Over the past few months, Americans have missed some significant events in Colorado that merit attention, and now that the state is being ravaged by what is being called “biblical” flooding, the nation needs to turn its attention to a monumental problem facing the entire country. Roughly six weeks ago, a story emerged about some northern Colorado counties taking steps to secede and form a new state because of opposition to background checks for gun purchases and renewable energy standards. Two Weld County commissioners supporting secession made statements that have a direct correlation to why the state is experiencing what climatologists are describing as a truly historic event that is bound become a regular occurrence across America and the world.
The secession-minded Coloradan’s are angry over new renewable energy standards one county commissioner said were “an attack on oil and gas,” and another claimed “The whole purpose of doing this (secession) is to protect the energy sector that we feel is very much under assault.” The energy sector they are protecting is under the control of the Koch brothers who have spent hundreds-of-millions of dollars to promote climate change denial, and according to the National Weather Service (NWS) and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); Colorado’s ‘biblical‘ flooding is in line with climate trends projected to occur due to the effects of manmade global warming.
The county commissioners from Weld County who are protecting the oil and gas industry got an up-close-and-personal look at exactly what climatologists have been forecasting, and warning, was bound to happen due to the effects of manmade global climate change. In Weld county rescue crews used boats and helicopters to evacuate residents during the night on Friday, and county commissioners said at least 140 roads have been closed, including parts of Interstate 25. Authorities had to evacuate stranded residents from homes, but the oil and gas industry did not use their helicopters to help rescue residents because they were busy dealing with a broken oil and gas industry pipeline.
Weld County Emergency Manager Roy Rudisill said “one pipeline has broken and is leaking, and other industry pipelines are sagging as saturated sediment erodes around the expanding river. Industry crews are shutting in the lines, shutting in the wells.” Gary Wockner, of Clean Water Action, was not as optimistic the industry that Weld county secessionists are protecting can control the environmental damage by just shutting in lines and wells. He said “Fracking and operating oil and gas facilities in floodplains is extremely risky. Flood waters can topple facilities and spread oil, gas, and cancer-causing fracking chemicals across vast landscapes making contamination and clean-up efforts exponentially worse and more complicated.” According to an international research team, the influence of manmade global warming on climate systems continues to grow, and this year Colorado has felt global warming’s influences more than any other state.
In a study released last year, climate researchers said manmade global warming is already increasing the probability of extreme weather and climate events making heat waves, droughts, and extreme precipitation events more likely to occur in states like Colorado and Texas. The study cited manmade global warming as the cause of the devastating Texas drought and heat wave of 2011, and is at least 20 times more likely to occur on a regular basis. This year Colorado experienced a drought according to the U.S. Drought Monitor that led to the state’s most destructive wildfire on record, but Colorado Republicans are duty-bound and hell-bent to “protect the energy industry” they feel is under attack.
The Weld county commissioners are being joined in their effort to protect the dirty energy industry by the Kochs and more than a dozen conservative groups working to deny President Obama’s nominee, Ron Binz, to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The Koch-funded American Energy Alliance is leading the effort to keep Binz from being confirmed by the Senate and sent a letter demanding senators vote against confirmation because Binz will “disadvantage fossil fuels and promote the President’s efforts on climate change and renewable energy.” The letter sent to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Monday was signed by the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the National Taxpayers Union, and 10 other groups. The Koch-funded group promised to make Binz “the Susan Rice of the energy world” by convincing Senators his nomination is “very troubling.”
It is reasonable to assume the residents of Colorado withstanding drought, wildfires, and “biblical” flooding might think the effects of fossil fuels on global climate change are very troubling, unless they are still intent on protecting the oil and gas industry. The devastation in Colorado may be unprecedented in history, but climate experts warn there definitely will be an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation events even though overall annual precipitation amounts are projected to decrease. Unfortunately, Colorado sits on the dividing line between the areas where average annual precipitation is expected to increase, and the region forecast to experience drought as a result of climate change and this past summer they experienced both drought leading to devastating wildfires and now an extreme precipitation event.
It is a tragedy that the dirty energy industry that has wreaked so much havoc on the environment and climate while making obscene profits is willing to spend hundreds-of-millions of dollars to thwart the government’s efforts to clean up their mess. All of the recent extreme weather events ravaging the nation follow predictions and forecasts from climate scientists, the NOAA, NASA, and the NWS, and in their drive to help the Kochs thwart efforts to address global climate change, Republicans have slashed their budgets mercilessly. In Colorado, the Koch brothers and ALEC played a pivotal role in recalling two state senators because they voted for renewable energy standards, and it informs they will go to any lengths to kill efforts to address global climate change regardless the cost in lives or economic damage from droughts, wildfires, and flooding taxpayers will end up paying for; even Coloradans willing to secede to protect the Koch brothers.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.