Jason Barton

Professional Information and Energy News

Colorado’s Green Energy Future

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Having done a bit of work with both of these groups, Fort Zed and Boulder’s Energy Future, I have seen the positive strides that each has already made, and have also seen a bit about the setbacks that have occasionally befallen them.

These set backs can be frustrating, and Mr. Greenlee is right to point out that we need to be skeptical of claims from activists, any activists, but especially those proffering programs that seem to be too good to be true.

In discussions on teaching “Intelligent Design” in the science classroom, a good friend and very intelligent educator made some comments about the differences between science and religion that I adapt here to distinguish between science and activism: In science we start with a question and examine objectively all available evidence to develop our conclusions; activism starts with conclusions and works the other direction.

Activists can often be committed to their projects without having first evaluated the evidence. That idealism and faith can play a big part in pushing past obstacles to reach solutions. But these need to be balanced with practical evaluation of what is possible, beneficial, and as this article points out, profitable, rather than pursued blindly.

All this said, let’s not discount Colorado’s energy efforts just because some aspects have at times been led off track.

Both towns, and especially Boulder, have greater financial resources and political will to pursue these renewable energy goals. As is the case with highly successful companies such as Google, let’s support them as they pave the way for more corporations and municipalities to produce and use more affordable clean, domestic, renewable energy.

Boulder Daily Camera

Posted: 01/16/2011 01:00:00 AM MST

Greenlee: New energy future?

By Bob Greenlee
Posted: 01/16/2011 01:00:00 AM MST

There`s a disconnect between Boulder`s concept of energy and environmental idealism that continues to frustrate activists. As the community attempts to resolve achieving its carbonless and sustainable energy goals reality has a nasty habit of revealing a number of inconvenient truths.

A collection of well-meaning citizens make up a group called Boulder`s Energy Future. They`re involved in trying to sort out what comes next as concerns the expired franchise agreement with Xcel Energy and whether or not attempting to “municipalize” the existing electric utility grid makes any sense. Boulder oftentimes suffers from having far too many armchair experts when it comes to making decisions on complex issues whether it involves expanding access to open space lands or carving out our “new energy future.”

Read the entire article here.