As the funds are pouring in and we are beginning to flex our sustainability muscles, it seems like a good time to help Boulder citizens visualize how their municipal energy money is going to be spent.
First, imagine the entire Pearl Street Mall is covered with a one-foot thick carpet of taxpayer’s $100 bills and a gigantic wind turbine has been erected next to the West End. During the big kick-off ceremony for the Boulder Sticker Shock Electric Company, the City Council is ready to throw the switch that activates the new system.
However, just after the excited mayor flips the lever, cheers from the crowd turn to a collective gasp as it becomes apparent that something wasn’t quite hooked up properly. Amid a shower of sparks, stunned onlookers watch the turbine begin to spin in reverse as it pulls power out of the grid and turns into a gigantic fan.
The results are huge swirling clouds of greenbacks whipping down the length of the mall and flying away forever. Not only will the initial cash carpet disappear quickly, but due to the inefficiency that has been crafted into the system and the lack of further off-ramps, it turns out that a big cash conveyor belt will need to be built between city hall and Pearl Street to keep it operational.
After a while, several large golf course-style collection nets will be installed over by Army Surplus that catch most of those flying bills. The only thing that will be green about the entire operation are the thousands of Ben Franklins dropping into the series of dump trucks lined up below the nets, which are owned by consultants and employee pension funds.
If a pointless gigantic wind machine blowing money around seems ridiculous, just wait for those electric bills from Sticker Shock.
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