"Green Movement" Has Limitations Even in Boulder...
    Topic posted February 16, 2010 by EdGElite Contributor, last edited January 19, 2012 
    1887 Views, 28 Comments
    "Green Movement" Has Limitations Even in Boulder CO

    WSJ (2/13/10) "Even Boulder Finds It Isn't Easy Going Green."  Boulder, CO is a "place where residents tend to be politically liberal and passionate about the great outdoors."  However, researchers and "implementers" of the 'energy efficient' measures of the city alike have "found it's exceedingly difficult to get them [City of Boulder residents] to do much of anything."

    Resident George Karakehian considers himself quite green: drives a hybrid, recycles, uses energy efficient light bulbs.  But he refuses to shut his door to his downtown art gallery when his heating and air conditioning is on. 

    "Mr. Karakehian knows he wasting energy.  He doesn't care."  ... so there is limits to being green for even the most "conscientious" green-thinkers ....


    • LSchnapf

      So I guess this is like the old adage about the horse. In this case it would be you can take a homeowner to the switch but you cant make them turn it off......

    • Cory
      The old adage about the horse was not merely a reflection on the horse's attitude. The adage was also meant to help a leader cope with stubborness in those he or she is leading. But in this case it seems that this stubborness of the shop owner is rooted in personal freedom. If this guy want's to keep his door open and pay the bill then that's his choice. When someone starts making that choice for him we might all want to think about not drinking the coolade whoops I mean water. Maybe this shop owner is so passionate about the outdoors that he just wants some fresh air in his art gallery. Something to think about anyways... His motives for keeping the door open might be more pure than you think. I mean really is this guy with keeping his door open making a measurable impact on the environment?
    • EdG

      That's the point - he is not (impacting the environment that much by leaving his door open).  And everyone has their limits to being "green" - yet espouse and push their agenda on you for not being as "green" as they are (and yet in reality they aren't that green). 

      Get the circular argument and hypocrisy?  The City of Boulder is a microcosm of the entire movement.

    • Cory
      I'll have to admit that the green movement arguements on both sides go way over my head at times. I like to stick with what can be measured in the lab. If one of the agri-chemical sites I do an audit of has spilled dry fertilizer outside of the loading pad on the ground that is an issue that can be seen and quantified. Then I tell the operating manager that the spilled fertilizer needs to be cleaned up pronto. Then we discuss how we can keep our product from getting away from us. This not only protects the environment but can have a direct effect on the bottome line. It used to be that a company could cut corners and make a handsome profit, that is not as true as it used to be thankfully! We have done a good job regulating our industries but when is enough regulation enough to protect the environment? There is a fine line between regulating to protect the environment and regulating to appease the populace. One actually gets something done and is grounded in measurable data and the other is just a feeling.
    • Matt Fox

      Here's an interesting story.  In an effort to be "green" the Olympic organizers used electric ice resurfacing machines instead of the tried and true Zamboni's, which I guess run on gasoline or diesel.  Just one problem, the electric units don't work.  So how much energy and resources did they waste manufacturing several of the inferior units, and then flying a Zamboni out at the last minute to take over and do the job right.  Plus I guess they don't realize that even electric units need to have electricity generated somewhere, which in Canada I assume means fossil fuels.  How does this save energy??

      Also, I do a lot of Property Condition Assessments.  Something I see all the time now is apartments get rebates or other incentives (or are forced by government agency) to install "green" lighting fixtures.  Just one problem, the fixtures start to break almost immediately.  After about 1 year, the apartment complex must replace the green fixtures, and then decide whether to replace them with another "green" fixture that will last one year, or replace them with the traditional fixtures that last 15-20 years.  Apartments that receive government funding, have no choice but to go with the "green"fixtures.  How does this save energy??

      Another thing I see all the time at government subsizidized housing is old solar water heating systems.  After talking with maintenance people at several of these properties, it seems back in late 1980s, the governement came through and made these apartments install these expensive solar water heating systems.  They worked for a few years, and then were turned off because it cost more to repair them than it would to put traditional hot water system back in.  Now the equipment has just been sitting there for 20+ years rotting away because it will cost a lot of money to remove them.  And of course, they damaged the roofs with the equipment, so now the roofs have to be replaced.  How does this save energy??

      Hopefully we will eventually get a little smarter about "going green".  Right now it seems more of a marketing ploy than a practical solution to the energy problem.

    • EdG

      Agred Matt - but I would be bolder to state it's a political agenda - without question.  In MA we have "green" legislation coming out of my ears.  And lest not forget the "Scott heard round the World."  The people have spoken.  We all care about the environment - but don't legislate it and create more government programs that don't work!  Suddenly the Administration is talking about job recovery and not health care and climate change.  Amen.

      Oh ... and do I dare bring up an excellent article on climate change in the WSJ today - "Controversies Create Opening for Critics."  The state of Texas is taking legal action against the EPA regarding the Agency's efforts to curb greenhouse gases under the CAA.  The state of Virginia's attorney general also requested the EPA delay the implementation until further information can be reviewed.

    • LSchnapf

      You guys are a bunch of flat-earthers, philistines or luddites (not sure which of the latter is worse) :)

      seriously, though, we do seem like we are about to repeat 1981 all over again. President Carter has passed energy efficiency legislation in 1978 and 1980 but then the oil started to flow, prices dropped and Reagan gutted the laws.

      I think alot of the advocates of Climate Change legislation are using science to hide the fact that they are really advocating the precautionary principle. If they were more honest about their motives, we would not be consumed about the legitimacy of the science. We didnt wait for unequivocal proof before we passed the CAA or CAA. Congress debated the pros and cons, and made a decision it was in the best interests of the country to have cleaner air and water. we should have the same kind of debate about Climate Change.

      BTW- i have not met a geologist yet who believes the IPCC conclusions. as a former geology/palentology major who has done his fair share of dinosaur digs, I have seen the power of nature to wipe out life on earth and so have been agnostic if not a little suspicious about the anthropogenic origins of climate change. However, I believe from a precautionary principle standpoint and national security standpoint that we need to reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels even if that means opening up some national lands, building a few nuke plants erecting some unsightly wind turbines.


    • McCarthy

      Guess someone needs to take a swing at this silly political softball...Maybe Rush's phone lines were tied up or was he just back in detox and continuing hate education classes so Ed felt compelled to carry the banner in his absence. 

      A shop owner that refuses to close his door when his air conditioning is on should be a pretty clear sign of his intelligence.  If leaving your barn door open to let your horses loose will prove you're an independent thinker. Heck, why not burn down your house, that'll really show'em.

      I realize the industry financed lies endlessly promoted by the corporatocracy continue to guide the glazed over deniers, the egoists and TV tray types to avoid doing something rational like conserving resources or providing health care.  I bet Sarah had a lovely new dress at the corporate financed, profit scheme called a caucus in Nashville.  Its impressive how much they can stir the pot against those darned educated elites to avoid evolving.  Now Roberts, Alito & their other robed robots have thrown out limits on businesses election least now they're on the record as having stopped pretending to have ethics. 

      The only one that cares about MAs new golden boy are the schillers that put him in office.  Endlessly repeating lies, does not make them truths.

    • EdG

      Mr. McCarty - can always count on you to be supportive and in my corner ....  I will send you my copy of Sarah's book when I am finsihed (and yes -  you know I am reading it).

      I think you have to wake out of your liberal coma and realize the entire political landscape has drastically changed and the political leftists that are so out of touch with reality - are dropping like flies even before we get a chance to beat them at the polls!

      Have a nice day.


      • McCarthy

        No worries Ed.  I just hope the books available on tape so her illiterate hordes don't have to gather too close to the fire to hear Papa read. 

    • LSchnapf

      I didnt realize Ed was such an avid fiction reader. And if you believe the stuff in that book, I have some great swamp land in florida for you to buy-- oh wait, she might find that developable.  :) 

    • EdG

      At least she knows there are 50 states - ask Obama how many there are - last count it was 57 .... Kisses. 

    • Matt Fox

      McCarthy...perhaps it's not obvious to you....but the reason the shop owner leaves his door open is because it brings in more customers.  In other words, common sense and the ability to earn a living take precedent over saving energy, even for someone like Mr. Karakehian that drives a hybrid, recylces, uses CFLs, etc.

      Not sure anything else you spouted is even worth responding to.  But I think it's a little silly for you to say industry doesn't care about saving energy.  Of course they do.  You see there is this little thing called Capitalism that most of us in the US think is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  One of the great things about Capitalism is that even the evil industrialists have a huge incentive to save energy.  It's called profit, and has done much more to save energy in the US than any of the silly laws that our government enacts for no other reason than to allow the politician to run ads claiming they care about the environment.

      What is the point of passing green regulations that accomplish little more than moving manufacturing over-seas to countries that have 0 environmental regulations? So instead of manufacturing something here in our own back yard, and providing much needed jobs, we ship those jobs overseas, and create even more pollution than there would be if the manufacturing stayed here in the US.  Plus, now we have to ship goods and products 1,000's of miles across the oceans using one of the dirtiest methods of shipping possible. Plus, we weaken the entire fabric of what makes the United States great.  Better hope we never go to war with China....we won't have the ability to manufacture any of thd goods that we rely on day to day.

      Or, drive down the Central Valley of California and you'll see 1,000s of acres of prime farmland sitting unused because environmental regulations make them impossible to farm.  So instead of getting locally grown produce, we ship it in from Guatemala and every other 3rd world country in Central America where they have little or no environmental reguations.  What a joke.

      Would it not be better for the Earth, which we all share, to use a bit more common sense and allow the manufacturing and jobs to stay here in the US where it can still be regulated, but just not to the extent that makes it impossible to compete with foreign countries.

      Is it asking to much for our elected leaders to use a bit of common sense and think for a minute about the financial consequences to the environmental regulations they enact?

      • McCarthy

        I think you've confused democracy with capitalism again, but that happens when you're taught greed and selfishness for decades.  The only reason China won't attack us is because your fearless leaders already sold them our capitalist country.  After all, they were the highest bidder and thats how capitalism works, right?

      • Patrick Sutton

        Well I'll propably regret saying anything at all, but are you talking about the restrictions on water use for agriculture in the Central Valley?  It's driven by drought conditions, which seems to me like a reasonable course of action.  Are there other environmental regulations restricting agriculture in this region (I'm really asking, I don't care about the other arugments)? 

        • Matt Fox

          Yes, I'm talking about Central Valley of California.  Yes, part of is due to drought, but environmental regulations also play a large part.  Mainly limitations on diverting water from the Sacramento Delta, and the myriad of regulations which make it all but impossible to build new large dams.  We have a lot of water in California that goes untapped because environmental regulations make it very difficult to use it.

          Now of course we need some environmental protections, but not to the point where they cripple our ability to function as a society.

    • LSchnapf

      I guess from the "Atlas Shrugged" perspective, such behavior is a rational economic decision....just like a homeowner who decides to walk away from their mortgage because the home is worth 20% or more below the value of the mortgage. This is where the fiction that people acting in their own selfish interest will benefit society.

      If everyone had to keep their door closed to save energy, he would not have any advantage or motive to keep his door open.....

    • EdG

      Matt - I find it easier and more pleasurable to bang my head against a wall than try to reason with a socialist.  They don't listen to reason and that is why the tide is quickly turning. 

      Their egotistical "do you know who I am" attitude is done.  The people are at their wits end and moving on; and the politicians and those that continue to ignore the vast majority of the people will be out on the street in 2010 - that is if they don't quite before hand - as many are .... (thank you).

      • McCarthy

        That banging your head against the wall would explain your reasoning abilities.  You may want to forego that as a form of entertainment from now on (even in your most thickly padded room). 

        I'll refrain from further postings to this thread before Ms. Hannan politely asks such.

        P.S.  Still thinking future postings better suited to Craigslist than an EP "Due Diligence" forum. 

    • EdG

      P.S. - Why don't we all go live in a yurt together.  That will cut down on our carbon footprint - and I can read you guys Sarahs book for a bedtime story.

      Let me know.

      And to greedy capitalists - lets talk about the top wealthiest politicians - Kennedy's, Jay Rockefeller, Kerry, Tony Sanchez, Jon Corzine, Herb Kohl.  Guess what they all have in common besides being filthy rich ... All are liberal Democrats out of touch with Americans...