We are Boulder strong!
There is often a grasping which can follow mass shooting terrorism. Grasping to fear, trauma and hope. Hoping for the swift swing of the pendulum of justice back to normality. (The trauma is within every beat and breath.)
Fearing the inevitable collective suffering transliterated and transmitted through text, phone calls, well wishes, hashtags, vigils, confusion and the eventual placating.
There are too many unanswered questions left to sway in the breeze of conjecture, propaganda and aggrandizement. Strange rotten fruit staining our family tree.
Where did we come from, how did we get here and the iconic question: Where do we go from here?
We know we are living in a bubble on the razor’s edge within an era of terrorism in a country founded on terroristic acts of genocide, slavery and rape. Lilac, lilies and rose. Terrified. Pop!
The flowers’ smells will surely dampen as our compassion bleeds into apathy; yet reality will persist. We know that if we continue to harm one another we will remain in the perpetual aftermath of our many massacres. Empathy without preservation has a short shelf life.
We have the ability to stop, drop the guns and roll forward. When we do, the disjointed moments of suffering will subside, and we will rise as the Phoenix to reclaim our collective joy. Sow. Mend. Joy.
The joy of embracing spaces devoid of fear. Breath of fresh elevated air. The sounds of the mountains as we mesh into the peaceful landscape imposed upon our shattered innocence. All of it!
We are guilty of being guiltlessly optimistic. We are Boulder. Our community will mourn with dignity and care. We are proud to be a Boulderite and nothing will ever damper our spirit…
…We will remain Boulder Strong!
Make oil and gas companies pay clean-up costs
Boulder Weekly has covered the rising cost of plugging oil and gas wells, due to reduced profitability of oil and gas companies (Re: News, “Footing the bill,” June 18, 2020). Claiming a temporary drop in production, oil and gas companies have demanded — and received from Colorado — extremely low and ultimately ineffective bond payments for cleanup of oil and gas wells. This has left Colorado taxpayers with approximately $8.3 billion in unfunded liabilities and put our communities at risk from methane leaks and toxic substances leaching into groundwater.
The COGCC is currently evaluating new financial assurance rules. I would ask fellow citizens to join me in urging the COGCC to require a much higher bond payment per individual well, such as North Dakota’s requirement for oil and gas firms to pay a $180,000 bond per well. If a company cleans up after itself, it can have the money back. If it goes bankrupt or tries to hide from its responsibility, our state will have the money to properly cap the well, ensuring the health and wellbeing of its taxpayers.
Having just completed the obstacle course of COVID-19 vaccinations with its hurdles, ambiguities and complexities, I take pause to reflect on how we got here. Not how we got into this hot mess of a pandemic; instead, how that 0.3-ml dose twice got into my arm.
The mRNA class of vaccines is novel — just like its adversary — and how it came about is nothing short of wondrous. Over the course of just one year, the virus was identified, its genome was sequenced, multiple drug candidates were developed using an emergent technology, clinical trials were run with tens of thousands of participants, vast sums of money were committed, facilities were built, doses were manufactured at grand scale and distributed worldwide under ultra-cold conditions. Judging from my pharma-industry experience, this is a herculean feat in which any number of things could have gone wrong; but they didn’t. The trials revealed astonishing efficacy rates, the mRNA synthesis processes succeeded, the aseptic fill-finish processing yielded millions of sterile doses, the distribution and storage system worked well, and the medical professionals diligently set about administering doses. That is how we got here.
I stand in humble awe of the women and men who believed in the science, worked untold hours, and gave it their all to help deliver us from this pandemic. Not just that, they also proved a new way to respond to future viral threats. Here’s to the scientists, physicians, engineers, chemists, process operators, business administrators, suppliers, delivery crews, nurses, pharmacists, and others too numerous to name who pulled this proverbial rabbit out of the hat. Hooray for you.
So, when you get vaccinated — and I hope you do — thank whoever gives the shot and give a shout out to the amazing team that made it happen.