EDITORIAL: Back Hickenlooper, science and common sense for an end run on climate obstructionists


While the toxic partisan atmosphere is seemingly as dangerous as the one humans have seriously altered enveloping the planet, the time for diplomatically mincing words as the world burns is over.

Gov. John Hickenlooper this week joined the growing army of government and business officials here and across the globe that are finally marching past climate-change deniers, obstructionists and assorted kooks in hopes of preventing planetary disaster.

We applaud Hickenlooper’s decision to rally the state to a common-sense plan to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions by one-fourth. It may not be enough to stop of even slow impending climate-change calamities, but it’s a start.

More important, it’s the end of obstruction by nonsensical flat-earthers who see indisputable science as debatable as a favorite TV sitcom.

If President Trump and a shrinking handful of GOP state and federal lawmakers are too ignorant or corrupt to do the right thing, Hickenlooper and others will grab the wheel before these ignorant legislators drive Colorado and the planet over the cliff.

Hickenlooper and his compatriots are supported and emboldened by overwhelming public opinion here and around the world. Colorado is joined by a growing legion of cities, states, industries, corporations and leaders from the political left and right who see reduction of greenhouse gas emmissions not only as a critical environmental step, but as a vital economic move, too.

We are 100 percent behind him, and unless you think real science is just a fad and open to interpretation much in the same way everyone looks at a Jackson Pollock painting, then you should be, too.

The science and the consensus behind the fact — which for some people must these days be explained as the one and only irrefutable reality — unequivocally has revealed that humans have altered the atmosphere of this planet, and that it bodes grave ill for Colorado and the rest of the world. Think no snow for ski resorts. Endless forest fires. No water for farms and ranchers, here and across the world. For decades, some people and their leaders, for a long list of reasons, have refused to believe this. They don’t understand it. They stupidly see it as a political point of contrarianism. And, even worse, they just don’t give a damn and would rather endanger themselves and all of us because they are greedy and corrupt. What not one signal climate-change denier is, however, is right.

In Colorado, these dead-wrong deniers use myriad and tedious arguments as to why Colorado and the United States shouldn’t alter its energy systems to try and slow dangerous climate change and find a way to reverse it. They are right in saying that Colorado alone can’t fix this. They are right in the same way that a kindergartener complains that forcing them to take a nap while the rest of the class plays isn’t fair and won’t make the room quiet.

Their sophomoric simpering isn’t about tax policy or wine and beer in grocery stores vs liquor shops. This is about a catastrophic climate change that will not only destroy Colorado’s recreation, tourism and agricultural economy, but it threatens our very wellbeing. And not just here, but around the world. It’s not just about rich people losing their summer homes as oceans rise and swallow the coasts, it’s about massive famines, unemployment and weather disasters that will rip through human civilization like nothing has before. Because there are so many ignorant, naive or outright corrupt lawmakers in Colorado, led by an intellectually wanting president, and other fools in Congress and state legislatures — all obstructing what must be done for the good of the planet — our only hope to break the impasse is with leaders like Hickenlooper, willing to do the right thing at what is certain to be serious political cost.

There is no doubt there will be economic casualties as Colorado and the world makes changes, but only the stupid and corrupt don’t see that these problems pale in comparison to the unprecedented calamity that will envelope us all if we don’t act.

Colorado has taken care of this issue here. Voters can take care of the problems in Congress and the White House next year.