Leaders need to act on climate

To the editor,

In the summer of 2018, we watched as smoke filled the skies, and the San Juan Mountains were scarred by the 416 Fire. As our climate warms and dries, wildfires become more common and more destructive. But not everyone is alarmed; some see aggressive oil and gas development as a priority despite voluminous scientific accounts of it accelerating and exacerbating climate change. In Durango, we rely on tourists coming to enjoy the outdoors, so it is imperative that we put nothing above our health, safety and environmental protections.

Wildfires have become more prevalent and our precipitation is highly variable. It is up to states like Colorado to take action and address the most important issue of our time. We have the opportunity to not only address a changing climate, but improve our quality of life and protect our planet. There is time to act and that time is now.

Thankfully our Rep. Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango, is someone who agrees we need to act. As a conservation champ, she has the chance to act by urging her counterparts Sens. Donovan and Coram, to vote yes on SB 181, so that she will have the opportunity for the same yes vote in the House. This will be a small but important step in the right direction to prioritize our health, safety and environment over the profits of the oil and gas industry. Thank you Rep. McLachlan for starting to tackle the problem of our generation!

– Kara Armaro, Durango