On Jan 15, 2008, I wrote a letter to the editor sharing my thoughts on the risks of climate change. “It’s becoming clearer every day that we should have heeded the warning of climate scientists 20 years ago when evidence was less compelling and predictions less dire. ... However, as glaciers continue to melt, forests fires rage, and snow comes later and melts earlier, it becomes harder to doubt and ignore the significance and severity of these threats.” Fast forward 10 years: Our carbon emissions continue to rise, fires are worse, four of the last five years have been the hottest on record and intense storms have ravaged all parts of the globe. Public opinion is shifting as more and more of us are directly impacted by the changing climate.

Perhaps it’s the bubble I live in, but I don’t cross paths with many people who doubt the need to take action to prevent the worst impacts on our climate. Individual action is great, but government action is far greater. While we can’t control the state or federal politicians, the cities of Hailey, Ketchum, Sun Valley and Bellevue represent us. We need to show our officials that we want policies in place that protect our snow, protect our clean air in August and protect our future. As a resident of Hailey, I searched our website for our climate policy and our sustainability vision. I couldn’t find either.

This is where I might tell you to think of your children and grandchildren, but let’s be more selfish and real. This is now. This is not a theoretical threat for only future generations. Please join me in making it clear to our governments that we want them to prioritize climate action now!

Scott Runkel, Hailey

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