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Aspen Greens Turn a Lighter Shade of Pale.

Colin Flaherty's picture

You are an environmental group. You hate carbon footprints. At least from other people. You hate even more when punk-ass bloggers stomp on the carbon footprints that come from all the fossil fuel you burn whenever you travel to far away places to meet with your environmental buddies to complain about other folks creating carbon footprints.

To quote the great philosopher Karl Malden: “What will you do? What … will … you … do?”

Do what National Geographic and the Aspen Institute did last week: Go to Aspen. There city officials will give you a nice little “Canary” certificate saying that no matter how many thousands of gallons of jet fuel, gasoline, diesel, natural gas, and other carbon emitters it took to get you to and from Aspen for your environmental meeting, you can do so guilt free: The City of Aspen has you covered with their Canary Initiative.

If you venture to the city’s web site, you will learn that the city utility gets more than 31 percent of the Aspen’s energy from hydroelectric sources. “The City is also pursuing using the existing Ridgeway Dam and reservoir for generating another thirty percent of the City's electricity from hydropower.” That 61 percent in the near future. Add some wind to that and voila: Very little carbon from burning fossil fuels. Just the way the enviros like it.



I might not ever be voted Sierra Club member of the year. But I can read. And because of that I know two things: 1. Hydroelectric power comes from dams. 2. Environmentalists hate dams.

They hate them enough to try and take them down through political action and law suits in just about every state and federal court in the country. To them, clean energy be …darned: It’s all about the fish not swimming and spawning the way they should.

(Which of course brings to mind the W.C. Fields quote when he refused water with his whiskey. Never touch the stuff, he said. “Fish f**k in it.”)

Others insist that dams are not just environmentally dangerous, they are also the most “dangerous form of energy on the planet.”


Every year thousands of people die world-wide when dams break. Some geologists say not only do dams break from earthquakes. Dams cause earthquakes from adding stress to nearby geological faults.

As the Aspen energy conference was winding down last week, a dam in Indonesia was just the latest to burst, killing at least 77 people. That’s more than the 60 people who died at Chernobyl.

Dams are breaking and killing thousands of people all over the world with increasing regularity.

One man’s Canary is another man’s Chicken Little.

In other news, President Obama is taking 500 staffers with him to Europe on his upcoming trip. That is in addition to the extra helicopters, limos, cooking equipment and everything else they are dragging along.

No word on whether they are taking any canaries.