Sunday letters: NEPA rollbacks, individual action, and the afterlife

NEPA rollbacks would have negative consequences

We commend you and Peter Hart for the excellent guest editorial published in the Jan. 29 Post Independent regarding the Trump administration’s recent effort to roll back and rewrite the rule book for the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). Colorado Wild Public Lands (COWPL) would like to follow up to encourage the community to learn more and take action regarding the importance of maintaining NEPA, our bedrock environmental protection law, in its current form.

COWPL is a 501(c)3 organization based in Basalt, dedicated to the protection of public interest and integrity of our public lands, with a focus on proposed public to private land exchanges. NEPA is the key tool that allows us to do our work. NEPA requires public input and detailed analysis of proposed actions affecting public lands, e.g. Forest Service or BLM lands.

In general, the administration’s rollback proposal would allow more projects (e.g. extraction activities) to occur without NEPA review, and when reviews are required, they’d be cursory, with less opportunity for public involvement. Fewer alternatives to a proposed action would be studied and cumulative effects would not be considered. Tighter required timelines would limit opportunities for accurate scientific study and public comment.

These rollbacks appear to only have negative consequences compared with the scientifically informed and publicly accessible process that NEPA has provided over the last 50 years, resulting in better decisions for local communities’ health and safety as well as for the environment.

Thanks for your consideration on this important legislation that affects us all.

Suzanne Jackson
Contract Staff for Colorado Wild Public Lands

The recipe for change is individual action

As someone who enjoys creative cooking and reading new recipes, I look forward to The Weekend Dish column. However, I was disturbed by Jordan Callier’s Jan. 31 column “Luck is best served with cornbread.” My disturbance had nothing to do with the recipe itself. Rather it was the following two sentences: “On an individual level, there’s not much we can do to change things. As intractable as our problems seem, we must hold out hope more than ever.” Hope, while it can be a motivator, often makes one passive and dependent on something outside one’s control to bring about a desired change. So hope, in and by itself, will ensure that things won’t change. The recipe for change is individual action. And one of the most potent actions one can take in our troubled political times is to exercise one’s right to vote.

Judie Blanchard

Can you afford to not be ready for afterlife?

The news media seems obsessed with the death of a basketball player and his daughter. They seldom mention the seven others killed in the crash.

Life is an interesting concept. It has a beginning and an unpredictable ending. Some of us keep it for a hundred years or more and some have it ended before they even breathe air. Where does it come from and where does it go?

Egyptians were mummified and entombed with all their riches needed in the next life. The mummies and their riches are still here.

Then there is the concept of reincarnation. Life is eternal and we just come and go in other forms. The idea is that if you are a good person when you die you might come back better looking and more wealthy. If you are a bad person you might come back as an animal.

Another plan is a good faithful man gets to be a God of his own Earth with a bunch of wives to help populate it. Or how about a paradise for men with 72 virgins?

Maybe we just evolved out of some accidental slime from an unknown source and nothing really matters.

On the other hand, if life is eternal than getting it right is an incredible decision.

If there is a heaven and a hell you can’t afford to get it wrong. The saying in Latin is “Quid ad aeternum.” That an English is “what is in the light of eternity.” The end of this human existence can come slowly or painfully or suddenly and unexpectedly.

Can you afford to not be ready? Can you afford to not have the truth?

Ross Talbott,
New Castle

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