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Climate Change

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

When it comes to water in the West, a lot of it is visible. Snow stacks up high in the mountains then eventually melts and flows down into valleys. It’s easy to see how heavy rains and rushing rivers translate into an abundance of available water. But another important factor of water availability is much harder to see. 

Eleanor Bennett / Aspen Public Radio

If you find yourself wandering the streets of Aspen, Carbondale, or Glenwood Springs this month, you will be greeted by collages of oversized self-portraits pasted on Colorado Mountain College buildings.

Courtesy of Susan Sekaquaptewa

With the ongoing drought in Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties and across most of the West, growing food and raising livestock is becoming more difficult. At the same time, the pandemic is exacerbating inequalities in the Roaring Fork Valley and many locals are still out of work, making it hard to access fresh, healthy food. 


The Community Office For Resource Efficiency (CORE) is launching a valley-wide art installation to tell the story of climate change, in partnership with a host of local organizations, including Colorado Mountain College. 

The community mural project “Stories of Climate Change/Historias del Cambio Climático” is a part of both CORE’s third annual Imagine Climate series and the Inside Out Project created by renowned muralist JR

Cortesía De La Oficina Comunitaria Para La Eficiencia De Recursos

You can find an English-language version of this story here. 

La oficina comunitaria para la eficiencia de recursos (CORE, por sus siglas en inglés), en asociación con diversas organizaciones locales entre las que se encuentra Colorado Mountain College, está organizando una presentación artística en todo el valle para contar la historia del cambio climático.

Dale Armstrong / Courtesy of Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

On a recent morning, local naturalist Rebecca Weiss led a small group of amatuer birders through the frozen cattails near the John Denver Sanctuary in Aspen. Dawning binoculars and masks, they stood at the edge of the Roaring Fork River to get a closer look at an American Dipper bobbing in and out of the frigid water as it foraged. 

“We heard this gorgeous singing and we were all looking and listening as hard as we could to try to pinpoint the sound and who was making it,” Weiss said. “And finally, we got a line of sight on the dipper.” 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

It’s impossible to miss the signs of climate change as the state has experienced hundreds of thousands of acres of wildfire this season, along with drought in every part of Colorado. But how do issues of climate change manifest on the ballot? For the answer to that question, Aspen Public Radio spoke with Max Boykoff, a professor at the University of Colorado Boulder who studies cultural politics and environmental governance. 

Two-thirds of Americans think the federal government should be doing more to reduce the impacts of climate change, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Local governments have been hit hard during an economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The City of Aspen projected a $25 million dollar loss in revenue. As cities and counties take a hard look at their budgets, climate experts are urging them to keep the health of the planet in mind. 

City of Aspen Climate Action Office


The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission holds its first rulemaking hearing on May 20 and 21 to address greenhouse gas, or GHG, reporting and the phasing out of hydrofluorocarbons - powerful GHGs primarily used in cooling and refrigeration.

Christin Kay / Aspen Public Radio

Thursday afternoon, Aspen businessman Roger Moyer and former mayor Bill Stirling hand-delivered a letter to Aspen’s Chase Bank branch addressed to CEO Jamie Dimon. The letter outlined their concerns with climate change and urged Chase to remove fossil fuel companies from its investment portfolio. 

Courtesy Kate Howe

New billboards painted by local artists using ink made from carbon soot go up around the Roaring Fork Valley Tuesday. The four billboards are part of the Imagine Climate project which aims to bring together art and science to inspire climate action.

Bill McKibben Has A Message For Aspen's Billionaires

Jan 22, 2020
Nancie Battaglia


Bill McKibben first wrote about the changing climate more than 30 years ago, and he continues to document global warming and speak out against the largest culprits. Most recently, he was arrested while protesting Chase Bank’s ties to the fossil-fuel industry.

McKibben will be in Aspen this weekend, learning to downhill ski and speaking as part of Aspen Skiing Company’s occasional speaker series Aspen U.

Challenges Ahead For Aspen Forests

Dec 26, 2019
Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Journalism

Just as new research shows that aspen forests are a fountain of biodiversity, Aspen’s namesake trees in the Roaring Fork River watershed are battling warming temperatures, drier conditions, climate disruption, and unchecked herds of deer and elk. Although local aspen forests are currently still healthy, they face serious challenges.


Climate-Anxiety Group Forms In Aspen

Nov 12, 2019
Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism


As awareness of the potential effects of climate change grows, so does anxiety and grief about the seriousness of the crisis. As a result, a new climate-anxiety support group is forming in Aspen. 

Planning For After The Climate Strikes

Oct 22, 2019
Alex Hager/Aspen Public Radio

More than 4 million people in 163 countries participated in youth-led climate strikes in September. Now what? That’s the question being asked at “Beyond the Strike”, a climate forum being held Wednesday night in Carbondale.

Marching in the streets certainly calls attention to the threat of climate change. Up next, taking action to address the causes of climate change. 

Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management’s acting director says past comments he’s made doubting the existence of climate change are irrelevant. 

Reporters grilled William Perry Pendley at the annual Society of Environmental Journalists conference in Fort Collins. When asked about comments he’s made calling human-caused climate change fictional, Pendley refused to elaborate on how he formed those opinions. He instead cited a directive from his boss, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, to look at climate impacts.

Holy Cross Energy courtesy photo

National Energy Efficiency Day is October 2. Local governments are making progress on their climate goals, but some say there is more to be done.

Aspen, Basalt, Snowmass Village and Pitkin County are working in partnership with the Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE) to set and reach goals to reduce carbon-emissions. Aspen’s reduction goal is 30 percent by 2020, Basalt’s is 25 percent by 2025 and Snowmass Village has a 20 percent reduction goal by 2020.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Around the world, young people are taking to the streets and demanding action on climate change. On Monday, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg spoke at the United Nations. Even in the Roaring Fork Valley, where many governments and decision-makers have made the climate a priority, young people are saying not enough is being done on a global scale. 

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Journalism


The 2019 legislative session in Colorado included a major focus on climate policy, and Gov. Jared Polis has a plan to move the state’s electric grid to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040. 

Will Toor, executive director of the Colorado Energy Office, is in Aspen on Wednesday to discuss that plan and how states can address climate change. 

Volunteers Needed For Pika Surveys

Jul 16, 2019
Courtesy of Mike Molloy

Scientists think the pika, a tiny alpine mammal, may provide clues to what climate change will mean in the Rocky Mountains.


Pikas, which are related to rabbits, are particularly sensitive to changes in temperature and snowpack. Researchers with the Front Range Pika Project began collecting data on pikas in the White River National Forest last year. They’re relying on citizen science volunteers to help conduct surveys in several locations across the forest, including Independence Pass. 

Reversing Climate Change Means Educating Girls, Local Action

Jul 14, 2019
Courtesy of Bowman Leigh, Aspen Center for Environmental Studies


Project Drawdown is a research organization that identifies the one hundred most viable and impactful solutions to climate change. Founder Paul Hawken was in Aspen last weekend and sat down with reporter Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.   

Environmentalist Paul Hawken Brings Climate Solutions To Aspen

Jul 11, 2019
Courtesy of Aspen Center for Environmental Studies


The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) celebrates its 50th anniversary this weekend with a lecture on solution to climate change.

In his 2017 book “Drawdown,” environmentalist Paul Hawken outlines a comprehensive plan to reverse climate change. He’ll discuss the policies and technologies needed to make that happen with ACES CEO Chris Lane tomorrow night. Lane said Hawken brings unparalleled expertise and optimism.


At their meeting Tuesday night, the Carbondale Board of Trustees discussed how the town is preparing for a changing climate.

Air Time - Dec. 12, 2018

Dec 12, 2018

  This is Air Time, extended conversations with interesting people.

Shell Oil's Climate Adviser To Speak In Aspen

Nov 12, 2018
Courtesy photo

As governments across the world work to address climate change, big businesses are doing the same. David Hone is Chief Climate Change Adviser at the energy company Shell. Hone is in Aspen this week, discussing the company’s plan to limit global temperature rise.

Astronomer Aims To 'Demystify' Climate Change

Oct 3, 2018
Courtesy photo

Astronomer and educator Dr. Jeffrey Bennett believes we can find consensus on one of the most divisive issues of our time. In a presentation Thursday, he aims to break down political barriers surrounding climate change.

SkiCo Asks Visitors To 'Give A Flake'

Sep 5, 2018
Aspen Skiing Company

Aspen Skiing Company announced Wednesday that it is once again stepping into the political arena with its latest advertising campaign; this season’s marketing focuses on climate change.

Local Pikas Provide Clues For Climate Impacts

Aug 26, 2018
Mike Molloy

For nearly a decade, biologists with the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Wild and the Denver Zoo have studied pikas on the Front Range; this summer, that work is expanding to the White River National Forest. Scientists want to know how a warming climate will impact the alpine ecosystem and are hoping pikas can provide some clues.


Gina McCarthy Connects Health And Climate

Aug 7, 2018

Gina McCarthy is the director of the Center For Climate, Heath and the Global Environment at Harvard. She was the former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Obama.