Cloud seeding may be harmful; camping ban is cruel; women’s rights are important; Archdiocese’s guidance is harmful


Anyll Markevich: Environment: Cloud seeding has promise, but may be harmful

A recent permit application by the St. Vrain and Lefthand Water Conservancy District promises to address the water crisis in the Boulder area using a technology known as cloud seeding, a form of weather modification. This project hopes to increase snowfall from pre-existing storm clouds by spraying silver iodide into the atmosphere. This chemical compound creates a “seed” on which ice crystals can grow, increasing the chance that atmospheric moisture will form snowflakes heavy enough to fall to the ground. Proponents claim that this technology can result in a 10% increase in snowfall while leaving plenty of moisture for downwind areas. However, despite decades of research, the evidence concerning the effectiveness of this technology is sparse. At most, cloud seeding will only help alleviate the Colorado water crisis over time by slowly building additional snowpack.

While a single atmospheric application of silver iodide may not harm the environment, studies suggest repeated applications could seriously impact aquatic organisms. Cloud seeding will only be effective against the Colorado water crisis if managers employ such frequent and potentially dangerous applications of weather-modifying compounds. Additionally, overuse and overreliance on artificial cloud seeding could unexpectedly change weather patterns, leading to unknown ecological and social drawbacks.

The biggest problem with weather modification is that it ignores much safer and more effective alternatives to cloud seeding. Native vegetation, especially trees, produce water vapor and aerosols that, like silver iodide, encourage the formation of clouds. Agricultural practices that integrate a diversity of plant species and utilize careful water management require little irrigation. Converting parks to native vegetation will massively reduce local water needs. The solution to the water crisis is not spraying questionable compounds into the atmosphere. Instead, building resilient ecosystems across the county will increase rainfall while protecting the landscape from drought.

Anyll Markevich, Nederland

Ajent Tenten: Homelessness: Boulder’s camping ban is a form of cruelty

Camping bans are cruelty. Can’t stay. Can’t work. Why is it so hard to make places along the trails where camping is allowed? “Here’s your concrete block in case you need it to survive. We will be by to monitor littering.” Why is an all-inclusive world like that so hard to complete?

Ajent Tenten, Hotchkiss

Sue E. Dean: Election: Now we know women’s rights are important to everyone

Wow, the 2022 election had  a comforting  result, at least for me. Now we know for sure women’s health and right to decide are important to Americans of every stripe.

Sue E. Dean, Longmont

Michal Duffy: Catholic schools: Archdiocese’s guidance is harmful, reinforces stigmas

I am deeply concerned about the impacts of the Denver Archdiocese’s guidance to Catholic schools to not enroll transgender students and to treat gay students and parents differently. The disregard for LGBTQ+ individuals’ humanity in this harmful guidance will have untold damage to LGBTQ+ individuals and families in our Front Range community.

It is evident, in my opinion, that the Archbishop is unaware that sex, gender and sexuality diversity have always been a part of humanity, across cultures, societies and time. We have new terms now but diversity is not new; it’s an inherent part of humanity and reflects the incredible diversity of creation. Sex, gender and sexuality diversity are natural.

Rather than relishing in the abundant diversity of creation, the Denver Archdiocese is codifying division and hostility that will reverberate into families and disrupt family structures. Equally as callous, this guidance disregards the deadly impact it will have on LGBTQ+ youth mental health. LGBTQ+ youth experience disproportionate rates of mental illness and self-harm, not because there is anything wrong with being LGBTQ+ but rather because of the stigma, discrimination and mistreatment from society, here painfully exemplified by the Denver Archdiocese.

It is clear that LGBTQ+ youth and families are not only not welcome in Denver Catholic schools, but they are not safe. I cannot begin to imagine the amount of religious trauma that will come from these regressive policies. I can only hope that families with LGBTQ+ members will find safer, affirming schools and communities, and not let this hateful poison infiltrate their families.

To Catholic LGBTQ+ youth and families: There is nothing wrong with you, you are deserving of love and support. Don’t let the Archbishop taint your relationship with your faith or your family. There are so many Catholics who support their LGBTQ+ brethren. You are not alone.

Michal Duffy, Boulder


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