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Opinion Columns

Carman: How the coal-fired Grinch stole Christmas

All the kids
Here in Denver
Like Christmas a lot
But this snow-loving, outdoorsy grandma
Does not!

Sure, I love all the parties, the holiday season.
I bake awesome cookies — not to would be treason.


Diane Carman

I live for the moments when everyone flees
In the wee early hours with helmets and skis
To ride some sweet powder, to cut some cool turns
And have lots of fun while each calorie burns.

But …

While I love the shredding from morning till dark
On the bumps and ski trails at good ol’ Winter Park,
It’s hardly a secret, s’abundantly clear
Our snow is endangered. Our climate so dear
Is rapidly changing as year after year
The winters are shorter and summers too hot.
The future is bleak for the ski-loving lot.

The Arctic is melting, the West is on fire,
The jet stream gyrates like a flailing live wire.
It sends heat up north, making ice caps too thin
And brings East Coast snowdrifts right up to their chins.

Down South and along the Nor’eastern shores
The sea level’s rising. High tides reach front doors!
And here in the state with the mountains so purple
We’ve lost pine and spruce trees to beetles too fertile.

When winters come late and the springs come so early,
The whole eco-balance can get downright squirrely.
In forecasts and stories and even in texts
The country’s obsessed with the polar vortex.

Each season we see how the Earth, our home planet,
Spins out a new spiral of weather extremes.
We build safer houses. We try not to panic.
But face it, we’re dashing our kids’ hopes and dreams.

We burn dirty coal just to light up our nights,
Any talk of real science just leads to more fights.
We pooh-pooh hard data that make it quite clear
Our problems will get worse in only 10 years.

Then, the world met in Poland and tried to agree
On how to react to the IPCC.
But U.S. officials and rich Arab princes
Stayed home counting money instead of carbon.

While data keep mounting, they try to convince us
The future won’t matter. Relax! Just have fun!
But deep down we all know the party is over.
With temp’ratures rising in the atmosphere,
Our days of denying and living in clover
Are done. So don’t argue, don’t cry in your beer.

Just dare to imagine a happier scene,
A future where all of the energy’s clean,
Where cars, trucks and buses, and big SUVs
All run on clean power from sunlight, the breeze.

Here in Colorado we’re ready to show
The rest of the country the green way to go.
We’ll invest in small towns! We’ll cherish our snow!
Renewable power by 2-0-4-0!

It’s not just baloney, a story to tell.
It’s now corporate planning at giant Xcel.
Imagine what kids and our grandchildren, too,
Will think when they hear that the old folks they knew

Once drilled in the ocean and fracked up the town
To find fossil fuels that would turn the skies brown.
They’ll wonder if history teachers are joking
Or just what the heck their ancestors were smoking

That made them so stupid to side with the Russians
In trashing the Earth for internal combustion.
When up in the sky just as plain as can be
Is a nucl’ar reactor with power that’s free.

We know how to use it to make our stuff run.
We just need to make better use of the sun.
Don’t listen to all of those naysayer folk
Who insist that clean power will make us all broke.

The truth is much different, the experts all see
Climate change is what’s wrecking the economy.

So …

Now near the solstice when candles and hearths
Warm up our houses and soften our hearts,
Let’s promise the children we’ll do all we can
To give them a world with a decent lifespan

With water in rivers that feed moose and trout
And strong, healthy forests that clean the air out,
With snow in the mountains, an ocean with coral.
To screw up our planet is simply immoral.

We know what to do. Heck we went to the moon!
A big global effort could get results soon.
And even if OPEC and Exxon object,
Here in Colorado we need to expect

That the whole world will follow our wisdom and vision
And rush to join in when it’s clear our decision
Will make our economy vibrant and healthy
And give kids a future both happy and wealthy.

So …

Here’s to Christmas and Kwanza, the Season of Light.
Here’s to peace, here’s to fruitcake, a new year that’s bright.
Here’s to joy, here’s to love, here’s to you, you and YOU!
To clear skies and clean power.
Here’s to dreams that come true.

Diane Carman is a Denver communications consultant.
@dccarman


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