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I appreciate the editorial staff of the Steamboat Pilot and Today for publishing my letter to the editor. Unfortunately, the staff left out the last sentence of my letter: "Oh yeah, and watch out for the horse!"
So Josh, you and Kenny want to "put out the welcome mat" for all comers, regardless of the City's ability to assimilate them in terms of water, sanitation, roads, traffic, electricity, schools, etc. Ever been to Houston? That's what the issue of carrying capacity is all about. In the relatively few years that I've been a resident of Steamboat Springs, I've witnessed a succession of City Councils, most of which had never met a development they didn't like. In my view, Ken Solomon would be a breath of fresh air in a Council that doesn't seem to have a good grasp on the future of Steamboat Springs, its goals for quality of life, and what to do about achieving them.
As for your stated reasons for supporting Reisman, I see a substantial disconnect between his experience and the fundamental requirements for the office he's running for. Frankly, it's beyond me how his resume demonstrates a penchant for openness and creativity. Is he a maverick too?
Let's take luck out of the electoral process. My vote goes to Ken Solomon. I had the opportunity to work with Ken starting 6 years ago when both of us were involved with the Concerned Citizens group working to prevent Lafarge from placing an industrial strength gravel pit in Steamboat's "signature" Yampa River valley. Even though having a gravel pit close to town might have benefited his building business, Ken's commitment to Steamboat and its values trumped possible personal gain. But, more importantly, his understanding of the people and the politics, and his insights on how things worked in the City and the County were invaluable in keeping that industrial eyesore off the map.
As I understand it, Kenny Reisman really passionate, and it's certainly nice to be passionate about stuff. But having passion about the stuff of a Steamboat City Council that you admittedly don't understand, and lack the judgment that comes from experience with City and County issues is downright scary.
If the Golf Committee Chairman John Vanderbloemen came forward right now and said to the City and the Steamboat golfing community, that his brain as well as the brains of the other Golf Committee members were captured by alien beings a few months ago and were just returned today, and then offered an apology for what may have happened in the interim, that would have more credibility than their decision not to renew the contract of Hank and Wendy Franks for the operation of Haymaker. To drop the Franks from contention after doing a terrific job year after year based not on cost, but some nebulous justification of "needing to go in a different direction" has got to be the worst local governmental decision since our former District Attorney decided to jail two rainbow people for dumpster diving. On the subject of dumpsters, it strikes me that such an edifice might be a good location to house the Golf Committee.
But I digress... Let's move to the issue of governmental transparency. It would have been nice for those of us who live here and hold a Haymaker season pass (or anyone for that matter) to be asked about the possible "new directions" for Haymaker under consideration. What are these new directions? Certainly would be nice to know. Are we going to sell Amway products in the pro shop? Special costumes for the ladies driving the refreshment carts? Maybe we're going to be hitting wiffle balls on the driving range so we can go get our own shots and eliminate the ball retrieval machinery. I certainly have some new directions ideas for the Golf Committee. But again, I'm thinking dumpster.
If your point is that government agencies manned by civil service employees are incompetent on many fronts, then you and I agree. I spent 13 years working for a number of federal government agencies, and have many "war stories" similar to yours. I left for the private sector in '79 before I became "one of them."
But back to climate change... A lot of really smart people from both the public and private sector who have looked at the issue have concluded that it's real, mostly human induced, and is or will soon have devastating consequences on society. These include people in leadership positions in major national and multinational corporations who are refocusing their company's strategies based on their studied conclusions about climate change. For example, take a look at the web site for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD, www.wbcsd.org). The membership of this group includes 200 of the top multinational corporations, all of which have made public commitments to making their operations more sustainable, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Not only has the WBCSD made public statements about climate change, but they have worked with the World Resources Institute to come up with a GHG protocol for measuring GHG emissions.
If the climate change issue was perpetrated by government civil servants, then I too would have grave doubts about it's authenticity. But it's not. It's an issue that emerged from academia and has been vetted by many competent people in industry and academia (and government too)-the "real brain power" you speak of.
My concern is that the "kool-aid" being served is being mixed by people who are defending the status quo, wanting to squeeze every last drop of profit out of their legacy processes and systems at society's expense.
Well so much for having a rational conversation. Life must be pretty exciting when you're surrounded by conspiracies.
Additional Note: I'm reading book called "The Ghost Map" by Steven Johnson that chronicles the devastating outbreaks of Cholera in London in the 1850s, and the efforts to find the cause and eliminate the disease. The author notes that back then there were many "Cholera-is-a waterborne-disease" deniers, preferring, even in the face of sound evidence to the contrary, to believe in the Middle Ages miasma theory of disease, that the cause of Cholera was bad air. I suppose this could break both ways, but the main point is that society needs institutions that are able to study, assess and deliver solid advice based on sound science.
Regarding your comments, aichempty, I'm struggling to understand your points. Technological universities normally aren't asked to advise on national policies. But their scientists and engineers participate actively in the debate on climate change as well as other subjects, and virtually all of them are members of one or more of the organizations I referenced in the letter. Those are the organizations that leaders rely upon for sound advice based on good science. BTW, these organizations include the National Academies, NASA, NOAA, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and many others whose reputations rise and fall on their ability to support rational decision-making.
Political parties will never agree unless faced with a major catastrophe. Interestingly, as a result of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, New Orleans and Louisiana politics are being overhauled by a public that has had to experience first hand the results of decades of politicians ignoring the facts and making bad decisions.
All of these organizations get government funding in one way or another. However, I cannot buy your argument that any organization that gets government funding in the arena of global climate change must be biased, just as I cannot buy William Gray's argument that scientists that don't adhere to the climate change theories won't get funding. Heck, scientists who can effectively challenge the current thinking can likely get all the money they want from Exxon, the coal companies, the cement industry, i.e., any group that has a stake in maintaining the status quo.
On to other comments...
Fred, I agree with you that nuclear power has to be on the table. We really don't have any choice. However, we have to proceed in an entirely different way than what we did before. The French model seems attractive, although I have to admit I don't know much about it.
Sol, I think geoengineering solutions need to be considered, but like seeuski, I'm concerned about the unintended consequences. I'm been collecting information on geoengineering (as well as all subjects pertaining to sustainability, climate change, etc.) and will contact you about your references.
Scott, your point is well taken. We need to start doing stuff. The best plan of action I've seen to date is incorporated in Tom Friedman's book, "Hot, Flat and Crowded."
Snoman, I hope you're right. BTW, I just returned from an engineering conference in Sweden, with engineers from Asia, Africa, Europe, Middle East, Latin America. Lots of expressions of utter disbelief that the Republicans could have fielded such a ticket. Also, the European press is having a field day with this story. It seems to be bring back visions of Month Python.
There's an interesting web site set up by The Economist magazine (http://www.economist.com/vote2008/?source=hpevents). Their scenario is, "What if the world could vote in the U.S. election?" and they have set up this web site to collect the votes. Astonishingly, the current "World Electoral College" tally is 8039 votes for Obama/Biden and ZERO votes for McCain/Palin.
At last, unable to continue hiding from the press, Sarah Palin's undecipherable opinions and ignorant policy ramblings are beginning to appear more frequently, giving the public a taste of what's to come. Referring back to my original letter to the editor, I'm tempted to say, "I rest my case!" However, in reading the many Palin-supporting comments above, my reaction is, "You've got to be kidding!" What are your criteria for judging her to be vice presidential candidate material? Given today's complex issues and challenges facing the U.S. and the world, do you actually think she is qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency? Frankly, I don't know which scares me most: the fact that Palin is so ill equipped for the candidacy role she's assumed, or the fact that a large proportion of the electorate appear to be so absolutely clueless about what it takes to lead our nation.
Last login: Thursday, January 14, 2016
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