Items by Allen Best

Considering historical correctness in New Mexico
He’s the linchpin of a remote western Colorado town
The lessons of Ludlow, 100 years later
The lessons of Ludlow, 100 years later
77 years later, here comes pot
77 years later, here comes pot
The history of marijuana is clouded by racism and muddled thinking.
Go Lambkins! But no go Redskins?
Go Lambkins! But no go Redskins?
The controversial territory of mascot names.
A Colorado carpenter takes a chance on hemp
A Colorado carpenter takes a chance on hemp
Can an agrarian insurrection revitalize this High Plains town?
Telluride voters will find sugar on the ballot
Telluride voters will find sugar on the ballot
The pros and cons of banning sugary sodas in a mountain resort town of Colorado.
In describing weather, remember the caveats
In describing weather, remember the caveats
The numbers get squirrely when it comes to explaining massive flooding.
We need a locagua movement
We need a locagua movement
Hard choices for an uncertain future
Hard choices for an uncertain future
After seeing a talk by climate activist Tim DeChristopher, the author wonders: which energy source is the lesser of many evils?
Aspen, Colo. environmental community split over small hydro
Aspen, Colo. environmental community split over small hydro
Reviving a small hydroelectric plant on Castle Creek was supposed to help the city's utility get closer to providing 100 percent carbon free electricity as part of an effort to fight climate change. Instead, it's kicked up a furor.
Smug alert
Smug alert
None of us are without sin when it comes to using energy.
Keystone XL is still a questionable pipeline
Keystone XL is still a questionable pipeline
As the pipeline route is decided, ranchers worry about impacts to water quality in the case of spills
Global climate change: We need to talk about it
Global climate change: We need to talk about it
It's hard for journalists to talk about climate change, but they need to keep telling the story, especially when writing about natural disasters.
Sometimes environmentalists miss the boat
Sometimes environmentalists miss the boat
Colorado environmentalists goofed when they opposed a bill that would have harnessed the methane produced by coal mines as a form of renewable energy.
Unfinished zombie housing developments haunt the rural West
Unfinished zombie housing developments haunt the rural West
Lack of planning rules and the housing bubble led to dead subdivisions plaguing the West, especially in Teton County, Idaho, where locals are trying to deal with the impacts of the real estate bust, yet still arguing if planning even works.
A ski town contributes mightily to paleontology
A ski town contributes mightily to paleontology
The fossils found near Colorado's Snowmass Village have a lot to teach us: not just about mastodons and mammoths, but also about the climate and ecosystem that existed tens of thousands of years ago.
The gift of runoff in a wet season
The gift of runoff in a wet season
After too many recent dry years, residents of the Rocky Mountains are relishing the music of running water.
Three Cups of Tea, the sequel
Three Cups of Tea, the sequel
The fallout from the fracas over Greg Mortenson's book, "Three Cups of Tea," ranges from Afghanistan to Montana and the Mountainfilm Festival in Telluride, Colo.
Don't blame it all on global climate change
Don't blame it all on global climate change
Climate change is a problem, but that doesn’t mean it’s responsible for every bad thing that happens in the West.
Compassionate listening, fierce conversation
Compassionate listening, fierce conversation
Photographer Meredith Ogilby and writer Corinne Platt interview 49 Western "heavy-lifters" in their new book, Voices of the American West.
Here's to a water czar with the unlikely name of Chips
Here's to a water czar with the unlikely name of Chips
The late "Chips" Barry, executive director of Denver Water Board, changed that formidable institution for the best.
Clean air, hazy politics
Clean air, hazy politics
A new Colorado air quality law pits coal against natural gas -- and rural environmentalists against urban ones.
Between the grims and the grins
Between the grims and the grins
We will need humility as well as technology to triumph over climate change.
Republicans face an uncertain battle for governor
Republicans face an uncertain battle for governor
Democratic Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper's decision to run for governor of Colorado may throw a spanner into Republican plans to re-take the West.
A federal agency tries to hold on to what it's built
A federal agency tries to hold on to what it's built
As climate change and water shortages bring an end to the era of dams, the federal Bureau of Reclamation seeks to reinvent itself.
A sucker punch to the stomach: When trees turn red
A sucker punch to the stomach: When trees turn red
Colorado's bark beetle epidemic is unlike anything that has ever happened to the state in its brief history.
Victory came from the bottom up
Victory came from the bottom up
A vast army of determined volunteers were the force behind Obama’s success in Colorado.
The (non)idiot’s guide to energy
In Power of the People: America’s New Electricity Choices, energy specialist Carol Sue Tombari has written a concise and remarkably readable book about the best way to tackle our nation’s energy problems.
Slow down, you drive too fast
Allen Best says we’d save on both oil and sanity – and even have a chance to enjoy the scenery – if we’d slow down on Western highways.