I am a student at Colorado Mountain College’s Alpine Campus in Steamboat Springs. As a sustainability student, I have been faced with conflicting ideals as to where I stand on fracking and water issues. These dilemmas are caused by ongoing rhetoric from opposing sides.
At the current rate of global consumption, I think we need to continue finding new sources of energy. I also think that an infrastructure for renewable energy needs to be implemented before the projected year of 2050. It is amazing to think that in World War II, car factories were mandated to manufacture only products conducive for the war. The infrastructure of these factories changed within a year. Why can’t we mandate the nation to implement a renewable energy infrastructure? Can this happen, or is this just one person’s opinion based upon rhetoric?
Although rhetoric can be overbearing, there is importance in what is expressed from both sides. Recently, upon traveling the Upper Colorado Basin, I experienced a well-balanced view between energy use and the use of water without pressures of rhetoric. This experience became possible because of Eco Flight, a nonprofit organization based out of Aspen. Every year this program chooses college students to study a theme, such as this year’s theme of water use, via an aerial perspective. I was lucky enough to be one of those students. Being able to fly to different states in the Upper Colorado Basin and hear expert opinions from opposing sides allowed me to realize everyone has a belief and that these beliefs are valid whether or not they are true. The most important lesson of this experience is to listen to both sides, allow yourself to see the bigger picture, make an educated decision and vote for your beliefs.