Tag Archive: Wind

Treemageddon Trashes Creek Trail in SE Boulder

Strong winds and heavy snows have turned the city’s Skunk Creek Greenway Trail into a tree graveyard

By Breanna Draxler

The so-called “treemageddon” in Boulder this year has turned the banks of Skunk Creek into a tangle of trunks and broken branches. Early snows and strong winds delivered a devastating one-two punch to the city’s trees. Five months after the first storm, clean-up efforts are still in full swing, but there may be more damage to come.

“I have done almost 50 percent of a normal year’s business, and it’s only mid-March,” said Boulder-based arborist Chris Toney. He said this year’s wreckage has been unprecedented in the twelve years since he started his tree service company, TLC Tree Expert Inc.

The Confluence marks the northern end of Skunk Creek Greenway Trail, where it merges with the Boulder Creek Trail. Photo/University of Colorado Boulder

Skunk Creek Greenway Trail meanders in tandem with the creek that shares its name. It traverses open spaces, housing developments, and a research park before converging with Boulder Creek. Local runners and bikers have been enjoying the paved, multi-use path for more than two decades, but this year’s weather threatens the wooded banks and those who recreate beneath them.

In October, an early winter storm dumped a foot of heavy, wet snow along Colorado’s Front Range. Most trees still had their leaves, so the snow collected on them in thick layers. Many branches bent or broke under the weight, and the unfrozen ground allowed snow-laden trees to tip over completely.

“That kind of started the tree damage saga of this year,” said Don Inglis, manager of the University of Colorado Boulder’s outdoor services department. CU’s east campus lies on either side of Skunk Creek, and lost a number of trees this year, according to Inglis.

Then came the winds. Continue Reading

Climate Change Misconceptions

The view inside the Joint European Torus Tokamak, the largest fusion device in the world, housed at Culham Science Centre in Oxfordshire, England. Photo: EFDA, JET.

By Jim Dimmick

There are  many misconceptions about climate change that confuse the issue. This is my viewpoint on three of these misconceptions that will hopefully add some clarity to the discussion:

1.  “We are addicted to oil.”

I don’t believe this is true. I believe most people don’t give a hoot where their energy comes from as long as it is cheap and plentiful. Even anti-nuclear folks don’t mind electricity from nuclear as long as the power plant is far away. I believe a more accurate statement is “we are addicted to a lifestyle based on cheap, plentiful energy.”

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Not In My Backyard Approach Needs Proper Justification

Nimby Protest in England. Richard Webb under Creative Commons License

Balancing the benefits of clean energy against environmental impacts is not an easy business. Shawn Olson thinks nimbies need a new approach that values science and discretion over emotional attachment.

In 2002 I was deported from Mexico for protesting the Mexican government’s intention to build a new airport upon an ejido, or collectively owned farm plot, outside of Mexico City. The farmers the airport would have displaced raised a ruckus, instigating an essentially nimby-like battle. Though, for them, the message was more Not On My Home than Not In My Backyard. Though my involvement was somewhat accidental and decidedly naive (waiving machetes at the Mexican equivalent of the White House is not a good idea), I felt this community’s livelihood and culture was worth more than a new airport. Surely, there was somewhere else the airport could be built.

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