Bruce Finley is a longtime staff reporter for the Denver Post who covers environment-related news: the land, air and water issues around Colorado and the West. Bruce has worked both as a journalist and a lawyer on a variety of issues worldwide; however, he grew up in Colorado and its mountains and has relished the chance to serve its residents. Bruce graduated from Stanford University, then earned masters’ degrees in international relations as a Fulbright scholar in Britain and in journalism at Northwestern University. He went to law school at the University of Denver, earning his Juris Doctor degree in 2012 and joining the Colorado Bar. He has won numerous journalism awards. His international affairs work led to on-site reporting in 40 countries including a stint in Africa, multiple assignments in Iraq, and after the 9/11 attacks, around the Arab world from Pakistan to Yemen.
Title: Reckoning – Utilities’ mission of tapping nature to ensure availability of water and energy becomes difficult during a population growth and development boom. Factor in societal mandates—the shift away from fossil fuels toward solar and wind, and the protection of nature for the future—and the challenges intensify. Impacts of climate change from burning fossil fuels —rising temperatures, earlier snow melt, and extreme storms and wildfires—all increase uncertainty to the point that utility planners constantly are working through scenarios. Our extraction and delivery of the resources that nature provides may hit limits. Hard, value-laden questions that have been looming for decades, need to be addressed. To what extent must nature and natural processes survive given the growing numbers of people drawn to Colorado for access to nature? How many people can be crammed into dense, water-and-energy-efficient Front Range cities without triggering an unsustainable exodus that shifts burdens west, urbanizing mountain valleys? Can we co-exist with wildlife? What is the carrying capacity of the arid Southwest?