, vote Kenny Teitler |

Monday letters: invest for climate solutions, missing climate plan, vote Kenny Teitler

Invest, not divest, for climate solutions

Response to article (Sept. 29) headlined, “Climate activists ask local municipalities to divest from fossil fuels.”

I surmise that some climate activists have not kept up with the strategies being followed by major oil companies. My son works for ExxonMobil. I asked him, “Reading the PR from your company I wonder if the firm is still in the oil and gas business.” His response is that the company is in the energy business, and actually any business that uses its skills, expertise and assets, including renewable energy.

They and others, like ConocoPhillips, have adopted these strategies. “First, the world is increasingly demanding global action to address climate change. Second, we need to play a part in sustainably helping meet global energy demand (during a transition to a Green Energy future). And third, we must do both while delivering competitive (financial) returns.

These companies are in business for the long haul. They will attempt to succeed as the market and politics change, using the skills and assets at their disposal. Divesting their stock would be foolish.

Oh, and one more point. According to Harvard Business School Professor Lauren Cohen, “Oil companies are diversifying their businesses, putting money toward renewable energy sources and green technology. … They are investing about three times more than the average firm in climate change mitigation technology.” While sustainable funds shun fossil fuel producers, which contribute half of the world’s greenhouse gases, Cohen’s study suggests that these companies could also play a key role in stemming the damage.

Cohen and co-authors Umit Gurun of the University of Texas at Dallas and Quoc Nguyen of DePaul University analyzed patents issued between 2008 and 2017. To Cohen’s surprise, among the top 50 green patent producers were Exxon Mobil (ranked 11), Royal Dutch Shell (18), BP (27), ConocoPhillips (28) and Chevron (30).

Hang on to the investments. Let professional fund managers do their jobs. To me, it is a financial decision, not a political or emotional one.

Glenn Vawter

Glenwood Springs

Missing climate plan

The Glenwood Springs Council has a very significant development for West Glenwood on the agenda for this coming Thursday evening. Somebody wants to develop the old mall and the big field behind it. I believe there are hundreds of units proposed. Many of the neighbors are very opposed. The Glenwood Planning and Zoning is against it. I own a rental unit not far from there, and I oppose it.

Traffic on Highway 6 & 24 is already out of hand. If any new commercial down there could make sense, it might be a small neighborhood grocery. City Market is way across town.

One of the great illusions in modern America is that cities should do anything they can to increase tax revenues. Many times they are so desperate they give up taxes to lure development. Dumb. Then there is the great “housing need.” More and more housing gets built, and there still isn’t enough. Think about that. Plus, more people means more government services have to be provided, and that takes tax money. I don’t know why people think a bunch of people you don’t know move in next to you and that is a good thing. And your taxes go up.

Looking over the paperwork, I am struck by the lack of concern about what effect all these new people will have on the Glenwood Climate Plan; as in “climate change.” But wait — Glenwood doesn’t have a “climate action plan.” It’s not like huge fires, interstate-highway-destroying earth slides, or water and power shortages are anything to worry about. Instead, Glenwood is a member of a nonprofit that is dedicated to “become more energy efficient and tap clean energy as a means to creating a stronger, more resilient economy.” So they are about the “economy.” Well, the economy is just fine. It is climate change that is going to do us all in.

More new residents in the local valleys are going to add to the problems, not fix them. Let the developers go back and invest in their own towns.

Pat Hunter


Vote Kenny Teitler

Kenny Teitler is a great candidate for the Roaring Fork School District Board of Education.

Kenny was my colleague and mentor when I first joined the Roaring Fork School District as an elementary teacher in the bilingual program at Basalt Elementary over 20 years ago. Since then, we have both worked in Basalt and Carbondale schools, and I have always counted on Kenny for sound advice on curriculum and instructional decisions that meet the needs of all students, from the high-achieving students to the ones who need more support.

As a good listener and empathetic person, he has always led the way in building a culture that supports school and family collaboration. His bilingual skills are an asset in building bridges between diverse cultures. Another strength is his ability to seek out the best information to make decisions, from numeric data to interviews with stakeholders.

As a school board member, Kenny will represent the teacher perspective, strengthen community and school partnerships, and make informed decisions. I support Kenny Teitler as a very qualified School Board candidate for the Roaring Fork School District.

Betsy McMichael


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