Keeping Boulder Green Isn’t Easy
In 2006, Boulder voters approved the nation’s first “carbon tax,” now $21 a year per household, to fund energy-conservation programs. The city took out print ads, bought radio time, sent email alerts and promoted the campaign in city newsletters.
But Boulder’s carbon emissions edged down less than 1% from 2006 through 2008, the most recent data available
Why can’t the city of Boulder get these carbon emissions down?
“What we’ve found is that for the vast majority of people, it’s exceedingly difficult to get them to do much of anything,” says Kevin Doran, a senior research fellow at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Yes Kevin, controlling the sheeple can be difficult at times. As Paul Sheldon says,
“We still have a long way to go,” says Paul Sheldon, a consultant who advises the city on conservation. Residents “should be driving high-efficiency vehicles, and they’re not. They should be carpooling, and they’re not.” And yes, he adds, they should be changing their own light bulbs—and they’re not.
What is wrong with these people in Boulder? Not changing your own light bulb is a blatant violation of rule #13466453 (2)(c) of the People’s Republic of Boulder Environmental Action Handbook .
Another problem contributing to global warming is flat screen TVs…that’s right, the big flat TV screens.
A local home-theater installer says most customers purchase a power strip, so they can turn off the outlet when they’re not watching. But during the Christmas holidays, 65-inch flat-screen TVs flew off the shelves of Boulder’s ListenUp Audio/Video. “People are definitely going for bigger screens,” manager Bob Murphy says.
Not to fear though, Boulder is looking to get tough on carbon.
City officials are frustrated—and contemplating more forceful steps.
The City Council will soon consider mandating energy-efficiency upgrades to many apartments and businesses. The proposals under review would be among the most aggressive in the nation, requiring up to $4,000 a rental unit in new appliances, windows and other improvements. Owners of commercial property could face far larger tabs.
Boulder also is going to be gracious enough to redistribute peoples tax dollars to assist people in saving energy.
Boulder plans to spend about $1.5 million in city funds and $370,000 in federal stimulus money to hire contractors to do basic upgrades for residents.
In the program, dubbed “Two Techs in a Truck,” as many as 15 energy-efficiency teams will go door-to-door. They’ll ask home and business owners for permission to caulk windows, change bulbs and install low-flow showerheads and programmable thermostats—all at taxpayer expense. The techs will set up clothes racks in laundry rooms as a reminder to use the dryer less often. They’ll even pop into the garage and inflate tires to the optimum pressure for fuel efficiency.
If this seems a bit intrusive, don’t worry, the two techs are experts at tire pressure and,
City officials say most residents want to make these changes; they just never seem to get around to it. In a test run in a lower-income Boulder neighborhood, nearly 70% of homeowners accepted the free upgrades. “We want to take away the financial barrier and the hassle barrier,” said Kara Mertz, the city’s local environmental action manager. That may not be enough.
Not enough? Fortunately, at about 2:00 minutes into this video, Kara Mentz, the Local Environment Action Division Manager of Boulder Colorado, suggests an additional plan to inspire people, have insulation blowing parties with cookies and tea.
If Boulder needs any more suggestions to help with their “problem”, ABC News reports that Authors Claim Pets Are More Damaging to Environment Than SUVs.
Taking the dog for a walk to the store would seem like a more environmentally-friendly option than piling into the SUV. Not so, say two New Zealand scientists whose new book claims pets have a carbon footprint that is about twice the size of the gas guzzling vehicles that have long been a bane of environmentalism.
In “Time to Eat the Dog, the Real Guide to Sustainable Living,” Robert and Brenda Vale charge that a medium-size dog has a footprint of 2.1 acres compared with slightly more than one acre for a standard sport utility vehicle.
Fido could be in trouble if the Boulder City Council reads this.