SWITCH Documentary Q&A

Who sponsored airing of the Switch documentary in Colorado Springs?

Where can I find more information on Switch?

I was disturbed by the lack of detailed information on the negative environmental impacts in the film. In light of this, why did you show the film?

Is there a group I can meet with to find out ways to organize for more clean energy in El Paso County and make my voice heard?

What organizations in the Pikes Peak Region are involved in Clean Energy?

Why do I see some much about Colorado Springs Utilities and the Martin Drake Plant in the media?

How can I let Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) know that I’d like to see more clean energy?

What is the latest scientific analysis on climate change?

Where can I learn more about clean energy and energy efficiency?

 

Who sponsored airing of the Switch documentary in Colorado Springs?

The SouthEastern Colorado Renewable Energy Society (SECRES) and EnAct sponsored Switch in Colorado Springs.

EnAct, the oldest student group at Colorado College, began after Earth Day 1970. EnAct serves as a forum to raise environmental and social awareness through research, education, and action at CC and within the Colorado Springs community.  Contacts: Laurel Sebastian & Leo Stout

SECRES is the southeastern chapter of the Colorado Renewable Energy Society whose members come from the Arkansas River drainage – Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and the southeastern section of the state.  SECRES was founded in June 2003 to promote, educate and advocate for efficiency, and renewable energy. Website: www.secres.org Contact: Info at SECRES

 

Where can I find more information on Switch?

The Switch website has more information: http://www.switchenergyproject.com.  It is important to note the sources of funding here http://www.switchenergyproject.com/about/funding-and-content.

 

I was disturbed by the lack of detailed information on the negative environmental impacts in the film. In light of this, why did you show the film?

We are also disturbed by the environment impacts of oil, coal, natural gas and nuclear power. However, we feel Switch accurately represents the global energy path we are currently on. We very much want your help altering this path. Please join us on April 28th. See the following question.

 

Is there a group I can meet with to find out ways to organize for more clean energy in El Paso County and make my voice heard?

The Southeastern Colorado Renewable Energy Society (SECRES) is a local group who advocates for energy efficiency and renewable energy. Just send an email to secres@cres-energy.org to be added to our announcements of local events.

Please join a coalition of groups to develop the vision for the clean energy transition in El Paso County.

Monday, April 28th at 7 PM.

4755 Forge Road, Suite 170 (Door is marked for prior tenant, AKM Semiconductor),Colorado Springs, CO 80907, Tel. 719-510-3765

Go ½ mile west from I25 on Garden of the Gods. Turn right (north) on Forge. 4755 is located at the SE corner of Forge Road and Elkton Drive. Suite 170 is located on the East side of the building, at the SE corner.

RSVP secres@cres-energy.org

 

What organizations in the Pikes Peak Region are involved in Clean Energy?

The two sponsors are involved.  See above.

The Sierra Club is a nonprofit member supported, public interest organization that promotes conservation of the natural environment by influencing public policy decisions – legislative, administrative, legal, and electoral. The Club’s national priority is to move beyond fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) to a clean energy future. Locally, the Pikes Peak Group of the Sierra Club works with a coalition of partners to encourage local utilities to invest in renewable energy and plan for a clean energy future. To learn more about the Club’s national campaigns, visit www.sierraclub.org. To learn more about The Pikes Peak Group’s local efforts, contact Jane Ard-Smith, 719-351-2584, janeardsmith@comcast.net.<Jane>

Green Cities Coalition The purpose of the Green Cities Coalition is to promote ecologically, economically and socially healthy cities in El Paso County, for the benefit of present and future residents of the Pikes Peak region. We envision healthy, equitable and sustainable communities, both human and natural. Website: http://greencitiescoalition.net/

Peak Alliance for a Sustainable Future   Website: http://www.ppcf.org/products/peak-alliance-for-a-sustainable-future

 

 

Why do I see so much about Colorado Springs Utilities and the Martin Drake Plant in the media?

Colorado Springs City Council, which serves as the Utilities Board, commissioned a study on the decommissioning of the Martin Drake coal-fired power plant.  The public was invited to comment on the study process and report.  You can find information on the website http://www.draketaskforce.net/.  City Council is now considering the report and intends to state a policy direction later this year. 

The Utilities Policy Advisory Committee is a seven member committee of citizens appointed by the Utilities Board who develop policy recommendations.  They are currently working on a revision of the Utilities Energy Vision for 2020 which contains, among other things, a target for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Here are some key documents which contain a wealth of information on the Utility and Martin Drake:

Electric Integrated Resource Plan (EIRP) is the Utilities’ long range planning document for electric power generation.  It contains detailed background information as well as evaluation of alternatives.

Study of Alternatives Related to the Potential Decommissioning of the Martin Drake Power Plant is the independent consultants evaluation of alternatives for decommissioning the Drake power plant.

The public comment page of the Drake Study site contains a number of informed comments.

 

How can I let Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) know that I’d like to see more clean energy?

There are a number of people from various organizations interested in developing the vision for more clean energy.  Part of that vision involves recognition that the Drake plant has a limited life and looking at the implications of this in light of all the transition happening with energy generation in the USA today.  We invite you to help shape this vision starting at a meeting.  See above.

As a municipally owned utility, Colorado Spring’s City Council serves as CSU’s board of directors.  Their meetings are open to the public and brief, three-minute comments are heard at each meeting.  These can include a few presentation slides sent in advance to Dave Grossman dgrossman@csu.org.  See https://www.csu.org/Pages/ub-r.aspx for meeting times, agendas and minutes.  You can also contact City Council separately.

CSU has formed the Utilities Policy Advisory Committee (UPAC) which develops policies for the Utility.  Their meetings are open to the public and brief, five-minute comments are heard at each meeting.  See https://www.csu.org/Pages/upac-b.aspx for meeting times, agendas and minutes.

 

What is the latest scientific analysis on climate change?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change”.  Their latest findings are “Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis” available in a summarized format in Summary for Policy Makers which can be read quickly for the 19 key points.  The full report is also available here.  The IPCC just released “Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability  – Summary for Policy Makers“ and it is available here.

James Hanson is an outspoken climate scientist, currently at Columbia University.  Dr. Hanson was one of the scientists to alert policy makers early to the impact of our green house gas emissions.  His recent book “Storms of My Grandchildren” is a very readable account of his concerns and attempts to communicate them to policy makers.  A recent white paper summarizes his current thinking – “Renewable Energy, Nuclear Power and Galileo: Do Scientists Have a Duty to Expose Popular Misconceptions?”.  In it he recognizes the Climate Change Lobby and their efforts for a revenue neutral carbon tax.

Of course no US personality is more associated with educating Americans on the impacts of climate change than Al Gore who won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize along with the IPCC.  The Climate Reality Project is focused on educating the public on the risks Mr. Gore so forcefully describes.

A recent development is the website http://climate.data.gov.  This is a portal into the data which NASA, NOAA and other US scientific organizations have on the impact of climate change to US citizens.  Initially, the information available is on the impact of sea level rise, but other impacts will follow.

 

Where can I learn more about clean energy and energy efficiency?

There are many sources on the web.  Here in our state, Colorado State University provides a wealth of information.  See their energy page.  If you are looking for general educational material with a Colorado focus, check out their Colorado Energy Masters program.  If you are interested from a consumer or home owner standpoint, their site provides links to informational material including a DIY home energy audit

The SE chapter of the Colorado Renewable Energy Society is another great source.  After last year’s Black Forest Fire, they provided free seminars to victims who lost their home and faced rebuilding.  These seminars covered all aspects of energy for the homeowner.  You can find links to the seminar presentations and many other links here.  You can also simply send questions in email to secres@cres-energy.org.

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