Eight members of the climate action committee of the Crawford Area Indivisibles (CAI) participated in a work session with Delta County Commissioners Don Suppes, Mark Roeber and Mike Lane on May 7.
Ellie Goldstein, co-leader of CAI, explained that they are a group of 70-plus individuals from the Crawford, Hotchkiss and Paonia areas who meet twice a month and are a non-partisan grassroots organization. They support members in strengthening community, ensuring accurate representation in our democracy, and upholding our Constitution. For the past several months CIA has made climate change action and education its top priority.
Members attending were Goldstein, Rita Clagett, Bill Wellman, Jerry Berg, Mary Smith, Laurie Priddy, Libby Schovajsas and Marjorie True.
They shared with the commissioners evidence of climate change from NASA, stating, "NASA's role is to make detailed climate data available to the global community, including the public, policy- and decision-makers and scientific and planning agencies."
CIA brought displays and shared with the commissioners a carbon graph, climate graph, and a list of causes of climate change.
CIA held a climate rally earlier this year and Rita Clagett condensed the high points to a 10-minute video, which she shared with the commissioners.
During the rally attendees were invited to share their thoughts on postcards to the commissioners, some of which were read aloud to the commissioners.
Linda Smith wrote, "Climate change is not a political issue. It's not a jobs issue. It is a survival issue. Please do the right thing for future generations. Thank you."
Carol Schott wrote, "For conservation of our natural resources, water, and energy we can do only so much as individuals. We need leadership, goals, and direction to make significant strides. Will you help lead? Will you help make a plan for Delta County? Please lead us in plans and policies that will reverse climate change and energy consumption. Thanks."
Mary Smith enumerated specific requests CIA has for the county commissioners, noting they were environmental solutions made by the students from the Paonia Experiential Leadership Academy who recently appeared before the commissioners in person.
Goldstein said, "Crawford Area Indivisible would like to add a few suggestions of our own and ask you as Delta County's leaders to take the impending climate crisis seriously and made every effort to find environmental solutions to reduce the increasing amount of carbon in our air as soon as possible." Their suggestions are:
1) Appoint a public official as climate action coordinator to create a Delta County Climate Plan.
2) Take measures to enact the State Climate Plan.
3) Form a working group of local experts and stakeholders to advise the Climate Plan coordinator.
4) Display CIA's climate action pamphlets in county buildings.
"We hear you," Suppes said. "We listen and want to be fair to all sides."
Commissioner Lane said the commissioners will take their suggestions under advisement.