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Our Planet’s Future

A letter from the editor of our December 2016 issue.

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By the time you read this, the shock that President-elect Donald J. Trump will be sworn into office next month will have likely worn off. But given the quirks of the monthly magazine publishing schedule, I’m writing this the morning after our country voted for Trump over Hillary Clinton, and the surprise is still very real. We’re all continuing to come to terms with what this means for America: politically, economically, socially, and environmentally. And, as it turns out, that last element is particularly germane to this month’s issue. Trump, who has called climate change a “hoax” repeatedly, along with a Republican Congress that has been loath to accept the scientific basis for global warming, will now hold the levers of power in the United States. We have already seen the effects of climate change in ways big and small here in Colorado, and yet as the New York Times’ David Leonhardt wrote about climate change the day after the election, “To take Trump and the Republican majorities in Congress at their word, they don’t care. But here’s the thing: Eventually, they or their successors will care.” We at 5280 do care. Whereas Trump has cavalierly dismissed global warming as being a “very expensive form of tax,” our team spent months putting together “A Matter Of Degree,” a deeply researched report on what our city and state might look like in 2050. It’s not a pretty picture. And so, I implore you: Read this feature. Because even if our leaders deny the science, it’s incumbent upon all of us to be responsible stewards of our planet for our children, for their children, and for the generations to come.

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