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Valmont series is great

(Re: “The Ghosts of Valmont Butte” series.) That is the best local reporting on any topic that I’ve seen in years. I hope you’re submitting the series to the Pulitzer judges because it’s that good. Thank you for your service to the community.

I can’t fathom why the Camera and Post haven’t picked up on your story!

Thank you. Gail Promboin/via Internet

Running dry

The article/interview “Drying times” (cover story, Feb. 23) was interesting for some angles, but it ignored the “elephant in the room” of Front Range water problems: Growth.

As long as we have a growth-based economy, we will have worsening water problems and shortages. Conservation can only delay the problems; no amount of conservation can “beat the exponential” of constant population growth. (“Sustainable growth” is an oxymoron, and a dangerous one at that.)

It was also clear that agriculture will get short shrift — the attitude is, “Yeah, local agriculture is important and all that, but ...” The topic trails off, but the message is clear: When cities demand more water to fuel growth, they’ll find a way to screw the farmers out of it. And farmers will be demanded to find conservation measures in the future, even though they’ve already done what they can. Once the farm cuts any wasted water, it’s left needing what a given crop needs. Reducing water below that amount reduces yields. You can’t dry-land farm vegetables in this region.

Dick Dunn/Hygiene

Danish’s latest

(Re: “Climate change and the ingratitude of the eighth generation,” March 8.) I have recently returned from a two-month stay in India. I left to one of Mr. Danish’s “just turn up the air conditioners” diatribes, and now I have returned to another about just how happy that eighth generation is going to be about their toasty climate if we just do nothing. I promised myself that I would stay out of the fray and chant “Om Namah Shivaya,” but the callousness of the references to “adaptations that the human race will have to make” makes me shudder.

As I meditated on the Ganges, and my mind drifted, the memory of Mr. Danish’s complacency-in-print would set me to analyzing the data about how global warming would affect the 1.5 billion people of the Indian sub-continent. I specifically pondered the differences between the “act now” and the “ignore it” scenarios, a difference that Mr. Danish seems to discount as insignificant.

Let me elucidate in a way that Mr. Danish might understand: I have a toaster oven that can keep food warm, bake or broil it. When I unplug the oven, it stops getting hotter. Let’s imagine the Indian sub-continent as a curry dish I am re-heating at home: If we start turning down the heat now, we are talking about a few million Bangladeshis displaced to flooding who might be mostly relocated in their own country; and on the other extreme, the broil setting, several tens of millions of refugees who will need to be received by other countries. Imagine tens of millions of refugees whose whole country is virtually under water who must go somewhere else. So many more refugees in Europe (in addition to the ones who will be flooding in from Africa) could stoke already virulent neo-Nazi movements. And here in the U.S.? — Yeah, right. … Maybe India? Millions of Muslim refugees in a country with a delicate Hindu/Muslim balance?

Meanwhile, India would be having its own problems “adapting”: On the Gangeatic Plain of Northern India some global warming would make it hotter there in the months leading up to the monsoon, resulting in more evaporation that would require adaptation in crops and growing seasons, as well as strategies to keep humans from the heat. However, if we were to follow the logic of the Danish Plan and just keep the setting on broil, we are looking at the melting of the Himalayan glaciers that feed the Ganges, so that it would virtually become nothing more than a seasonal super-arroyo in monsoon season. So there would no longer be reliable irrigation water and crop-wilting, people-killing heat in the 120s or higher in an agricultural system that supports not only the half-billion residents of the plain, but also the half-billion of the rest of the country. So what’s the plan, Greenland homesteading? Curried caribou?

Namaste Mr. Danish. I hope that you will contemplate the “collateral damage” in terms of human lives and world peace that will be caused by just doing nothing.

Abraham Gutmann/via Internet


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