Big hitch, big change | Editorials

Ketchum’s Wagon Days celebration is a glimpse into late 19th-century life in a small mining town in the mountains of Idaho. It’s also a reminder that change can happen.

The Big Hitch, pulled by teams of mules and horses and driven by skilled men through rocky roads over mountain passes, was not a source of climate change emissions. No more than their counterparts, horse-drawn carts, carriages and stagecoaches.

Then came Henry Ford’s Model T car and its internal combustion engine. Cars and trucks have brought incredible benefits, but humanity is paying a very high price today for having burned fossil fuels in these vehicles for over a century.

The good news is that change is underway again.

Electric vehicles have left the drawing board. New buses brought online as part of the Mountain Rides stable could signal the start of a push towards major reductions in greenhouse gases that are destroying water supplies and agriculture in the West.

Another encouraging development is the new Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck. It is a work vehicle similar in price to the gasoline versions of Ford. With a range of between 230 and 300 miles, the F-150 overcomes the limitations that have kept many buyers from diving.

Rolling back climate change requires people to do things differently. New electric vehicles could finally put pollution-spewing engines in their place – in a museum alongside the Big Hitches of yesteryear.

It would be something to celebrate under a blue smoke-free western sky.

“Our Point of View” represents the opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board, which is made up of the members of its board of directors. Comments can be sent to [email protected]

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Paul Cox

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