The next issue of Corrales Comment, the November 6 paper, will come out as world leaders are convened for crucial negotiations aimed at collectively reducing detrimental man-made changes to the atmosphere.
Nearly every national government in the world is expected to make some degree of commitment to take further steps to cut emissions of greenhouse gases that, if present trends continue, will raise average global temperatures enough to make climate inhospitable for future generations.
Those higher temperatures have implications far beyond Corrales homeowners’ considerations whether to switch from swamp coolers to refrigerated air. Across the globe in 2020-21, climate disruptions have produced, or exacerbated, devastating droughts and crop failures, hellish wildfires, extraordinary flooding and the phenomenon of climate refugees.
For Corrales, global warming has meant, among other things, that diminished snowpack in Colorado this year delivered less water into the Rio Grande to irrigate fields… and less recharge to the aquifer from which homes here draw their water.
Surely Corraleños care about efforts to limit the destructive effects of climate change. Few would likely shrug shoulders and say “OK, but what does that have to do with me?”
A lot more would furrow brows and say “Yes, but what can I do that would make any difference?”
Fortunately, Corrales has an abundance of two essential resources: political influence and the expertise of villagers with in-depth experience addressing issues at the core of climate change.
Real-life, practical examples of what you can do are all around you, from the solar electric-topped sun shade at the recreation center to the Corrales Library’s heat-gathering trombe wall, electric cars moving silently along our roads and innovative architectural designs at homes throughout the community.
It’s time for Corraleños to take action —politically, innovatively and personally committing to significant lifestyle changes.
Some would say it’s now or never. But not to worry: life will go on. It just may not include humans and hundreds of other fellow creature species.
At the most recent Village Council meeting, during the discussion about the $62,500 fuels reduction project in the Bosque Preserve between Village and the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, the figure 3 percent kept coming up.
The argument was made to the council that the 24 acres of clearing and thinning represents “only three percent” (actually it’s closer to four percent) of the total area of the Bosque Preserve.
This sounds small, (probably it did to council). It might be relatively small in area but not in value. For its area, it has a higher density of native trees than other parts of the bosque.
Some other three percent-ers include: fresh water comprises three percent of the world’s water; and tropical rainforests cover less than three percent of Earth’s area, yet they are home to more than half our planet’s terrestrial animal species.
While not freshwater or tropical rainforest, this three percent is border habitat in a fragile, threatened ecosystem. It may be that the downplaying of cutting native trees was due to lack of awareness and/or because the money seemed attractive. It will result in cutting most trees and shrubs out from 10 feet of the bottom of the east side of the levee for its entire length. This is an enormous loss of food and shelter for birds and other critters at a time when they are already in trouble.
There is a huge amount of dead and down wood in the Bosque Preserve which is a significant fire threat; it’s increasing because of auto-pruning of cottonwoods and dying trees.
Why don’t we spend State money getting rid of dead and down wood rather than cutting native trees?
Joan Hashimoto, chairperson
Corrales Bosque Advisory Commission
CAFANOW (Clean Air for All Now) was previously known as CRCAW (Corrales Residents for Clean Air and Water).
Since our decades-long efforts to hold the New Mexico Environment Department and Intel Rio Rancho accountable, we discovered Corrales was not the only community to suffer the onslaught of chemicals Intel Rio Rancho is legally allowed to emit. Rio Rancho and northwest Albuquerque have also reported odors and/or illnesses related, more likely than not, to the chemicals pouring from the Intel/Rio Rancho facility.
Please know these facts:
Intel operates under a minor source air pollution permit granted by the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED). Under a minor source permit, Intel is allowed to hire its own companies to test for air pollution,which are never verified by an independent and disinterested party. In other words, Intel is always in compliance.
1) Intel is allowed to emit 95 tons of hazardous air pollutants and due to minor source permit, without oversight.
2) Intel is a chemical plant, utilizing approximately 250 volatile organic compounds, many of which are extremely dangerous to human health.
3)A study is currently being conducted about cancer in the 12 census tracts near the Intel plant.
4) A study is currently being conducted by a UNM professor to assess the vegetative die-off in and around Intel.
5) Intel continues to use emissions abatement equipment that is nearly 25 years old in some cases.
NMED must require that Intel operate under a major source air permit to provide oversight and protection. Intel must install new and updated emissions abatement equipment.
Corrales, Rio Rancho and Northwest Albuquerque residents demand a safe environment!
Intel is vastly wealthy. Given all the perks New Mexico has provided to Intel, the least it can do is be a good neighbor.
NMED should protect residents by approving only a major source air pollution permit, not the “sham air permit” currently in place. (That is the term used by a retiring and brave NMED employee.)
No matter where you reside, air pollution affects us all!
Please sign our petition at CAFANOW.com (Clean Air for All NOW).
The website is still under construction so stay tuned for cancer research and vegetative die-off data available soon.