Wednesday letters: Winter Games and climate, transit, 1/6/21 thoughts, PI kudos

Good work, PI

I’m so glad to see the articles about local residents, like Phil and Joan Anderson, Autumn Rivera, Bud Gardner and more, and I always enjoy Chelsea Self’s photos. We can get national news lots of other places, but I’m grateful that we have a newspaper to cover our local stories. And it’s free! Keep up the good work.

Deborah Williams

Glenwood Springs

Winter Olympics future

Can future Winter Olympics weather a warming climate?

As world temperatures warm, the need to create artificial snow at the Winter Olympic Games increases, burdening water and energy supplies. This practice, like much of modern life, increases greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to ever higher temperatures. It is estimated that the Beijing Winter Olympic games will use almost 49 million gallons of water to make enough snow for the events.

Historically, artificial snow was first used to subsidize low natural snow levels in 1980 Lake Placid Games. In 2014, around 80% of snow at the Sochi Games was manmade and this rose to 90% at the PyeongChang Games in 2018.

A startling new study in the Current Issues in Tourism Journal shows that only one of the 21 previous Winter Olympic locations will have enough ice and snowfall to host Winter Games by 2080 if global emissions remain on the current path. The same study finds that, by the same year, there will only be nine cities globally with enough snow to host the Games.

We need to reduce our emissions with urgency and effective action. Placing a fee on carbon pollution can make clean energy alternatives more attractive and speed up our transition. We can preserve the Olympic tradition of coming together peacefully by working together to create a future that works for all.

Susan Atkinson


Broaden the climate conversation

A couple of letters published in the Feb. 7 issue made me wonder if many others hold similar beliefs.

One wanted to ban gasoline burning cars, in favor of electric. Perhaps even add a material that produces colored smoke and a noxious smell from the exhaust in the interim. The other wanted to ban natural gas for heating and appliances, in favor of all electric.

It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that these writers believe that electricity magically appears from the plug in the wall, pollution-free.

Most of our electricity is generated from burning fossil fuels, such as natural gas and coal. The exhaust pipe is just located elsewhere. Of course, a small percentage is generated from wind, solar, nuclear or hydroelectric, all with no direct CO2 emissions, but each with their own drawbacks.

It’s a good thing to have a conversation about the mix — the good, bad and ugly of each. Let’s make it an intelligent conversation. And no noxious additives to automotive fuel.

Ron Stevens

Glenwood Springs

Transit thoughts

I no longer take the bus because I am retired. I did take the bus from Basalt to Aspen 1989 to ‘99 and from Glenwood Springs 1999 to 2019 — 30 years, four or five days a week.

I have some thoughts on how to get people out of their cars and take the bus. First, there is not enough parking in Glenwood at 27th Street and with the construction by Wal-Mart I have no idea where people are parking. If there was parking across the street from the bus stop, I could understand the underpass like in Basalt, but as it is now the underpass is a huge waste of money. There are crosswalks and lights there for the 10 people a day that might cross there.

A transportation hub would be excellent and since Safeway has vacated it would make an ideal place for people to park and use many amenities in the building. Decent bathrooms, food vendors, computer stations and other shops. Maybe one in Carbondale, also.

RFTA has some planning in the works that need more exploration and I sure hope the railroad right-of-way is not still being considered. Faster through Glenwood is not the answer.

I think a real express bus to Aspen from Glenwood with stops in Carbondale and Basalt excluded would help. Actually, before BRT or VelociRFTA (whatever you want to call it) there was an express to Aspen, but that got thrown out with more buses on the schedule. It should be added back for at least one time in the morning.

One more thought on traffic and congestion on 82 going into Aspen. No cars past the intercept lot or the parking lot on the east side of the airport without a special permit. It’s the smallest big city in the country. It is so pedestrian friendly, not like Glenwood. We live in the most beautiful valley to commute in — enjoy the scenery.

Kendall Christianson

Glenwood Springs

Questionable thinking

In claiming the events of Jan. 6, 2021 were “legitimate political discourse,” presumably mirroring that of the American Revolution, the Republican Party seems to admit that it truly was intended as an insurrection against a government seen as “illegitimate.”

Such logic could be extended to the Civil War or Timothy McVeigh’s bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, termed an act of domestic terrorism.

Is that really their thinking?

Robert Porath


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