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Billy Barr, Colorado’s accidental apostle of climate change (2 letters)

Billy Barr has spent the last 46 years in a remote cabin in the snowy woods several miles above Crested Butte. He has kept detailed notes on the temperature and snow levels every day since 1974.

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Billy Barr has spent the last 46 years in a remote cabin in the snowy woods several miles above Crested Butte. He has kept detailed notes on the temperature and snow levels every day since 1974.

Re: “From a remote cabin in the snowy hills above Crested Butte, Billy Barr’s historical records make him an accidental apostle among climate researchers,” Jan. 20 news story.

I was fascinated by the story about Billy Barr, who lives in a remote area above Crested Butte. He’s made it ritual to measure snowpack and temperatures daily for 40-plus years, mostly out of curiosity, with no particular intent to prove anything. Nevertheless, his records are being viewed by scientists as an excellent source of data regarding trends in our climate. Those of us who do not pay such meticulous attention may think that climate change is a slow process and we needn’t be overly concerned. Barr’s records, however, show that there were 36 record highs last winter, and 11 in December and January so far. How fast can we deal with the implications for our ski industry, primary water source (i.e. snowpack), and the record high summer temperatures that contribute to wildfires?

Catherine Welch, Denver


I want to thank Jason Blevins for his wonderful story about Billy Barr and his weather logs. This was a fascinating human-interest story with important information about climate change. When most of the newspaper is full of doom and gloom, it’s great to read about people like Barr.

Dixie J-Elder, Longmont

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