EDITORíS DESK: Itís so easy, being green
So what do you make of it?
I'm speaking, of course, about the results of the Colorado Springs Utilities survey, reported this issue, in which three-quarters of the 615 people who were randomly contacted pledged to accept a 1 to 2 percent rate increase so as to make their service "greener." This does not mean better, mind you. The power strip in all our houses will work just the same as with coal, which incidentally burns well within air quality standards here. The only difference is that wind power will cost more. Fork out green to get green, as it were. But these folks, Utilities customers like the rest of us, didn't mind that a bit. Nearly a third of them even professed "interest" in paying 35-40 percent more to get all of the Springs Utilities power from wind farms. The kicker is that 80 percent of these respondents had to have Amendment 37 (the 2004 state initiative requiring utility providers to use renewables) explained to them by the survey-takers. But once they were clear on that, they were ready to sign on, big time.
Anyway, back to the opening question. For my part, I've got to admit I'm reeling a little. Sure, there's no denying skepticism - even Utilities notes that it's typical for people to say they're willing to pay more, then bridle when the proposal actually comes forward. And we'll see how this one goes. But still... It's as if there's been some giant sales job going on across the country, that somehow "going green" is the new answer to the world's problems. We can tick them off. Energy independence. Ending wars overseas. Preserving natural resources. Cleaner environment. And happy homes (because we're all doing our part).
It's just that when I look around the Westside, with so many worthy causes and so many that are short the necessary funds, it makes me wonder... What suddenly made wind power the top priority for everyone's extra dollars? You tell me.