Energy, Environment, Longmont, Uncategorized

Larison: Longmont’s ‘climate action’ plan detached from reality

All Longmont residents should be paying attention to a radical plan by the Climate Action Task Force (CATF) to bring the enviro-left’s green extreme to Longmont over the next few years.

Key to the plan is the “electrification” of Longmont, meaning a change in city code to eliminate natural gas usage in buildings and homes citywide. That’s right, your natural gas-fueled furnaces, fireplace inserts, water heaters and kitchen ranges would all have to go. Needless to say, the costs of required retrofits to all-electric would be staggering.

This whole plan is basically the same pipe dream as Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and the Democrats’ proposed national Green New Deal. Conservative estimates put the cost for the U.S. of up to $93 trillion. In the long run, it all comes down to the globalist’s agenda of indexing and control of people’s lives.

Locally, the insanity started with City Council’s declaration last fall of a “climate emergency” for Longmont.  Just step outside, where is the emergency? Eliminating fossil fuel usage is not going to change the naturally variable four-season climate of the city by one bit.

To further show CATF’s misunderstanding of weather & climate, take a look at the very first sentence of the Climate Action Recommendations Report: “Last year Colorado registered its highest temperature in the state’s recorded history (115 degrees on July 20).”

As a meteorologist I’m aware that this temperature did occur (115° at John Martin Dam last July), but it only broke the state record by one degree set previously in 1933 and 1954.  Were those decades-old readings indicators of a man-made climate crisis as well?  I could counter that Denver officially had its coolest annual average temperature in 2019 (49.6°) since 1997. The point is, a record 115° in Colorado last year was an isolated weather event, not to be confused with climate.

Also consider the enviros’ love affair with curbside composting, an over-hyped Longmont program running more than three years that still has less than 20% participation. Most residents, including myself, respect the environment and gladly do single stream recycling, but regard curbside composting of food scraps as needless overkill. So what’s CATF’s answer? They want to increase the curbside composting program to 75% participation and make it opt-out instead of opt-in. The cost of more trucks and operators would surely increase fees for all whether you want the service or not.

A foreseeable inequity with the Climate Action Recommendations being approved is that Longmont’s left-wing City Council will rubber stamp the proposals with little scrutiny from outside sources. I believe the oil and gas industry should have a forum to defend the continued use of natural gas in Longmont. It’s the cleanest and cheapest extraction product of fracking, but we all know that’s the great anathema of the progressive left.
In addition, a public policy group such as Independence Institute should weigh in with perspective on the broad scope of energy, transportation and waste management parameters included in CATF’s plan.

And finally, before a single component of this drastic climate action plan is implemented, the entire package should be put before a vote of the people of Longmont.

Dave Larison is a retired National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) meteorologist who has lived in Longmont since 1980.

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