If we can put a man on the moon, we can solve the climate crisis

I often wonder whether we’ll solve climate change.

However, I’ve never doubted our ability to. Why? Because we not only know how to do it — that is, by reducing our emissions and transitioning to cleaner forms of energy — but we already have bills sitting in Congress that are designed to help us reach those goals, like the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

But our ability to solve a problem, compared to our will and desire to, are fundamentally different.

According to Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, the iconic 1968 photo of Earth taken on the moon essentially transformed our relationship with the planet. In his words, the photo “showed us nothing about the rest of the galaxy and everything about our home.” Shortly after the Apollo missions, we saw a surge of environmental legislation: the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and the founding of the EPA.

If there’s one thing the 1968 photo taught us, it’s that Earth, our only home, is a small, fragile thing worth fighting for.

And if there’s one thing we can learn from this week’s 50th anniversary of humanity’s first steps on the moon, it’s this: If we could put a man on the moon half a century ago, we can solve the climate crisis today.

We must have the same sense of urgency and motivation we had 50 years ago, when we were racing to places beyond this world. This time, let’s focus on our world, right here.

Learn more at bit.ly/2SJEtMR.

Kelsey Grant, Longmont

Fracking poisons our water

Many reasons for the COGCC to be more prudent in its approval of fracking wells are reported, but one reason not often mentioned is water.

According to the American Geosciences Institute, one well can require anywhere from 1.5 million to 16 million gallons of water to drill, and oil and gas companies are coming in asking for approval to drill hundreds in a location. Water is such a precious commodity in Colorado — a commodity that should go to farmers, ranchers and the people living here, not to fracking. It was pointed out that fracking uses a relatively small percentage of water compared to snowmaking or agriculture, and while that may be correct, the snow will melt and re-enter the water system. The farmer’s irrigation will not only supply his crops but filter down into aquifers.

A study at Duke University funded by the National Science Foundation studied water use and fracking. The 2018 report noted that water use by fracking has increased 770% since 2011. “If this rapid intensification continues, fracking’s water footprint could grow by up to 50-fold in some regions by 2030 — raising concerns about its sustainability, particularly in arid or semi-arid regions in western states.”

Fracking water is poisoned and is therefore injected back into the rock reservoirs, and if we are unlucky enough to have it done incorrectly, there are earthquakes.

And if you think earthquakes are not disconcerting to residents in the area even if plates are not falling out of cupboards, you are sorely mistaken. A little too late for an oops for a process done incorrectly.

A Native American saying on environmental destruction ends with “we will finally realize we can’t eat money,” and I would add “or drink it.”

Joe and Connie Melvin, Niwot

Stop the war in Yemen

While we are enjoying a glorious Colorado summer, Saudi Arabia is conducting and the U.S. is shamefully supporting a war of genocide in Yemen.

The death toll in that war may well exceed the 2,000,000 killed in Vietnam. The targets for the Saudi bombing campaign (enabled by U.S.-supplied planes and refueling) include school buses and weddings. The bombings have so disrupted the food supply that millions face starvation. Why are there no teach-ins on campus, no demonstrations in the street? Is it because we the people can be so distracted by bread and circuses that we will take action to end a genocidal war in which the U.S. is involved only if we can be drafted into it?

In the meantime, we can at least boycott Saudi oil (which is sold at Shell stations) and Saudi-owned banks Chase and Citibank, and call out Saudi lobbyists, which in Colorado are led by the Brownstein law firm, which regularly hosts Republican events.

Stop the war in Yemen.

Richard Roy Blake, Centennial

blog comments powered by Disqus