Starting Wednesday and continuing for the next year, a large swath of downtown Fort Collins will offset its peak power consumption by generating some of its own energy—an $11 million component of an ambitious and much-heralded effort to create a “zero energy district” in the heart of the city. FortZED, as the district is dubbed, will attempt to offset the energy it currently uses from a publicly-owned coal-fired power plant “through conservation, efficiency, renewable sources and smart technologies,” according to the project’s website.Zero energy, eh? Well, it turns out they are going to actually use diesel generators and natural gas.
“The whole thing is backwards,” says Eric Sutherland, a Fort Collins resident well known as a citizen watchdog on energy issues. “They’re taking the emergency diesel generators at City Hall and a few places around (Colorado State University) campus and slaving those to power the grid. Gosh, let’s take the most dirty, expensive, scarce fossil fuel—diesel—and use it to generate electricity, and this is our renewable energy source?”But not to worry. You see, uh, well let’s let the project manager, Dennis Sumner, explain:
“Obviously we’re not going to consider it progress to move toward having lots of diesel engines operate all over town to replace a highly efficient coal plant. That’s not a step in the right direction,” Sumner says. “We’re testing how can we integrate these distributed resources. (Think) of the emergency generation equipment we’re using as proxies for what could be different resources in the future.”So this town spent $11 million to pretend that alternative sources of energy, like diesel and natural gas, are actually “proxies for what could be different resources in the future” presumably wind farms, solar, or magic pixie dust energy. But, if wind farms and solar and the like are actually viable forms of energy, couldn’t they have just used the $11 million to, uh, show that they work?
“In the broader FortZED concept, I think there was a lot of enthusiasm for the opportunity for something like a wind project,” he says. “When there was discussion about the development of the Maxwell Ranch, I think a lot of people got pretty excited. ‘Gee, that could be a big boost.’ … But at this point, it doesn’t seem to be coming together.”To me, this article underscores a deeper aspect of the environmentalist ideology. Environmentalism is not a fight against pollution or “dirty energy”, it is a fight against the nature of reality, particularly man’s nature. Man has to use the earth in order to survive - that is our nature! There is no getting around that, unless you choose to die. However, environmentalists regard the earth as a kind of sacred deity to be worshipped and preserved for that eminent, yet insatiable ghost known as “future generations.” Therefore, man is regarded as a kind of Original Sinner, whose piddling sustenance is all but a sacrilege. Evidently, the Sacred Organism yearns to be untouched and held in a kind of cryogenic stasis as determined by panels of Philosopher Kings: assorted central planners, U.N. scientists, and town officals, who divine and translate Her decrees to the unwashed masses.
To the environmentalist, man’s life is to be spent in penance for his Original Sin, absolving himself of guilt by ascetically seeking out ways to minimize his “footprint”, picking through his garbage, substituting privation for convenience, and crusading asymptotically towards that ultimate offering: zero energy.