‘Winning slowly is just another way of losing’

In a talk a few days ago at Yale University ( youtube.com/watch?v=RCgOH0AjGnk), Bill McKibben pointed out that even if all the nations of the world kept the promises that they made as part of the Paris Climate Accords, the promised actions are small enough and slow enough that the temperature would continue to rise something like 3.5 degrees Celsius in the lifetime of today’s college students. And if we indeed allow that to happen, it will end civilization as we know it. That is the bottom line.

Our job now, McKibben said, is to pick up the pace of addressing climate change. “Climate change,” he said, “is a war in which winning slowly is just another way of losing.”

Xcel’s proposed path forward, which keeps burning coal until 2070 and at best would still be 45 percent fossil fueled, is simply too slow — it’s just another way of losing. (Adding insult to injury, Xcel recently filed to increase the average residential rate by 9.6 percent over the next four years.)

I’m in favor of keeping civilization and preserving the planet that we love. If you’re college age or love someone who is of college age, vote YES on Ballot Issue 2L to keep us moving forward for clean energy and a livable future.

By Duncan Gilchrist, Boulder

What happened to respect?

When I was a kid, we were taught to respect others. Granted, I’m in my 50s now, so a lot has changed. But what happened to respect? Now that we live in an anonymous digital world, is respect a thing of the past?

Maybe we humans are not genetically predispositioned to respect one another. Maybe respect can only be taught and reinforced by public interaction. Without that public interaction, there is no consequence to a lack of respect. I see it everywhere today — from the way kids treat each other, to the way kids treat their elders, to the way adults treat each other and the way all people treat animals and the environment.

Take an example from my morning commute. I happen to be one of those crazy folks that believes in commuting by bicycle. I’m not completely anti-car, but when you look at the data, it’s hard to make an argument that the car is good for us as a people. Put that aside and just imagine a person on a bicycle riding down the side of the road. There was a day when those in cars would slow down, even if just a little, and give you some extra room when passing. Today, I had to check to see if someone had surreptitiously pinned a red target on the back of my jacket because several cars, whose drivers must have been frustrated with the pace of traffic in the fast lane, decided that the right lane was the place to pass all that slow traffic in the fast lane. It never occurred to them that a cyclist was there on the shoulder and might get rattled when a car speeding at 70-plus mph passed within a few feet. I wonder if they would do the same thing if they knew that it was their daughter/mother/son/father on the bicycle. I would hope not, but does it matter who was on the bike? Show them some respect. Don’t be that person.

I own a business in Boulder. Out front of my business I have some planters, something nice to break up the monotony of concrete sidewalks. These planters are not in the path of those walking by, but off to the side next to the wall of the building. On either end of the building are public trash receptacles. More often than not, I arrive in the morning to open my shop and find used coffee cups and a wide assortment of other trash tucked inside the planters. Now if those items were compostable, I could understand the confusion. But these items are usually plastic and clearly not compostable. How difficult is it to hold on to that trash until you reach the end of the building? If the trash is full, tuck it inside or find another trash receptacle. Someone does care and someone does have to pick up after others. Don’t be that person.

At the grocery store, many of us use shopping carts provided by the store for our convenience. When you are done with your shopping, put the cart away where it belongs. Leaving it in the middle of the parking lot next to someone’s car or blocking another parking space is flat out rude and inconsiderate. It may be 50 feet away, but take the time to do your part and show some respect to others. It is an ancient art, but try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. What if you wanted that close-in parking space and pulled in only to find a discarded shopping cart blocking the space? Rage ensues. Don’t be that person.

By Chuck Ankeny, Longmont

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