The consequences of growth
As we face another summer of the toxic Brown Cloud over Denver and Golden, our city council members and Golden City Planners keep ramping up “endless growth” by confirming more and more building projects across our limited-space city. It’s amazing how they keep cramming more and more buildings and laying down more and more pavement. It’s astounding that they refuse to look at future consequences. Here’s one of them by the late Walter Youngquist, one of the top energy experts in America:
“As we go from this happy hydrocarbon bubble we have reached now to a renewable energy resource economy, which we do this century, will the ‘civil’ part of ‘civilization’ survive? As we both know, there is no way that alternative energy sources can supply the amount of per capita energy we enjoy now, much less for the 10 billion expected by 2050. And energy is what keeps this game going. We are involved in a Faustian bargain—selling our economic souls for the luxurious life of the moment, but sooner or later the price has to be paid.”
That’s correct: oil keeps this “exponential growth” game going, but experts project that all oil will be exhausted by 2050 give or take a few years. Then, what do we citizens do when we can’t heat our homes, and all the resources that run our electric cars are no longer available?
We need a: “Golden Population Stabilization Policy” to save future generations.
Frosty Wooldridge, Golden
Massive and rapid change needed to prevent environmental collapse
The health and well-being of every living thing is dependent on the health of the earth, which is being rapidly degraded due to ecosystem destruction, pollution and climate change. After many years of denial, distraction and delay, it’s too late for incremental change. Massive and rapid change is needed to prevent environmental collapse.
Our state’s biggest climate polluter, Xcel Energy, is working on an Electric Resource Plan (ERP) that is now under review by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC). This plan determines what combination of resources Xcel will use to provide electricity to Colorado communities. Thousands of Xcel Energy rate payers and community members across the state have submitted comments demanding a more rapid transition from polluting fossil fuels to less expensive wind, solar, storage, and other clean energy resources.
However, Xcel recently proposed a settlement that would allow the utility to burn coal at the Comanche 3 plant in Pueblo until 2035, five years longer than any other coal plant in Colorado. Comanche 3 has also been unreliable, with ahistoryof costly breakdowns. Furthermore, Xcel is seeking permission to build new gas plants with the assumption they will run for at least 40 years.
The City of Golden has a stated goal of achieving 100 percent renewable energy for electricity by 2030; however, one of Xcel’s Denver gas plants is currently projected to burn gas until 2055. If you care about this, and you should, please submit a comment to the PUC as soon as possible at bit.ly/tellxcel.
John Hicks, Golden