The Sopris Sun

Banks, how many?

Dear Editor:

Carbondale has three banks. First Bank wants to put a new branch here. Does Carbondale need four banks?

People are thinking: How can I even pose such a question? If somebody wants to put another business in our town, lucky us! The more the merrier.

Carbondale is poised to update our 2006 Climate Action Plan. Members of this community, like many other towns, counties, states and countries, have recognized that an overarching problem is facing all of us. All of these folks and governments are making commitments to reduce carbon emissions. The planet continues to heat up. For one thing, higher average temperatures mean weather conditions will become more severe; such as rainfall up to 11 inches through Oklahoma to Arkansas this weekend.

This comes right after up to a foot of snow in parts of Denver. The big dilemma in reducing carbon emissions is that our much wanted continuous economic growth invariably adds to the total emissions. New businesses mean more employees to house, feed, school, and protect. The new buildings produce emissions, and so does the traffic from the customers, the delivery and service vehicles and the increase in infrastructure provided by the public.

Aside from the ongoing emissions, the very construction of buildings and their surroundings requires the creation of large quantities of emissions that become known as “embedded carbon”. The atmosphere pays a price for every yard of concrete, every brick and beam and every square yard of asphalt.

Assuming another bank is built; why should it be another privately owned bank? Our banks were in dire straits after the 2009 crash. But not the Bank of North Dakota. BND is the country’s only state owned bank. BND weathered the crisis well because they avoided the risky lending of the commercial banks. BND concentrates on state banking and is very strong in the financing of education both in student loans and school finance. Why not hedge our bets with public banks and/or credit unions?

One of things that any banker will tell you is “plan ahead”. To achieve climate and economic security we need to plan ahead to accomplish long term goals. What will Carbondale really need to be successful in the changing years ahead?

Patrick Hunter

Carbondale