I Love Denver, But This Has Got to Change…

(E&E reporting: Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) plan to introduce their sweeping cap-and-trade bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on Wednesday, Sept. 30 – promoted by ClubTwitty)

(crossposted at Huffington post)

I love living in the Mile High City of Denver – I love that since I have moved here in 2000, we have turned from a ‘red state’ to a purple or even blue state.

I even am willing to give Josh McDaniels a little props for the Broncos getting to 2-0.

Denver is a great city with the great outdoors and the Rocky Mountains just a 20 minute drive away.

But this information reported today, makes me sad and mad with Denver.

Denver released the largest amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) and Barcelona the smallest amount in a new study documenting how differences in climate, population density and other factors affect GHG emissions in global cities.

Now living in a city that is this beautiful, it is hard to believe that we beat out Los Angeles for pollution.

Denver had the highest overall GHG emissions, with levels two to five times higher than other cities. Its high levels were due partly to its high use of electricity, heating and industrial fuels, and ground transportation, they note – Los Angeles was second on the list…

What if a city’s reputation for pollution was reflected in the Sports team’s names?

Instead of the Denver Broncos we would be the Denver Bronchitis?

It really should give the leaders of our state’s energy policy pause, in light of global warming’s threat to the 2 billion dollar Colorado skiing and tourism industry, when deciding on how to power our state and what Denver emits.

Anyone visiting Colorado Rockies can already see the 2 million Pine trees that are dead or dying due to Pine Beetles – an epidemic many scientist attribute to global warming.

The voters have proven that they want alternative energy – and they proved so by passing approving Amendment 37 in 2004 – the first bill in the nation to require a percentage of the state’s energy sources be derived from renewable energy.

The time is now to call on our elected leaders like the Mayor and the Governor to change the way we power our city.

And it is not just about Colorado, while our pollution is ‘just’ killing our trees in Colorado, it is robbing others of the world’s citizens their very way of life.

the time to act is now – even if you are not from Colorado – we are all in this together – contact your Senator to support Climate Change legislation like Waxman-Markey a.k.a ACES

As I have written previously, even though ACES is not perfect,especially when it comes to coal – we must go to Copenhagen with some kind of climate bill to get some real action globally started for their sakes.

21 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ClubTwitty says:

    Rep. Salazar voted against the Waxman-Markey bill…

    • wade norris says:

      Lou Leonard from World Wildlife Fund,

      he said Boehner got up before the House vote on Waxman-Markey and used a little known procedure, where by the Minority speaker is allocated a ‘minute’ to address the chamber before a vote.

      He used this ‘minute’ for 2 hours, creating a mini-filibuster.

      after he got done, Pelosi stood up and said

      this bill is about one thing –


      and sat back down – and it was passed immediately.

      We must remind the Senate that

      A) we are in a recession

      B) this will create Green jobs

      Then it will be Republicans are trying to stop job creation.  

  2. MADCO says:

    If only we had Senators in Colorado who would come out in favor.  

    If only we had state legislators willing to act the past few years.

    Oh wait we already have the first.  

    • ThillyWabbit says:

      Mark Udall is a global warming denier!

      Only he wants to deny global warming its continued existence, as opposed to continually denying the existence of global warming.

      • MADCO says:

        oh wait. What?

        I thought CO should follow CA’s lead – and oppose the Bush EPA to deny state’s rights to set their own limit if more restrictive than the fed’s. But our legislature was unwilling to act.

        Whothehell was running the House & Senate the past few yearsand what were they doing instead?

  3. ThillyWabbit says:

    We produce more per capita than Los Angeles. The article fails to make that distinction, but it’s in the study.

    Not that it’s great, but factually there are no other American cities on their list (of only ten cities worldwide, so it’s far from a comprehensive ranking) that have Denver’s altitude and climate.

    The study was about why cities in certain climates and regions produce CO2 at different rates. It was not a scorecard.

    • RedGreen says:

      Here’s the study:


      The reasons Denver produces more per capita emissions include climate (winter heating), lower density (more driving) and isolation (the study calculates the greenhouse gas emissions produced transporting fuel to the city). The location of DIA within city limits also adds heavily to Denver’s per capita emissions, compared with other cities on the list whose major airports are outside city limits.

      As cities seek to reduce emissions by learning from the best practices of other cities, the understanding that this analysis provides may be of benefit. What this comparison of cities perhaps suggests is that cities may learn best from cohorts with similar geophysical environments. With a warm Mediterranean climate and a dense urban form, Barcelona has the lowest emissions of the ten cities. A high-emitting city like Denver, however, might learn more by comparing its metabolism with a city such as Toronto, which has a more similar climate and is closer in terms of population density than Barcelona.

  4. Old Rep says:

    WWII is over.  No more bombs.  Need the nuclear energy – now.  Before we cause more problems.

    • MADCO says:

      they can do it as cheaply as building say …. solar generation.

      And in the cost analysis, the long term storage expense and public subsidies have to be counted.

      (hint- it won’t pencil out)

      • MtSherman says:

        It isn’t less expensive than solar power with the cost of energy storage factored in?  Color me skeptical.  

        I think solar power and other renewable sources have great potential, but have been even more oversold than nuclear power.  I recently read an article on the BBC about wind power in the UK that pointed out that the country needs five times as much rated capacity in wind farms as the actual load to be covered due to the variability of the wind.  Solar power is, as far as I know, subject to the same variability problems and more expensive than wind power at this time.  Furthermore we are currently building facilities in the best locations and additional facilities are likely to be located in less desirable locations.

        Therefore I think nuclear power is a very important part of the power mix and the United States government should set up a government owned corporation to build and operate some new nuclear power plants to perfect designs so when renewable power proves insufficient and more expensive than anticipated we have an option other than sitting in the dark.

        • wade norris says:

          #1 you can’t build a nuclear power plant without the Price-Anderson act – that’s the government guarantee that if a mishap like a Three mile island occurs, the federal government will pay the costs.


          The main purpose of the Act is to partially indemnify the nuclear industry against liability claims arising from nuclear incidents while still ensuring compensation coverage for the general public. The Act establishes a no fault insurance-type system in which the first $10 billion is industry-funded as described in the Act (any claims above the $10 billion would be covered by the federal government)

          this is the case with most countries. The fact is, that nuclear power is being touted now, because the fossil fuel industry knows this is the best way to keep their strangle hold on energy distribution while at the same time portraying that source as ‘clean’.

          In reality, if you removed legislation like this, and subsidies for other fossil fuels, like the 60 billion for ‘clean’ coal in ACES, the cost of these fuel sources would skyrocket.

          Which sounds more efficient to you?

          Surveying, drilling and finding oil – pumping to a tanker, driving that tanker across the ocean, pumping the oil to a refinery, making gas, sending the gas in trucks and pipelines across the country…

          or Building a solar power plant and converting that energy directly into electricity?

          By the way, the newest idea is to create a smart grid where you charge your electric car in the day time – while you are work, then at night, when the sun is down, the grid pulls part of your car’s excess charge back into the grid to power the city.

          It is already powering cities in Maryland.


          We have to face the fact that the energy companies have been able to make money off of energy distribution, and that time is soon to end – especially off of dirty fuel sources.

          • DavidThi808 says:

            But we do need the government to be there for the high end of a catastrophe – which is needed more by nuclear. Because insurance companies have to price in the very unlikely if it is horribly expensive. And that’s reasonable for nuclear because we’ve never come close to a meltdown in this country.

            And yes, I support nuclear. The Navy has used ot for 40 years with no problems. We get 20% of our electricity from it with no problems. It works and it’s clean.

            • ThillyWabbit says:

              Colorado is a lousy place for it, though, because of its water intensity. We are, however, a great place for solar and wind.

              Nuclear plants really need to be on major waterways such as the Great Lakes, the coasts, or the Mississippi or one of its major tributaries.

          • MtSherman says:

            I’m a Democrat because I don’t like to have to spin like a top when faced with reports from independent experts. The reality is that nuclear power is less expensive and is a proven technology. If you take off all subsidies the photovoltaic variety of solar power is massively more expensive than anything else out there except wave power (which really sucks right now). Check out this PDF from the California Energy Commission. And, yes, they include insurance costs in their calculations. This is the sort of thing I trust, experts who don’t have an axe to grind, unlike (for example) Greenpeace.

            And this ignores my central point about a potential problem with all the clean renewable sources. They may end up being like hydro power. Clean, efficient, inexpensive, and with limits on how many/much we can build due to not enough suitable sites being available. We’d run everything of geothermal like the Icelanders do if we had enough places to build the plants, but we do not!

            I admit I may be wrong, but I think wind and solar may prove insufficient. And so to have some safety and still move away from the proven and worse dangers of coal and oil we should build some nuclear power plants. Not a crash program to head to France type levels right away. Just enough to prove new technology so we can build more should the worst happen and it is a choice between nuclear power and dirty coal.

        • DavidThi808 says:

          But I think the government should allow private companies to work together to come up with 2 or 3 standard designs that they all build.

  5. Sharon Hanson says:

    And why is it so hard to recycle in this state.  

    In Maine you have to pay a deposit on any drinking container you buy. The highways are not littered as they are here. It really makes a difference.

    And lets quit buying bottled water and reuse the containers we have.

    • MADCO says:

      Do something pioneered in another state?  but , but we’re Coloroado!

      you are spot on

    • Sage Sam says:

      Michigan passed the first deposit law back in the 1970’s and now is looking at a deposit law for all bottled beverages (the law currently only extends to carbonated beverages).  

      It would be nice if Colorado could catch up to the late 20th Century.

      And for chrissake, stop buying bottled water, the stuff out of your tap is cleaner, supports good paying jobs and does far less harm to the environment.

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