Summit Daily letters: Let’s celebrate Earth Day at our supermarket |

Summit Daily letters: Let’s celebrate Earth Day at our supermarket

Let’s celebrate Earth Day the right way

April 22 marks the 50th observance of Earth Day. Each of us can celebrate by reducing our driving, use of electric energy, and consumption of animals. That’s right!

Last fall Oxford University’s prestigious Food Climate Research Network and Germany’s Heinrich Bolle Foundation concluded that solving the global warming catastrophe requires massive shift to a plant-based diet. A 2010 United Nations report blamed animal agriculture for 70 percent of global freshwater use, 38 percent of land use, and 19 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

Carbon dioxide is emitted by burning forests to create animal pastures and by operating farm machinery to grow animal feed. The more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are released from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.

Moreover, meat and dairy production dumps more animal waste, crop debris, fertilizers, pesticides, and other pollutants into our waterways than all other human activities combined. It is the driving force behind wildlife habitat destruction.

In an environmentally sustainable world, meat and dairy products in our diet must be replaced by vegetables, fruits and grains, just as fossil fuels are replaced by wind, solar and other pollution-free energy sources.

Let’s celebrate the 50th observance of Earth Day at our supermarket.

Samson Natal


Time to play nice with Vail Resorts – another view

I too am somewhat frustrated by the seeming lack of progress toward a parking solution. When it’s all said and done, I’m hoping that a parking garage gets built in one of the Gondola lots – close enough to entice visitors to town but away from the gridlock that generally occurs between Ski Hill Road and Main at the end of a ski day. However, I have a different view of the town council. I believe the council is doing its job! A 700 space garage on F Lot makes no sense from either a cost or location perspective. The council was acting in our interest when it retained parking and transit consultants for expert advice. For Vail to say the council broke a promise is just ludicrous. You think Vail doesn’t retain expert advice when purchasing a new property, wrestling with Park City over logos or calculating the $3.5M annual commitment to Breck based solely on tickets sold here? Now $3.5M was a generous offer if only to alleviate what could have been lengthy litigation. But it pales next the tax proceeds on all skier days at Breck. And, Vail’s investment into Breckenridge Ski Resort since the late ’90s has been spectacular. But make no mistake, Vail acts in its own best interest. Last I heard, Breck’s skier days were among the highest in the industry. The price of an Epic Pass is based on what Vail believes the market will bear. There’s no magnanimity here, just calculated business decisions. Our council has quietly negotiated to explore alternatives and solutions and with none of the histrionics that we’ve been subjected to from Vail over the past year. I hope that an agreement that works for all can be reached. Nevertheless, I support the council regardless of the time it takes. Why? I believe the town’s interests are at least as important as those of Vail Resorts. Without a parking and transit solution that works for the town as well as Vail Resorts, we all lose. I admire our council’s resolve.

Ken Wiegand


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