Penalty Kick | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Penalty Kick 

Take It Slow on Climate, Eagle Wellness Visit

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Penalty Kick
Utahns should be really upset, up in arms and calling their representatives. Instead, it's The Daily Beast, The Atlantic and almost every other national news outlet that are rightfully concerned about civil rights. California teen Lauren Gibson was arrested in Garfield County on an enhanced hate crime charge for stomping a Back the Blue sign. The Utah dailies instead focused on the defense from Sheriff James D. Perkins, who said his deputy acted in a "proactive and compassionate manner."There's little doubt that Gibson was acting like a pissy and aggressive teenager, but that should draw a misdemeanor charge—at most—not a year in prison. The ACLU agrees. A hate crime? That typically involves violence, not just a juvenile, angry confrontation. The Salt Lake Tribune did note, at least, that Garfield County has a little history of enhancing charges against unpopular groups that don't like police. It may not be in Utah's Dixie, but it's close enough.


Take It Slow on Climate
Let's talk about climate change and the "right balance." While Utah Policy's LaVar Webb applauds Sen. Mitt Romney and Rep. John Curtis for addressing climate change, he doesn't exactly make a good case—unless it's for business. Webb is all about taking it slow. "The key is to invest in things that will really make a difference. That doesn't necessarily mean enormous projects. Like air pollution, a million (maybe a billion) little things cause climate change, and it will take a million (billion) little lifestyle changes to improve it." In other words, the Green New Deal—even though it's not a thing—is asking too much. Webb "believes" the foundation is being laid "even though worldwide emissions are not declining right now." Innovation and the free market will reduce emissions, he says. The New Yorker ran a story called "The False Choice Between Economic Growth and Combating Climate Change," because it is. It reported that in the United States, "after three years of decline, carbon-dioxide emissions increased by an estimated 3.4 per cent in 2018." Fast economic growth was a major factor. But Webb is in the Profit Before Planet group.


Eagle Wellness Visit
Did you know that the golden eagle is in big danger? The Deseret News followed Hawkwatch International, and the paper's intrepid photographer, Spenser Heaps, captured stunning photos of what can only be seen as an unusual and unlikely collaboration to save a predator bird. And it is, in fact, climate change that's increasingly endangering the birds. "Loss of food source and habitat is a death sentence," the D-News headline reads. A large part of the blame goes to climate-stoked wildfires destroying habitat. Hawkwatch works with information from oil and gas concerns, the Bureau of Land Management, the Department of Defense and even wind farms—because what happens to the golden eagle presages what happens to all living things.

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

A City Weekly contributor since 1992, Biele is the informed voice behind our Hits & Misses and Citizen Revolt columns. When not writing, you can catch her working to empower voters and defend democracy alongside the League of Women Voters.

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