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Letters – July 14, 2022

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Rodeo etiquette

Once again, Carbondale’s rodeo season is off to a great start with great weather and great crowds! As always, the Carbondale Wild West Rodeo Association (CWWRA) board is happy to see so many families and friends having a great time and enjoying the sport of rodeo. However, with the large crowds, come some problems as well. The CWWRA does our best to alleviate them as much as possible, but honestly, it is not possible without the help of the public. 

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The CWWRA leases one pasture field for parking in addition to what is available at the rodeo grounds, but as you know, that is never enough. The parking overflows onto the county roads in the area. If you are parking on Willow Lane or 100 Road, you must watch for traffic, be alert, hold on to your children and generally pay attention! It is a road — with traffic! You must also park your vehicle out of the through traffic’s way. 

When you park on Willow Lane, do NOT block driveways or impede the traffic with the place or the way you park. In other words, be considerate of others and don’t be stupid about it. 

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Don’t leave your trash for the homeowner where you parked or the folks who clean up the rodeo grounds. It is your trash, dispose of it properly or take it with you! If you cannot park properly, the Garfield County Sheriff can have your car towed. Will that ruin your night? If you cannot act properly, then you should just stay home. Rude behavior will be the demise of the rodeo and we hear about too much of it going on. The bigger crowds bring more of it. 

Pay at the gates. DO NOT cut through people’s property so you can try to jump the fence somewhere. The CWWRA is a nonprofit and we are providing a great show for $10. Pay the damn money and enjoy the show! Don’t make security chase you down for payment. Amazingly, it is the (so-called) adults that are the problem. 

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The CWWRA would like to be able to continue with the rodeo for a long time, but without your help, it could be tough. Police yourselves and each other. The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office is tired of the calls they are getting about the rodeo and so is the CWWRA. Please, help make it better and be part of the solution, not part of the problem! Thank you.

Mike Kennedy

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CWWRA

Re: Energy

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The last few weeks have seen a spate of energy news in The Sun. The nice heat-pump heated buildings in Willits were featured last week, along with a story about the potential for utility-scale solar in nearby counties. A few weeks ago, a story reported the increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Basalt. 

In my humble opinion, the energy efficiency and renewable energy supporters and GHG-emitters have been too successful at promoting small successes amidst otherwise very slow progress at reducing GHG emissions. Dozens of new commercial buildings have been built and are under construction locally which are not applying the efficient, electrified design principles exemplified by the buildings featured. Some local apartments heated with heat pumps don’t even seem to be installing very good insulation. I just visited New England, and they seem to be further along a similar evolution in design.

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Any discussion of nearby utility-scale solar should note the actions of the Delta County Commissioners, who denied a permit for what would have been the first truly large (almost a full section) solar field on the West Slope. It was proposed by their own Rural Electrification Act co-op, the Delta-Montrose Electric Association, and had been approved by their planning board. It included sheep grazing and a bond for eventual removal if needed.

How perfect do these need to be? Twenty of these solar fields, and major energy storage, will be needed to replace the output of Glen Canyon Dam. Many more will be needed eventually in the Four Corners states if the big coal power plants are actually going to close or significantly reduce output and emissions. However, proposed federal regulations and huge subsidies for “carbon capture” generation may prolong the life of those.

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Our development patterns and our vehicle choices are both problems for transportation emissions. Bad regulations from Obama’s crew (the “footprint rule”) helped drive up vehicle size. Americans are deprived of many efficient and electric vehicle choices available in the rest of the world — and heating system choices for that matter. And electric grid upgrades. And “agrivoltaic” solar. And offshore wind.

But our energy is oh so “affordable!” Except, perhaps, for the new surcharges on our utility bills to reward the Texans for creating a shortage of gas in early 2021. 

Hardware is currently available to vastly decrease GHG emissions; it is just not being applied quickly enough and advocates need to drive that home. Publicizing successes is good, but can lead to overconfidence and complacency.

Fred Porter

Carbondale

Third Act

What can we do in light of the recent Supreme Court’s decision against the Environmental Protection Agency? We can support climate hero Bill McKibben’s efforts through 350.org and Third Act to pressure banks and financial institutions to stop funding oil and gas projects.

In an article Bill McKibben wrote for the June 2022 New Yorker titled “The Supreme Court Tries to Overrule the Climate”, Bill McKibben states in the last sentence: 

“Convincing banks to stop funding Big Oil is probably not the most efficient way to tackle the climate crisis but, in a country where democratic political options are effectively closed off, it may be the only path left.”

Recent statistics have shown that financial banking activities in support of oil and gas produce more carbon than anything else we do.

We can follow Bill McKibben’s lead and take the Third Act “Banking on our Future” pledge. This entails pledging to take our credit cards and accounts elsewhere if, by the end of the year, banks and financial institutions have not responded to pressure to stop funding oil and gas. The Pledge reads as follows:

“If by the end of 2022 Bank of America, Citibank, or Wells Fargo are still funding climate-destroying fossil fuel projects, I pledge to cut up my credit card and close my account. If I don’t bank at these institutions now, I pledge I won’t do so in the future.”

Check out ThirdAct.org and the extremely well-resourced “Banking on our Future” pledge. It is something positive that we can do and action is the best antidote to despair.

Ann Johnson

Carbondale

Tags: #Ann Johnson #Fred Porter #letters #Mike Kennedy #rodeo
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