Who are we really, those us who reside full time in the Wood River Valley? We are not one-dimensional. We’re not all rich, and we’re not all struggling. But without one very important thing, none of us would be here at all, no matter who we are. That one element is water.

If climate change continues apace, we will have limited water here in the high alpine desert, and our enviable way of life will be no more. No snow means no snowpack. And no snowpack means no water. Droughts and wildfires will be the norm.

To combat climate change, and create jobs in solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy, the Climate Action Coalition of the Wood River Valley recently launched a new campaign. Its mission is to encourage the cities of Hailey, Ketchum, Bellevue, Carey and Sun Valley to join more than 190 other cities and towns around the United States in committing to using 100 percent renewable energy by the year 2035.

“Climate change threatens both the regional economy and the quality of life in the Wood River Valley,” said science teacher Scott Runkel, one of the organizers of the campaign. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, most of Idaho is gradually warming due to an increase in the amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the air.

“It’s past time our towns and county commit themselves to a clean energy future, the first step in creating a road map to get to 100 percent renewable energy,” Runkel said.

The Climate Action Coalition partnered with the Conservation Voters of Idaho and the Sierra Club to write a petition expressing support of the 100% Clean Energy Resolution. People can sign the petition at haileycac.org. Hit the green “Petition Pledge” button.

For more information about efforts in the valley to slow and eventually halt climate change, visit the Climate Action Coalition at haileycac.org.

Dana Dugan


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