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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Boulder Struggles With Energy Conservation - WSJ.com

Here's an interesting article about the inability for people to change (even a lightbulb). What's it going to take for people to do more?

Repost: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB20001424052748704320104575015920992845334.html?mod=rss_Page_One

BOULDER, Colo.—This spring, city contractors will fan out across this well-to-do college town to unscrew light bulbs in thousands of homes and replace them with more energy-efficient models, at taxpayer expense.

City officials never dreamed they'd have to play nanny when they set out in 2006 to make Boulder a role model in the fight against global warming. The cause seemed like a natural fit in a place where residents tend to be politically liberal and passionate about the great outdoors.

Instead, as Congress considers how to encourage Americans to conserve more energy, Boulder stands as a cautionary tale about the limits of good intentions.

"What we've found is that for the vast majority of people, it's exceedingly difficult to get them to do much of anything," says Kevin Doran, a senior research fellow at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

President Barack Obama has set ambitious goals for cutting greenhouse-gas emissions, in part by improving energy efficiency. Last year's stimulus bill set aside billions to weatherize buildings. The president has also called for a "cash for caulkers" rebate for Americans who weatherize their homes.

But Boulder has found that financial incentives and an intense publicity campaign aren't enough to spur most homeowners to action, even in a city so environmentally conscious that the college football stadium won't sell potato chips because the packaging isn't recyclable.

...continue reading the article: Boulder Struggles With Energy Conservation - WSJ.com


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