Recap: Creating a resilient community

Attendees at the Salida Community Center. Photo credit Robert Parker.

Standing room only. Photo credit: Robert Parker.

Thank you Salida Citizens for making this Forum an excellent success. There were approximately 125 friends and neighbors who attended. Every chair at the Community Building was filled and a few had to stand. Mel Strawn opened the session and then introduced the Moderator, Micah Parkin, Executive Director of 350 Colorado. From that point Micah had firm control of the crowd, the timing and of course the speakers.

Micah Parkin addresses the audience. Photo credit: Robert Parker

Micah Parkin addresses the audience. Photo credit: Robert Parker.

Micah explained why she personally is so involved with fighting Climate Change; she and her family were victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans; were threatened by wildfires in their new home of Boulder Colorado; were threatened again by last year’s massive flooding in and around Boulder. She also explained the meaning behind 350.0rg. The 350 represents the number of parts per million of CO2 that the atmosphere will tolerate before Climate Change begins happening in earnest. We are well over 400 parts per million CO2 at present.

Katherine Clark, a professor at Western State University, picked up the space perfectly, telling how Boulder, CO is working hard to form their own citizen owned public utility which would put Excel Energy out of a job in Boulder. She also discussed many other sustainability projects happening in the Boulder area.

Dr. Chavez, another professor at Western State University, started with a basic introduction to the science of CO2 and its impact on the environment. He then used graphics to compare energy resource usage between systems and cities and projects throughout Colorado, the United States and even the World, as he has spent serious time in India.

Dr. Corrine Knapp was forced to cancel at the last minute do to unforeseen major medical issues. We missed her presentation and wish her a full and complete recovery.

Mel Strawn introduced the speakers. Photo credit: Robert Parker

Mel Strawn introduced the speakers. Photo credit: Robert Parker

Each participant was given a questionnaire to share their views about climate change impact, possible solutions and mitigations and what they would like to see in terms of further programs from 350 Central Colorado and our co-sponsors GARNA and the Central Colorado Humanists.

Upon completion of the primary lectures those who wished to remain formed in to 3 groups each led by Parkin, Clark or Chavez. The discussions were serious and intense. Each group came up with suggestions and directions Salida and Central Colorado can take to on a local level not only help reverse Climate Change but help our local communities take a more sustainable direction that will at least partially mitigate the coming intensities of our changing climate.

This was a definitive effort by members of our communities and much more will blossom from Saturday’s Forum.

The Citizen is happy to provide a forum for comments and discussion. Please be civil, truthful, and relevant. Please suggest removal of comments that violate these standards. Real names are appreciated.