Detroit: A ‘Green’ City Goes Black

Detroit – The thermometer in Metro Detroit hit 100 degrees — breaking records set in pre-SUV 1926 — setting off rolling blackouts and completely shutting down the Detroit suburb of Ferndale.

And that’s a problem?

Desperate Ferndale business owners and residents protested DTE Energy’s utility service, but the city — the Berkeley of Michigan — is one of the nation’s loudest when it comes to calling for global-warming mitigation. Its website preaches to residents how they can convert to the Green religion — and the community made national headlines five years ago giving hybrids free public parking.

And in 2008, the City Council passed a resolution urging then-governor Jennifer Granholm, a green zealot committed to converting Michigan to wind power, “to rescind or deny air permits for all coal fired power plants in the best interest of the health and welfare of Michigan citizens.” 

The city further “pledged to reduce our global warming emissions seven percent below our 1990 levels by 2012 in an effort to curb global warming.”

This week’s blackout would seem to be a proactive way of meeting that goal.

But instead, Ferndale’s mayor scrambled to get DTE to bring in diesel generators — fossil-fuel-burning, carbon-spewing generators! — to get the power back on. Apparently the health of the elderly gasping in their homes — one man died from the heat in Metro Detroit — is more important than saving the planet.

Ferndale’s green, hybrid-driving council members suddenly realized that their batteries don’t run on magic. They are coal-powered. So much for carbon independence — unless you want to push your plug-in to work.

Sure, Ferndale greens will says that their anti-carbon measures are necessary to prevent such heat waves — but after record cold temperatures in Michigan this spring and no global increase in temperatures in 15 years, it’s clear that summer happens and communities need to have the baseline coal generation to deal with it.

Didn’t the blackout teach Detroit residents the sacrifice necessary for a post-carbon world? Didn’t it reduce dependence on the “death trains” — climatologist James Hansen term for coal-transport rail — that DTE is using to murder the planet?

Never mind.

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