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Old 08-17-2013, 11:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Colorado Rambler View Post
... I wept for my beautiful mountains - the animals which live there, the forests, the wildflowers - gone. They will all be gone - perhaps in just a few decades, perhaps sooner. All victims of climate change. I see so much that has changed in those mountains just over the course of my lifetime.

I stand in their defense to the last aspen, the last bloom of fireweed, the last pika perched on a rock and I will not stand down.

Strong words.

I have to believe that the truth will at last out. Perhaps not in time, and more as historical footnote for those that care. If indeed the victors write history, with in consequence many voices and noble deeds lost to us because they did not prevail.

And yet . . .

In politics it may be wise to use all means, ethical or not, to make one's case while disparaging all others. If perhaps we are after something finer, a higher calling. One that can accept and even welcome divergent points of view, no matter how ill informed or venal—because at last our audience is truth and those seeking it. Maybe that will not win the day with corporations and what their moneyed propaganda can do influencing group thought. That indeed seems dismally lost.

But there must be something more. If at last we humans are to correct our path and preserve this legacy of a wonderful world freely granted, then it can never be through measuring dollars and cents. For that mindset can rationalize anything as long as there is some personal profit in it.

We have to reach beyond that, and to the heart. Even the most perverted and lost must at some level retain some small sensibility of this world they live within, of what they really are. That can be nurtured. All arguments against ultimately might be seen in the true light of their merit and passion, or lack thereof, for those that will see. If indeed these issues all the more highlighted from the darkest lies against, as necessary context. The clear truth need fear nothing.

Knowledge is their's that can see. If they will, which may well be the greater contest than in learning how. That is a challenge and contest far beyond common interests. To what at last we are—and might be.

Last edited by Idunn; 08-17-2013 at 11:30 PM..
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:03 AM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,253 posts, read 3,951,390 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idunn View Post
Strong words.

I have to believe that the truth will at last out. Perhaps not in time, and more as historical footnote for those that care. If indeed the victors write history, with in consequence many voices and noble deeds lost to us because they did not prevail.

And yet . . .

In politics it may be wise to use all means, ethical or not, to make one's case while disparaging all others. If perhaps we are after something finer, a higher calling. One that can accept and even welcome divergent points of view, no matter how ill informed or venal—because at last our audience is truth and those seeking it. Maybe that will not win the day with corporations and what their moneyed propaganda can do influencing group thought. That indeed seems dismally lost.

But there must be something more. If at last we humans are to correct our path and preserve this legacy of a wonderful world freely granted, then it can never be through measuring dollars and cents. For that mindset can rationalize anything as long as there is some personal profit in it.

We have to reach beyond that, and to the heart. Even the most perverted and lost must at some level retain some small sensibility of this world they live within, of what they really are. That can be nurtured. All arguments against ultimately might be seen in the true light of their merit and passion, or lack thereof, for those that will see. If indeed these issues all the more highlighted from the darkest lies against, as necessary context. The clear truth need fear nothing.

Knowledge is their's that can see. If they will, which may well be the greater contest than in learning how. That is a challenge and contest far beyond common interests. To what at last we are—and might be.
Thus speaks the educated voice of reason and a willingness to somehow find some common ground, and I mostly agree with this.

However, speaking only from my own experience on the CD forums - ESPECIALLY the politics forum - which I find to be truely distressing and leaves me feeling pessimistic about ever establishing any sort of rational dialogue with Rush Limbaugh's true believers - Those who would turn discussion into confrontation, science into politics are unwilling to even read beyond the first sentence of their "opponent's" replies. There is no actual exchange of ideas among the rabble rousers there. They post on that forum merely to repeat the canned phrases they hear on the media elsewhere and give one another high fives. I don't visit that forum anymore. There's no point to it for someone like me, anyhow. Others may be able to figure out how to reach them, but I am in a position where my energy and time is limited, so I don't squander precious time on the trivial pursuits there.

I'll sometimes engage in the political threads on the Colorado forum, but even here where the discussion is relatively civilized, I observe the same dynamic.

I think the path for me to take is to speak out about what I see happening to the people I meet and the ones I already know in real life. I have had people stare at me in dismay and disbelief when I speak plainly of what lies ahead. I don't argue the point with them, but I do bring up my observations again and I bring them up often. I think we have a better chance of getting people to understand when we talk to one another frankly, person to person. Folks who know me here in Cortez have never heard me discuss these things so plainly and honestly, so they are taken aback at first. I think this is a good thing because it causes them to pay attention and makes them begin to wonder if there's something to my words.

I wish it were given to me to influence a larger audience, but even if it were I doubt if I'd find that audience on the Internet.
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:57 PM
 
9,816 posts, read 19,017,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Rambler View Post
I made the decision pretty early on that I would not argue science with people who don't "believe" in it. A contrasting opinion in a scientific discussion, backed up by a link or a citation from a reputable source is most welcome to me, as well. But I lack the ability to discuss someone else's apples in the face my oranges, and I don't even try.

I was overwhelmed, in awe yet again that I had been given the most splendid gift to call these mountains home. And then I pulled over to the side of the road and I cried. I am not one of those women who cries easily. It has been years since I can remember crying last. I wept for my beautiful mountains - the animals which live there, the forests, the wildflowers - gone. They will all be gone - perhaps in just a few decades, perhaps sooner. All victims of climate change. I see so much that has changed in those mountains just over the course of my lifetime.

I stand in their defense to the last aspen, the last bloom of fireweed, the last pika perched on a rock and I will not stand down. I will not pretend that smartass posts or ones which downplay what is happening to our Colorado mountains are appropriate replies to my own posts in this regard, and I am not afraid to say so. No one on this board or anyone else has the right to make light of my sorrow.
For starters any scientist that says to me his study is irrefutable is a fraud and not a scientist and certainly has no ethics. Science is a form of testable philosophy and one thing we know now that it has happened is the scientists who told us in the 1980's and 1990's that we would be burning up and flooded were wrong. The earth didn't warm after all and none of the apocalyptic scenarios happened after all. When North America was at the end of a 40 year cooling cycle in the mid 1970's they said we were all going to die from Global Cooling. Then when that cycle ended around 1978 and it began to warm then it became Global Warming. Now that any warming has not happened for 10-15 years and both the northern and southern hemisphere have had some hard winters in the past 5 years, the excuse now is Climate Change.

But the climate has always changed and ebbed and flowed in cycles. Any dummy can look at tree core samples from trees several thousand years old to see that.

The cycle of life is no different. The part I bolded is very important. Yep the earth eventually grinds everything into landfill. The plants, trees, animals, people. We all end up as landfill. You are crying over mortality. But new plants, trees, animals and people will come. They always have, always will and will adapt to whatever the circumstance. Trying to hold onto 1993, 1973, 1953 just isn't possible. Colorado looked a little different when I was a kid and it will look a little different when I am an old man. I'll look different too. Big deal.

Since communism took a hit in the early 1990's, the totalitarians and environMENTALists have tacked on the environmental movement to push for total control. They push these apocalyptic scenarios on low information people to try to use that to push for more regulation and taxation. When it comes down to it, it's pure arrogance to think humans can control the climate by holding their breath. There are too many other larger things like the Sun that we have no control over.

I'm hoping as the baby boomers pass on to the other side they'll take all their apocalyptic scenarios and drama with them and we'll get back to a more rational, sensible society without the latest panic attack that if we don't do so and so we are all going to die!

So I think what you are crying over is not having control over the uncontrollable. I think for a lot of humans with their ego, it's a hard thing to accept you can't have everything the way you want it or to freeze time in 1973.
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Old 08-18-2013, 05:20 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,253 posts, read 3,951,390 times
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^^^


I do not discuss science with those who do not "believe" in it or would turn discussion into confrontation; science into politics or are unwilling to even read beyond the first sentence of their "opponent's" replies.

I stand in the defense of the Colorado mountains to the last aspen, the last bloom of fireweed, the last pika perched on a rock and I will not stand down. I will not pretend that smartass posts or ones which downplay what is happening to our Colorado mountains are appropriate replies to my own posts in this regard, and I am not afraid to say so. No one on this board or anyone else has the right to make light of my sorrow.

Last edited by Colorado Rambler; 08-18-2013 at 05:29 PM..
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Old 08-18-2013, 05:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Rambler View Post
^^^


I do not discuss science with those who do not "believe" in it or would turn discussion into confrontation; science into politics or are unwilling to even read beyond the first sentence of their "opponent's" replies.

I stand in the defense of the Colorado mountains to the last aspen, the last bloom of fireweed, the last pika perched on a rock and I will not stand down. I will not pretend that smartass posts or ones which downplay what is happening to our Colorado mountains are appropriate replies to my own posts in this regard, and I am not afraid to say so. No one on this board or anyone else has the right to make light of my sorrow.
Oh I believe in science but I happen to have an understanding of what science is and how it works. Science is never fixed in stone and never has been. Any "scientist" that peddles otherwise is a fraud.

If you don't understand that, then I'd learn up on what science and the scientific method is.

I think what I see is the Colorado Mountains being destroyed through "preservation" rather than letting nature take it's course. Too many aspens and old pine forests that couldn't regenerate and too many animals without predators.

I don't really understand what you are holding on to. Everything gets old and dies.
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:47 AM
 
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I feel for Rambler's very honest and raw grief. I admit I felt the same way as a child, watching rural south Jersey fall every year to more English-named subdivisions and strip malls. (Even as I knew I, as a baby boomer, was part of the demographic movement that caused the fall- that, and lack of planning for increased population- it didn't have to look the way it does and did).
One poster said that "we" (meaning people) like to think we are a noble species. I never have, and I admit to taking some solace in the fact that there will be a day with the earth without people and the earth will heal itself and regroup as it has so many times in the past billions of years.
I also note that the only reason I or Rambler or anyone can experience the San Juans is because the roads were built and there are places to live, etc. Do I want to be the last one in? You bet. Is that logical? No.
But I would never want to minimize anyone's cri di coeur.
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Old 08-25-2013, 03:03 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,253 posts, read 3,951,390 times
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Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
I feel for Rambler's very honest and raw grief. I admit I felt the same way as a child, watching rural south Jersey fall every year to more English-named subdivisions and strip malls. (Even as I knew I, as a baby boomer, was part of the demographic movement that caused the fall- that, and lack of planning for increased population- it didn't have to look the way it does and did).
One poster said that "we" (meaning people) like to think we are a noble species. I never have, and I admit to taking some solace in the fact that there will be a day with the earth without people and the earth will heal itself and regroup as it has so many times in the past billions of years.
I also note that the only reason I or Rambler or anyone can experience the San Juans is because the roads were built and there are places to live, etc. Do I want to be the last one in? You bet. Is that logical? No.
But I would never want to minimize anyone's cri di coeur.
I only just now read your reply, doglover. The irony of driving my battered old Toyota, exhaust trailing behind, up into the mountains to mourn the San Juans is hardly lost on me. Despite my best efforts, I bear my own share of responsibility for this tragedy. And I did do my best - things like ride my bicycle instead of using my car to get up to the top of the Mesa where Ft. Lewis is situated to go into work everyday. In the winter, I broke out my mountaineering ski's to make it into work. Me and my old Swiss ski's became a sort of running joke at the library. The Library Director at the time had this thing about keeping the library open for the students at least 8 hours a day - no matter what the weather or the state of the roads.

I grew used to his calls at 5:00am on snowy mornings to go up there and keep the library doors open from 8am to 5pm, single handedly, because I was the only librarian on the faculty who came equipped with her very own pair of ancient Swiss Army ski's. My uncle had worn that same set of mountaineering ski's to patrol the Jungfrau in the Swiss Alps during WWII against any possible incursion of Switzerland by Hitler's Nazi Army. Believe me, those ski's were meant for travel and could take a person anywhere.

But those days are long gone.

If people had sat up and listened when climatologists and other scientists first began to sound the alarm, the situation might be very different today. Since my Mother's side of the family is Swiss, it has been my good fortune to be able to travel extensively in Switzerland and hike in the Alps. The Swiss are every bit as crazy for their mountains as I am for the San Juans. However, few Swiss drive a personal car to the start of some hiking trail. When I hiked in the Bernese Alps with my uncle, we started out going by bus from his tiny village to the next largest town which had a train station. The local train took us to a another small village which had a bus service that stopped at a cross roads to let out any would-be hikers. We walked about a half mile up the road to the point where the dirt hiking trail took off for the summits, and my uncle and I were soon deep in the mountains - no beat up Toyota or Hummer required.

The US certainly has the resources to build a system of public transportation like that of Switzerland. If we had done this among other things, we could have reduced our output of CO2 by a considerable percentage. But there was no sense of urgency, no will to do anything about what was happening to our climate, and here we are.

You and I are going to get off light, doglover. The young folks alive today won't be anywhere near as lucky.
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Old 08-25-2013, 04:41 PM
 
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^A few notes about Rambler's post above. I'm a firm admirer of the Switzerland's excellent train and public transit system, but one must remember that the whole county of Switzerland would fit in a about a dozen or less Colorado counties, and Switzerland is surrounded by densely populated countries.

I'm still not convinced that man-made CO2 production is solely responsible for the warming temperatures of the last few years, though it certainly may be an aggravating factor. The warm temperatures and drought conditions in the southern Rockies have occurred several times in the last century. So have the forest fires that have ravaged parts of the region in the last few years. Again, a century of fire suppression has aggravated those fire conditions and made the fires bigger, but the fires are not an unusual occurrence. The big problem is that man has built a bunch of worthless crap in the tinderbox forests. Again, nature isn't the problem, it's us.

Now to the status of the rural Colorado economy in late August 2013: in a couple of words--not good.

The tally, based on what I've observed in a considerable amount of travel in Colorado this summer and from talking to people that I know who work in rural Colorado's various industries:

Natural resources. Gas drilling ongoing, but prices not great. Oil drilling booming where oil can be extracted using "enhanced" methods on older fields (i.e., frac'ing) due to high oil prices. Coal mining in trouble--stagnated prices and demand aggravated by the current Administration's openly anti-coal agenda. In short, at best, a mixed bag in what most would consider the strongest industry in rural Colorado.

Agriculture. Much of it struggling. Commodity prices are pretty good, but the persistent winter droughts have raised hell with streamflow dependent irrigation. Pasture conditions in the Colorado high country started off pretty awful this summer. That, combined with astronomical hay prices, have caused a lot of Colorado cow-calf cattle operations to liquidate part or all of their herds. When that happens, it will take those ranchers several years to recover. Along with that, many Colorado agricultural areas still remain under full assault of land development pressures and urban water grabs. Colorado's urban-dominated political structure generally couldn't care less about Colorado agriculture, so the business climate for Colorado ranchers and farmers continues to sour.

Summer tourism. Going OK in the I-70 Sacrifice Zone, the metro areas, and the real high-end resorts. Everywhere else, not great. Publicity from the fires hurt some of the early season, escalating fuel prices are hurting the late summer season. RV'ing appears to be down again, motel business seems steady. More tourists eating groceries from the supermarket, while restaurant business seems to be hurting.

Real Estate. Some areas getting a "dead-cat bounce" of somewhat increasing real estate sales prices, but, more often than not, not accompanied by any sustained increase in sales volume. More sales for cash, high-end homes ($1 million+) still selling, $400K-$1 million not doing well in many areas. Many I talk to expect this dead-cat bounce to die by winter, followed by another real estate bloodbath within a year.

Rural Colorado suffering serious inflation in basic living costs--fuel, food, etc.--while wages and incomes are stagnant to declining. Escalating gasoline and diesel fuel prices aggravate basic living costs disproportionately in the rural areas due to long-driving distances and the cost of freight into remote areas. Internet retailers that offer "freight-equalized" shipping costs (same cost or free no matter where the package is shipped) are doing a brisk business in rural areas, albeit at the expense of local retailers.

Economically, I think that most of rural Colorado is in for a very rough time this winter, but even worse carnage possible by next summer, especially if we get any serious economic shocks at the national level--the latter which I consider a very strong possibility.
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Old 08-25-2013, 05:22 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,253 posts, read 3,951,390 times
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Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
^A few notes about Rambler's post above. I'm a firm admirer of the Switzerland's excellent train and public transit system, but one must remember that the whole county of Switzerland would fit in a about a dozen or less Colorado counties, and Switzerland is surrounded by densely populated countries.

I'm still not convinced that man-made CO2 production is solely responsible for the warming temperatures of the last few years, though it certainly may be an aggravating factor. The warm temperatures and drought conditions in the southern Rockies have occurred several times in the last century. So have the forest fires that have ravaged parts of the region in the last few years. Again, a century of fire suppression has aggravated those fire conditions and made the fires bigger, but the fires are not an unusual occurrence. The big problem is that man has built a bunch of worthless crap in the tinderbox forests. Again, nature isn't the problem, it's us.
Temps in the southern Rockies have been known to flip flop, true enough. But now while temperatures in the Rockies may still seem to flip flop, the over-all trend is toward ever warmer temperatures. If this phenomena were limited to the Rocky Mountain West, that would be one thing. But the warming is global and impacts the entire planet. It's an oncoming tragedy that is hard for us all to accept, including myself.

As for passenger rail in the US, we had passenger trains that connected towns all over the American West, never mind the rest of the country as recently as only 50 years ago. We could put in our current Interstate Highway System; we are capable of putting in a passenger rail system. Europe created its own wonderful system of rail and light rail from almost nothing after the devastation of WWII. The only thing preventing the US from doing the same is the complacency and lack of will among the American people.

Quote:
Now to the status of the rural Colorado economy in late August 2013: in a couple of words--not good.

The tally, based on what I've observed in a considerable amount of travel in Colorado this summer and from talking to people that I know who work in rural Colorado's various industries:

Natural resources. Gas drilling ongoing, but prices not great. Oil drilling booming where oil can be extracted using "enhanced" methods on older fields (i.e., frac'ing) due to high oil prices. Coal mining in trouble--stagnated prices and demand aggravated by the current Administration's openly anti-coal agenda. In short, at best, a mixed bag in what most would consider the strongest industry in rural Colorado.

Agriculture. Much of it struggling. Commodity prices are pretty good, but the persistent winter droughts have raised hell with streamflow dependent irrigation. Pasture conditions in the Colorado high country started off pretty awful this summer. That, combined with astronomical hay prices, have caused a lot of Colorado cow-calf cattle operations to liquidate part or all of their herds. When that happens, it will take those ranchers several years to recover. Along with that, many Colorado agricultural areas still remain under full assault of land development pressures and urban water grabs. Colorado's urban-dominated political structure generally couldn't care less about Colorado agriculture, so the business climate for Colorado ranchers and farmers continues to sour.

Summer tourism. Going OK in the I-70 Sacrifice Zone, the metro areas, and the real high-end resorts. Everywhere else, not great. Publicity from the fires hurt some of the early season, escalating fuel prices are hurting the late summer season. RV'ing appears to be down again, motel business seems steady. More tourists eating groceries from the supermarket, while restaurant business seems to be hurting.

Real Estate. Some areas getting a "dead-cat bounce" of somewhat increasing real estate sales prices, but, more often than not, not accompanied by any sustained increase in sales volume. More sales for cash, high-end homes ($1 million+) still selling, $400K-$1 million not doing well in many areas. Many I talk to expect this dead-cat bounce to die by winter, followed by another real estate bloodbath within a year.

Rural Colorado suffering serious inflation in basic living costs--fuel, food, etc.--while wages and incomes are stagnant to declining. Escalating gasoline and diesel fuel prices aggravate basic living costs disproportionately in the rural areas due to long-driving distances and the cost of freight into remote areas. Internet retailers that offer "freight-equalized" shipping costs (same cost or free no matter where the package is shipped) are doing a brisk business in rural areas, albeit at the expense of local retailers.

Economically, I think that most of rural Colorado is in for a very rough time this winter, but even worse carnage possible by next summer, especially if we get any serious economic shocks at the national level--the latter which I consider a very strong possibility.
Durango merchants inform me that they've had a good tourist season, but everywhere else in the Four Corners is having difficulties. I was packing my bags to leave when I was unexpectedly offered employment, so I'll stay on a little longer. I'm not optimistic, however.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Colorado Rambler View Post
As for passenger rail in the US, we had passenger trains that connected towns all over the American West, never mind the rest of the country as recently as only 50 years ago. We could put in our current Interstate Highway System; we are capable of putting in a passenger rail system. Europe created its own wonderful system of rail and light rail from almost nothing after the devastation of WWII. The only thing preventing the US from doing the same is the complacency and lack of will among the American people.
Quite true. Two things killed American passenger trains in Colorado and the rest of the US: First, the massive socialist experiment called the Federal highway system that was (and is) massively taxpayer subsidized. Second, the withdrawal, over the years, of the one significant subsidy to the railroads for passenger service in the form of US Post Office mail haulage contracts on the passenger trains. If you look at the history of the demise of passenger train service in Colorado (and I have studied this extensively), the petitions by the railroads to the PUC (in-state) or ICC (interstate) for discontinuance of passenger service almost always immediately followed the loss of the mail haulage contract for a particular passenger train. The irony is that the mail contracts both provided incentive for the railroads to maintain passenger service, and that mail service has never since been as efficient as it was when mail was carried and sorted on the Railway Post Office cars running on the passenger trains. Now we have practically no passenger trains, deteriorating highways for which there will never be enough money to properly maintain, long-term escalating motor fuel costs, and expensive and inefficient postal service. But today's ignorant, brainwashed public is too blind to see that very dead end road that we are traveling. And the first places that are going to feel the effect of that transportation collapse are going to be the rural areas that are the subject of this thread.
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