Many years ago I read the famous book, “On Death and Dying” by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross where she theorized there are five stages of grieving. Many people in our community are still stuck in the first stage, denial, when it comes to climate change and its impact on our part of the world. Meanwhile, some of us who understand the science and have followed the issue for many years are slipping into the depression stage as massive plumes of smoke from 1,000 miles away blanket our skies. Nor are we immune to the problem. Notice how we always seem to be in drought or talking about a low snow pack?

Unfortunately for Montrose, these trends will impact both agriculture and tourism, two industries very important to our community in the present and future. I have heard more than one lifelong conservative Republican in this area acknowledge that the climate has indeed changed. Thank you for moving beyond denial!

However this means it’s time to take a good, hard look at what the Republican party says and does. Protecting the future of the planet is a conservative value, however the Republican party is the last major political party in the world that remains in denial. Often we hear, “but what about our jobs?” without any acknowledgement that entire industries (agriculture, tourism) are threatened now and in the future by doing nothing to stop the hotter world we are slowly creating.

Consider what your reaction would be if a doctor said “you have cancer” and showed the test result backing the diagnosis. You might feel denial, or depression, but most of us would accept the diagnosis and choose to fight it. I urge all true conservatives to join the fight, before it’s too late.

Jonathan Heath