Tag Archive for Colorado drought

He met the enemy; it is us.

earth_on_fire_1062515_63098996The high temperature on Wednesday, Dec. 5, was 67 degrees. No real precipitation for about a year. Major fires still burning in Colorado. Texas fires and drought for two full years. Country wide drought of the hundred-year variety — at least of the old variety. Extreme weather events the world over.

Global CO2 concentrations at levels not seen by man, ever. The science is in — scratch that — our communal experience is here. We are in trouble. It’s obvious! Hopefully we will get some benevolent reprieves. But we cannot count on it.

I’ve come to understand that I can live in hope only if I am doing everything I can to bring about the hoped-for result. To not be in action for one’s hopes is to be living in wishes.

Greed, ignorance, pride and denial all contribute to our weather inaction. Don’t point fingers. It is us. It is me. We have a long road to recovery. Personal action is an imperative. Pushing for and demanding community and societal action is our human responsibility. Be ready to sacrifice.

We can overcome this apocalypse. However, we must first acknowledge the situation. Then we must act. I implore those who deny there is a problem with the weather to rethink and look through the lens of your immediate experiences.

The fiscal cliff is a grain of sand compared to the wall of weather we face if we continue on our current path. Begin a new course today.

City council, restore needed regulations


Editor’s Note: The following is an Open Letter to the Longmont City Council. On May 8, 2012, Longmont’s oil and gas regulations will appear on the council’s agenda on First Reading (Consent Agenda). Several necessary regulations were removed from the Draft Regulations prepared earlier this year.

I would like to see the following provisions become part of the city’s regulation of fracking wells and other wells.

1) RESTORE THE PROVISION REQUIRING CLOSED PITS.
Open pits are a source of contamination, both through evaporation (airborne contaminants), and through undue exposure to animals and, potentially, children on nearby playgrounds. A CLOSED SYSTEM WOULD BE BEST.

2) INCORPORATE THE NEW EPA REGULATIONS ON METHANE CONTAMINATION. The EPA has just issued new regulations regarding methane leakage in fracked wells. The city should require that any wells drilled now should be in conformity to these new regulations, since the new wells will be operating when the EPA regulations go into effect.

3) DO NOT ALLOW THE OPERATION OF WELLS DURING A DROUGHT. The state already has a mechanism for declaring a state of drought, and it should be strictly observed.

4) MONITOR SMOG POLLUTION, INCLUDING ADVANCE TESTING TO ESTABLISH A BASELINE.
The city should require testing using the new technique just published by NOAA, which is able to differentiate sources of smog pollution. There should be a baseline test of Longmont’s air quality at the present time, before the moratorium is lifted, and future tests should be measured against it. I am especially concerned about the numerous medical studies published by a variety of sources–easily found with an Internet search–that show strong links between smog and an increase in asthma, stroke, and heart attacks. The recent study in Erie that commented on 10 minutes of exposure is ridiculous. If there are wells, there is going to be chronic exposure. The studies of the effects of chronic exposure to smog need a detailed review and the city needs to fund its own monitoring of smog.

Thank you for your attention to these matters. I look forward to seeing these important elements of regulation incorporated into the City of Longmont regulations.