Letters: When it comes to climate, do Parkites have their heads in the sand?
Heads in the sand
I am the grandfather of three children who attend Park City schools: one grandchild studies at Jeremy Ranch Elementary, and my identical twin grand-daughters study at Park City High. The most recent weekend began on Friday, Sept. 20, with an international “Climate Strike.” Students from all over the world put down their studies for a few hours and rallied to promote everyone’s awareness of the climate catastrophe that faces all of us — it’s an existential threat to all of us and to the world as we know it. However, I was shocked to learn in talking to my grandchildren that they knew basically nothing about the Climate Strike, that there were no rallies or activities planned in Park City to recognized the crisis, and that Park City itself appeared to be oblivious to this important event. I wish to ask all of Park City’s parents, teachers and adults: Do you have your heads in the sand? I can’t think of any place in the U.S. that has more to lose from the warming of the planet than Park City — a place totally dependent on snow for its very economic and environmental survival. Wake up Park City! Due to the climate catastrophe at our doorstep, you shouldn’t waste one opportunity to educate and join others — and the world — in trying to raise awareness of the warming of the planet, and of stimulating everyone in your town to ask: What do we need to start doing NOW to save ourselves? PS. Yes, I know that last weekend was homecoming at the high school. But compared to the climate catastrophe I say: So what!
Robert S. Broadhead
Salt Lake City
The way we raise them
Cows aren’t necessarily good or bad for climate change. It’s the way we raise them.
I’ve been an environmentalist all my adult life. I’ve eaten every kind of alternative diet you can imagine — raw foods, fruitarian, vegetarian, and on and on. I opened my first natural food store in Jackson Hole in the ’60s, then opened six more in California in the ’70s.
In the ’80s, I managed a 500,000-acre ranch in Northeastern Nevada, raising organic beef on the vast range. There I learned about the “regular” beef industry.
Cows evolved to eat grass, not grain. Out on the range they eat grass. In a pasture they eat grass. When we feed them grain they get indigestion and overload the atmosphere with methane.
Our beef industry creates obese cows — in feedlots. It’s really quite disgusting. These poor cows waddle knee deep in manure, with skin stretched tight around their impressive girths, bawling while they wait for the next dumping of corn into troughs. The stench is enough to turn anyone into a vegetarian. I don’t know why we like eating obese cattle — the fat isn’t good for us, or them. The cows need lots of vaccinations to keep them from getting sick during their confinement in the giant, filth-filled pens.
In Argentina they raise their cattle on the pampas — open grassland. When it’s time, they bring in a steer. It’s on your plate that evening. The best beef I ever ate.
Cows in a pasture like the one next to the White Barn eat grass and leave their droppings behind where it turns into nutrients for the grass, a nice symbiosis. Some methane escapes, but most of the manure decomposes into the soil. Through the magic of this natural composting, the newly enriched soil sucks carbon dioxide out of the air and puts it back into the earth.
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“As humans, it’s natural to fear change, but our world is already changing. We can choose to allow climate change to keep happening to us, or we can choose to be part of the solution,” write Karen Jackson and Mark Reynolds.