Loud & Clear: Listeners on our Hickenlooper interview, ‘dark skies,’ and buffalo vs. bison

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Colorado Matters regularly airs feedback from listeners in Loud & Clear and last week's conversation with Gov. John Hickenlooper elicited several comments. Some listeners were unhappy with his assertion that there aren't good reasons to ban oil and gas drilling through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, statewide.

“Through these comments, Hickenlooper has again demonstrated his first commitment in the fracking controversy: that being to advance the interests of big oil and gas," Michael McNeal wrote online.

Listener Todd Mitchell, of Fort Collins, took interest in another part of our interview where Hickenlooper was asked about a new climate change report that recommends the state prepare for increases in temperature -- even increased natural disasters and disease.

"They’re not that confident of the rate of warming" the governor said "And how far it’s going to be in 30 years. It’s a very inexact science. I personally am seriously concerned about the rate of climate change. I’m concerned about issues around water..."

Mitchell wrote, "I was very disappointed by our governor’s inability to accurately represent and address the real risks of climate change… Gov. Hickenlooper’s flippant dismissal of the warnings presented in the state synthesis report does a huge disservice to the people of Colorado… What uncertainty there is about the rate of change is largely due to uncertainty about what actions governments will do to address climate change."

In another interview last week we talked about about two Colorado towns that want to minimize light pollution at night. The conversation drew a lot of interest, including from Bob Thomason in Westcliffe, one of the communities seeking recognition for efforts to preserve views of the night sky from the International Dark-Sky Association. He wrote to thank local organizers for for efforts to keep the Milky Way visible from the Wet Mountain Valley: "You have to come and see it to believe it!"

And finally, in response to our recent story about the government plans to release a small herd of buffalo onto Soapstone Prairie in Northern Colorado, several listeners said we should have used the term "bison" exclusively. Scientifically, they're right. The bison that were nearly hunted into extinction in the late 1800s and early 1900s in the West are the genus. Yet buffalo is okay for common use, according to Webster's dictionary. That may come as reassurance to fans of Buffalo Bill Cody. "Bison Bill" doesn't quite have the same ring.

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