Sunday Letters: Kudos to Bennet, Ride the Gray Wave |

Sunday Letters: Kudos to Bennet, Ride the Gray Wave

Bennet joins the fray

I’d like to thank Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Co.) for jumping in on the Senate Climate Solutions Caucus. Such a group was formed in the House in 2016 at the urging of the Citizen’s Climate Lobby.

Bennet joins Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Angus King (I-Me.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Ak.), Mitt Romney (R-Ut), and Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) in the caucus created by Sens. Christopher Coons (D-Del.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) last month.

The bipartisan nature of this conference is important. Climate change shouldn’t be a Republican versus Democrat issue, but it has become so because of GOP allegiance to the fossil fuel industry. The coming climate catastrophe will affect all of us, regardless of political slant.

I’d like to see Bennet persuade Colorado’s Republican Senator Cory Gardner to come on board. The more legislators from energy producing states like Colorado, the merrier. The better to convince our climate change denying chief executive the climate movement isn’t just an anti-oil and gas endeavor.

Maybe if Bennet’s working alongside Murkowski, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, he can pressure her to expedite the CORE Act through committee where it currently resides after passage in the House. The bill, cosponsored by Bennet, would permanently protect 400,000 acres of public lands, including the Thompson Divide, from oil and gas development.

Fred Malo Jr.

Surf the gray wave, don’t flounder in it

The Carbondale Age-Friendly Community Initiative (CAFCI) invites citizens and all friends of Carbondale to assemble at the Third Street Center from 3:30 to 6 p.m. on Nov. 21. It’s an invitation you can refuse, but please don’t. Here’s why.

You’ve probably heard about the gray wave washing over America. Ever more of us are seniors over 65. In 2010 there were 4,724 seniors) in Garfield County. In 2020, we’ll nearly double that number. By 2030 we’ll add 5000 more. In 2020 about 9% of seniors will be over 85; 16% by 2030.

These numbers are personal to me, because in 2026 I’ll join that growing over-85 cohort. Who’s going to take care of us? We’ve had fewer children than previous generations. We’re living longer than we maybe had a right to expect, and honestly the communities we built seem poorly prepared for the challenges we pose. What are we to do? Take care of one another and keep building our communities, that’s what. Many of us don’t just need services; We can and do serve others. We keep working to make our communities more age-friendly. Friendly that is, to all ages including senior citizens, without excluding anyone. That’s what CAFCI is about. Our trustees, commissions and town staff are working with us, and thanks in large part to our partnership with Senior Matters, we’re off to a good start.

In June, Carbondale committed to the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, giving us access to national and international expertise and funding. We want you to join Mayor Dan Richardson, AARP Associate State Director Roberto Rey, Senior Matters Chair John Hoffmann, over a dozen CAFCI leaders and representatives from 20 organizations. We’ll learn about ways we can use what’s available to us through our membership in the AARP Network and talk about how we can help build it. Together, we’ll surf the gray wave instead of floundering in it.

Ron Kokish
Carbondale Age-Friendly Community Initiative

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