A letter to the Boulder County commissioners: As a concerned citizen keeping close to the issue of fracking, I can tell you that if you think the public outcry has been bad thus far, it’s been nothing compared to what it will become if you give in to the oil and gas industry.
Granted, the old regulations are outdated. So you update those, but don’t stop there — nobody wants the unrest that is certain to develop if (a) the current moratorium is not extended, and (b) fracking is not banned in the county before either this moratorium or an extended moratorium expires.
Each of you will have legacies of public service to live with. And this matter of fracking might be the most definitive issue for each of your careers. You do not want to be defined and remembered by your constituents on this issue if you give the O&G operators permission to threaten our health and permanently destroy so much of our land and our water. No one will be able to reverse the damage done by fracking — you know that and you do not want what will come from that: the environmental mess, the public response and owning the actions that your constituents will hold you responsible for as commissioners. O&G does not care about you or us or our county, and everyone knows that. This is our home, commissioners — the people of Longmont have spoken, and now the people of Boulder County are speaking, loudly and clearly. Think long-term and stop fretting about being sued by the state. Stick to the business of protecting what we have, and know that the people will not rest while the state turns our health, our neighborhoods, our businesses, our schools and our lives over to Encana and Noble. We will not quietly allow O&G to turn Boulder County into the sacrifice zone that Weld County has become.
Yes, we need to develop alternative energies and gain independence from foreign oil. But let’s not kill ourselves doing it.
Dyer right, Danish wrong
Some comments about your latest issue (Dec. 13):
1. I was very encouraged by Joel Dyer’s rebuttal to Vince Carroll’s disparagement of Boulder’s anti-fracking protestors. He explains calmly and clearly Carroll’s warped apologetic for the corrupt oil and gas industry and the state “regulators” on its payroll.
2. The article by Paul Danish, “Greetings and guesses from Tel Aviv,” really bemused me. Did you actually pay him to fly to Israel to engage in meandering speculation that any of us here back home could do? Perhaps you could post him there permanently as an embedded Zionist apologist, presumably for the benefit of Boulder’s large Jewish community. He could rename his column Danish Patsy, a take off on that favorite Jewish treat, Danish Pastry. I would recommend the following books to help round out his shockingly narrow perspective on this ongoing tragedy:
• Allies for Armageddon: The Rise of Christian Zionism by Victoria Clark
• Blood Brothers: The Dramatic Story of a Palestinian Christian Working for Peace in Israel by Elias Chacour and David Hazard
• One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse by Ali Abunimah
• Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories by Anna Baltzer
3. About the fascinating article “Wooden wheels,” perhaps inventor Chris Connor would like to read about a similar, but much cheaper, invention by an Israeli: Bicycle Built of Cardboard.
Editor’s note: Boulder Weekly did not pay for Paul Danish’s trip to Israel.
When I read Joel Dyer’s piece on fracking (“Can you hear us now?” DyerTimes, Dec. 6), I thought that maybe I had inadvertently picked up a copy of the Onion. While describing how dangerous fracking is, Dyer states, “If we don’t fight now, when that new information comes along that finally stops or makes fracking more safe, it will not matter. Boulder County will already have been decimated. Our air will already be more dangerous to breathe and our property values will already have been devastated.”
“Decimated,” “dangerous,” “devastated.” By the sound of Dyer’s alarm, one would have thought that maybe the commissioners had been allowing the paving of our roads with spent uranium.
Silly me, I had been thinking that this was a real newspaper.
Fossil fuels bad
On Dec. 2, over 1,100 students and Boulder citizens participated in a campaign event about the most important moral issue of our era.
Bill McKibben, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Winona LaDuke and others gave us the stark facts: Fossil fuel corporations have five times more oil and coal and gas in known reserves than climate scientists think is safe to burn if we wish to prevent climate catastrophe. Almost every government in the world has agreed that global warming above a 2°C (3.6°F) rise would be unsafe. Already we have raised the temperature 0.8°C, and even that amount has caused a third of the summer sea ice in the Arctic to disappear and brought us ever more severe weather, such as the severe droughts in our grain belt, superstorm Sandy, and here in Colorado a dearth of snow and a fire season that has no end.
All this is happening with only a 0.8° rise in temperature. To raise the temperature further would be a malicious attack on all of us and on all of Earth’s life forms. But this attack is precisely what fossil fuel companies plan to commit, in many cases subsidized by our tax dollars.
We in Boulder can be glad that we are making some climate progress through our Climate Action Plan. We can be encouraged that we are making progress on municipalization of our electric supply, with the prospect of freeing ourselves from Xcel’s ongoing commitment to coal. And yet we need to keep moving on reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. In order not to blow past the 2°C target, with our present trends of burning fossil fuels, we only have about 16 years left, around the time today’s preschoolers will be graduating from high school.
I urge everyone to get informed and get involved. Go to http://gofossilfree.org.
Two nights ago I watched the documentary Chasing Ice (now playing in Boulder, and if you don’t believe we are contributing to climate change I strongly suggest you see it).
It occurred to me how very ironic that much of the information and scientists featured in the film are from right here in beautiful Boulder, where the diversion rate (how much is diverted from the landfill by reducing, reusing, recycling and composting) is only 35 percent (compared to San Francisco at 85 percent); Boulder, a town where Ecocycle was one of the first organizations in the country to start a curbside recycling program way back in 1976 and has a reputation internationally as a leader on environmental issues; Boulder, a small town crowded with SUVs; a community where we still use thou sands of plastic bags and other plastic, and use a plastic bottle of water for 20 minutes and then throw it “away”; and where my neighbors write editorials in our local paper saying that plastic bags are great and complain about bicyclists; where every afternoon when I have my coffee break 90 percent of the customers are drinking from paper cups (even though they are having it “for here”).
Believe me, I am far from perfect myself and feel terribly guilty every time I get in my car! I have re-committed to riding my bike as much as I can.
After a summer of droughts, polar ice melting more in the last year than any time in the last 20 years, extreme weather and wildfires (really hitting home with a fire right behind Bear Peak, a mountain sacred to me), I feel the urgency that we need to change our convenient lifestyles and disposable society … yesterday!