Can Foothills save the world from calamity?

I’ve got to give the experienced lawyer credit.
At the end of a meeting that wasn’t going so well for his clients, attorney Jim Starr took the podium and looked around the room. The jury if you will, was filled with local green. Names like Sue Navy. Vicki Shaw. Maureen Hall. Harvey Castro. Margot Levy. Nancy Wicks. Steve Glazer. Glo. Any more green and it could have been a lawn convention. A HCCA who’s who.
Making a pitch for the proponents of the proposed Foothills of Crested Butte annexation, Starr didn’t hold back. He read the room and made a new and interesting argument.
Basically he argued the following (with some embellishment, but not much)…”Global Warming is ominous. The dire predictions keep coming week after week. The sea levels are rising faster than expected. The coastal areas are disappearing. We need to be ready. Global Warming will cause the seas to rise 15 to 20 feet…soon. The future will be extremely challenging. When it gets too warm at the lower elevations, they’ll come here. We need to have a well-planned place. The Earth is warming, the oceans are rising, people are readying their escape and we need to be ready.”
The not so subtle message straight from a Steven Spielberg disaster movie set in Crested Butte…A wave of zombie humanity will flee the beaches and head for places like THIS. How much longer will we really be 8,885 feet above sea level if the seas keep rising? (note to Susan Parker–get ready to change all the signs). Either run for your lives or build more houses for the tsunami of civilization heading for the cool, dry hills of Crested Butte.
I’m not saying Starr is wrong.
He may even be right.
The most recent example…an Audubon Society study released this Tuesday found that more than half of 305 bird species in North America are spending the winter about 35 miles farther north than they did 40 years ago. The purple finch has been spending its winters more than 400 miles farther north than it used to. A Riverbend friend said he has spotted black birds this month that normally aren’t seen in the valley until the real spring. The Audubon study states that the average January temperature in the U.S. climbed by about five degrees over the last four decades.
The world is definitely getting hotter and there are consequences.
 I’ve just never before heard the argument to approve a 250-unit annexation in order to address the saving of all humanity. Crested Butte could be the last bastion of the species. It is here that people of the future will flock like birds of the present to escape rising oceans, furnace-like summer temperatures, civil unrest and people feeding on their brothers. Maybe as part of the approval, the developers should be required to buy those living here now canned goods and a gun.
The Foothills may be a good proposal and it may not be there yet. That is up to the town. It is definitely better than the first rendition. But will it save the valley and even the human race?
Maybe.
If nothing else, it was sort of fun to see my friend Jim work the room…and watch my pal Sue Navy cringe.

—Mark Reaman

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