A real Longmont crisis vs. an imagined one
By Dave Larison
It occurs to me in the midst of the current public health crisis that Longmont actually has two declared emergencies in effect, one a very real threat due to COVID-19 and the other a fictitious “climate emergency” forced by local environmentalists in the fall of 2019.
Last January at a Longmont City Council meeting, I incredulously heard a deputy city manager state, “This is a crisis (climate change) not unlike the crisis and emergency that we went through in the 2013 flood.” Oh please. If anything, there will be a great backlash against the radical environmental movement in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Take the enviro-left’s war on the use of plastics. If a plastic bag ban were now in place at local stores, the last thing that grocery shoppers would want to have is reusable cloth bags that are notorious for carrying germs. An even better example is the widespread use of plastics in medical equipment. Companies scrambling to mass produce patient ventilator masks or full face shields for workers certainly have no time to waste on anti-plastics nonsense.
There’s also the local issue of Longmont prematurely committing to 100% renewable energy by 2030. In effect, this would put energy systems in place that would not be economically viable on their own during the next decade.
Platte River Power Authority readily admits that all-renewables by 2030 would more than double the present cost of electricity to consumers. It would likely be an even greater spread considering the recent downturn in oil prices for the foreseeable future. Xcel Energy, a company that keenly knows the energy marketplace, has a more reasonable approach by targeting the year 2050 for their commitment to all-renewable electric energy.
This week marks 40 years of my residence in Longmont, a time spent having excellent health living in our city’s natural variability, four-season climate. The air is actually cleaner today through proper regulations than the 1980s when there were days you could see the brown cloud wrapping along the foothills all the way up to Longmont.
I’ve probably taken in 10 times the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) with no ill effects just walking behind my gas lawn mower every summer than I ever would by the negligible amount from oil & gas drilling in nearby Weld County.
To sum up, it would be smart for the city of Longmont to put a coronavirus task force in place right now and disband the needless Climate Action Task Force. And once and for all, City Council should terminate the misguided climate emergency declaration.
Dave Larison is a retired NOAA meteorologist who has worked with Longmont weather and climate since 1980.