The haze is an omen

By John Heckman


Dear Editor:

Say, have you noticed the haze in the skies lately? They say this is smoke from forest fires blowing into our beautiful valleys. I don't know about you, but I miss our 50-mile vistas. Might as well live someplace flat and boring, or breathe city smog! There are 74 "large" forest fire incidents burning as I write this, all up and down the West Coast and the Pacific Northwest. The largest in Washington state has burned over 100 square miles.

We've been relatively lucky in our region with sufficient water this year, but over four million acres of Colorado forests, including Grand Mesa, have been heavily impacted by pine beetles since 1996, and these damaged forests are ripe for big fires. Winter cold used to kill the pine beetles every winter, but it's been getting warmer lately. July was the hottest month on record! The evidence of climate change is there for anyone to see, and it's only going to get worse if we don't do something about it soon. We've got to stop burning coal, venting methane from wells, and releasing other greenhouse gasses. I know that much of our local economy relies on coal, and we've already felt the impact of closing a mine, but literally saving the world is even more important! Write to your representatives, talk to your neighbors, reduce your own impacts. Our grandchildren deserve a liveable planet! Wake up, people!

John Heckman
Delta