Madelyn Wynne: Emissions: Resolving traffic should be an emissions goal
Our local governments give a lot of “hot air” to emissions targets for such and such a date, with long-prepared Powerpoint presentations, which our taxes pay for. Yet what is being done to reduce stationary traffic at intersections or blocked traffic due to lane closures and blockages?
I experience quite a bit of both when traveling around Boulder – the Diagonal – Longmont. Earlier this fall, diagonal eastbound traffic was blocked from the IBM/Route 52 light to 63rd Street — a distance of several miles. Knowing that this happens daily and has done so for years, you would think that special attention would be paid to solving this problem. Let’s not have brilliant plans to do construction on the Diagonal that would further restrict traffic but solve the existing problems. One can only imagine the amount of exhaust generated in this and other similar situations.
Why don’t we do more work at night when traffic is flowing? Foothills south each afternoon back up from Baseline Road light, solid at least to Colorado Avenue and sometimes to Arapahoe. It has been years. When will some of these known issues be fixed to try to keep traffic moving instead of creating more? That would help our emission numbers.
Madelyn Wynne, Boulder
Jennifer Louden: Climate: the media must highlight the role of the fossil fuel industry
As someone who follows local and national news reports too closely, I am scared and worried about the recent extreme heat and wildfires raging across the country. I feel for the people losing their lives and livelihoods to extreme weather, including our neighbors who already have it, and I’m afraid it’s only a matter of time before it hits my family and my town of Longmont directly.
Seeing the local media headlines covering these climate disasters made me realize that most of the news reports show no connection between them and their root cause: fossil fuels. It’s dangerous and potentially misleading, because most people won’t make the connection that longer, hotter and deadlier summers are caused and perpetuated by disastrous coal, oil and gas projects – and industry. fossil fuels.
The science is clear – the more we allow coal, oil and gas companies to dig and burn, the more severe the impacts of the climate crisis will be. With every fraction of a degree of warming, we will see and suffer more extreme heat, droughts, floods, wildfires and hurricanes. But the fossil fuel industry continues to ignore this truth and has for decades. We all know this causes global warming and leads to extreme weather events, but they continue to dig, burn and profit, without any accountability.
Local and regional media have a vital role to play — and a moral obligation to tell the whole truth. It’s time to clarify one thing about extreme weather: it’s not a “crisis” happening to us — it should be a crime and we are the victims and the fossil fuel industry is the perpetrators. And saying it once is not enough. The media has an incredibly important job to do in turning the tide of public opinion and helping the world avoid the worst of climate impacts.
Please tell the real story of the climate crisis. Again and again!
Jennifer Louden, Longmont
Diane Mayer: Medicare: health care has been replaced by corporations
Thank you for the Medicare column, “Medicare Under Threat of Privatization,” by Ron Forthofer. It was consistent with my experience, that health care was lost in this century and replaced by corporate medical entities. These entities make super profits by: 1) getting doctors to treat as many patients per hour as possible, 2) eliminating humans who could answer phones and questions, 3) replacing said humans with computers, whose long confusing menus are enough to cause ulcers, and 4) charging huge sums, which the government pays. I was recently billed for a short visit to the doctor, who took a blood sample. I saw it for about 10-15 minutes. The bill was $2,800. I only saw this because the medical company billed my old insurance, not my current one. I’m pretty sure that when the right insurance company is billed, I won’t pay anything.
Diane Mayer, Boulder
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