Editor: National climate communication surveys show that nearly 3/4 of Coloradans believe global warming is happening, but only 37% to 45% of residents outside of the Denver metro area believe it will harm them personally (Yale, 2020). As this summer’s wildfire season indicates, hazardous days of smoke across the state have been higher than the last several years combined. This “smoke signal” is a wake-up call that drought, dry soils, drier forests, and changing water cycles do cause further harm across our state and affect the high country where our water sources come from. Forests supply 80% of the water we rely upon and changing forest management to adapt to wildfires and burning infrastructure do have lasting impacts on water supply and water quality. The personal harm of climate change is as extensive in Colorado as in California in our air and our water supply. While federal agencies are stretched thin and the extreme wildfire conditions are growing, adapting with policy by creating national carbon fee and dividends are essential to make the most of the limited resources to face multiplying threats from climate change like longer wildfire seasons.
— Michael Dirks, via [email protected]