Doubting the motives and agendas of activist groups |

Doubting the motives and agendas of activist groups

Right Angles
James D. Kellogg
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
James D. Kellogg

I respect citizens who dedicate their time and energy to serving in local government. But I am dismayed that our Western Slope counties, municipalities and quasi-government authorities are adopting the agendas of groups such as CORE and CLEER with little scrutiny.

The Community Organization for Resource Efficiency (CORE) recently led the push to ban plastic grocery bags. Their website states that “human activities and fossil fuel energy consumption have already and are continuing to change the composition of the earth’s atmosphere such that it traps more heat and contributes to the overall warming of the planet.” Never mind that temperatures were warmer in Roman and Medieval times.

Clean Energy Economy for the Region (CLEER) has enticed entities such as Garfield County, the city of Glenwood Springs and the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority to enter into partnerships (using taxpayer dollars) to “accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy, increase energy independence, and reduce our contribution to climate change.” They fail to mention that climatologists believe we’re entering a cooling period induced by decreased solar activity.

There’s ample proof that the consensus of global-minded, pseudo-scientists is wrong. A wealth of information is available at the Carbon Sense Coalition website,, as well as links to dozens of other sites that shine the light of truth on the phantom menace of man-induced climate change.

Carbon is not a pollutant. This element is the building block of every living organism on the planet. It is also the basis of inanimate substances like diamonds, coal, oil and natural gas. Carbon dioxide gas (CO2) comprises less than 0.04 percent of the atmosphere, yet it’s critical for life. Higher CO2 levels actually stimulate vegetative growth with less water.

Despite the facts, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims increasing CO2 in the air is causing dangerous climate changes. Their campaign to curtail energy production from hydrocarbon sources is ostensibly to reverse supposed global warming.

IPCC points to polar ice core data that shows a correlation between historic temperature and CO2 levels. But global warming pushers fail to mention that changes in temperature preceded the changes in CO2 by about 1,000 years. In other words, warming causes increased CO2 levels. It’s not the other way around.

The vast majority of atmospheric CO2 originates from the oceans, carbonate rock weathering and volcanic eruptions. Human activity is responsible for less than 3 percent. All mankind produces about 1 molecule of CO2 in every 90,000 air molecules. And scientific research indicates the average lifespan of a CO2 molecule in the atmosphere is only about five years.

When backed into a corner by science, political activists will be undeterred, insisting renewable energy is a just a better choice than fossil fuels. Let’s do the math.

Typical modern fossil fuel power plants continuously generate about 800 megawatts of electricity.

Dr. Martin Hertzberg, an accomplished combustion research scientist, calculated that a solar collector would need to be about 4,000 times larger than the inside area of a fossil fuel boiler to generate the same amount of power. That translates to about 12 square miles, completely covered with solar panels. Dr. Hertzberg notes that’s about twice the size of Dillon Reservoir near Frisco.

The largest wind turbines, with heights of about 600 feet, only generate about 4 megawatts. It would take 200 of them to generate the power of one fossil fuel power plant. Also keep in mind that wind and solar are only fully functional for about six hours a day.

Energy efficiency and environmental stewardship make sense; blind adoption of agendas does not. I question the motives of activist groups that refute simple mathematics and sound science. With all due respect, it’s time our local leaders did the same.

James D. Kellogg of New Castle is a professional engineer, the author of the novel E-Force, and the founder of LiberTEAWatch. com. Contact him at

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