We have a pending disaster on our hands and need action and leadership to ensure that Delta County citizens have a livable future and survives the climate crisis. It is long past time for County leadership to watch climate disasters unfold around the country and the State and do nothing when Delta County is sitting right smack in middle of the largest climate hot spot in the continental US, warming 2.1° Celsius (3.9° F), double the global average. According to scientific consensus, this is a threshold point of no return and irreversible impact to life sustaining ecosystems.
Commissioners have been watching drought, hotter and drier weather intensify, and the pending water crisis escalate, and have done nothing to address the cause of climate change in the County. Commissioners continue to support fossil fuel projects that emit greenhouse gas emissions and exacerbate climate change.
The Arctic freeze that struck Texas in mid-February 2021 is a cautionary tale of how failures of leadership betrayed citizens and ultimately plunged them into darkness, no heat, no potable water, collapsed supply chains—turned the Lone Star State into a failed state that has ripple effects throughout the country. The Marshall Fire that struck Boulder last year is a reminder of how quickly communities can disappear overnight.
Citizens for a Healthy Community made taking climate action easy for the County. It developed A Climate Action Plan For Delta County: Moving From Crisis to Comeback.
This plan recommends deep emissions reductions. Specifically, it recommends reducing emissions from Electricity Generation by 15%, 8% in Transportation, 80% in Oil and Gas, 50% in Abandoned Coal Mine Methane Waste, and 34% in Buildings (from Delta County’s 2019 baseline GHG emissions inventory). It also recommends a target carbon sequestration from tree cover and soil of -52% to achieve a 54% decrease in net emissions. County Commissioners can show leadership by adopting this plan. Setting, monitoring, and achieving these goals will require commitment from Delta County to hire a sustainability director or appoint County staff responsible for development and implementation of climate action plans, and securing the necessary funding.