My employer is converting to wind power

Colorado State University committed in print today to convert the entire Fort Collins campus where I work to 100% wind energy. Things like this are why I feel good and even excited to work here, and why I’ve stuck with this job for so long (for me).

6 responses to “My employer is converting to wind power”

  1. Of course it’s always handy when you have an institution that has no problem raising their prices far above and beyond the rate of inflation without changing their level of service. (

    Sorry, I just get a bit cynical about universities callously spending their students’, and more importantly, the taxpayers’ money on costly energy sources while their actual primary purpose is educating their state’s youth.

    If wind power came even close to being cost effective in comparison with traditional energy sources, it could be considered a wise move, until then it’s just another way of alienating and eliminating their customers.

    If wind power came even close to being cost effective in comparison with traditional energy sources, it could be considered a wise move, until then it’s just another way of alienating their customers.

  2. Oh, I’m still not always glad to work for the state, but I think this is a fair marketing choice for CSU. There are still plenty of alternatives for customers. If any of them are disposed, like myself, to pay more for less destructive products, it’s a selling point. Otherwise it’s a point in the favor of other schools.

    As far as raising the price, it went from $2,655 to $2,908 this year. Do you think that the full history of tuition rate growth beats inflation? You must be really sick of the education industry, you didn’t used to make such rash statements. I don’t encourage you to ever try evaluating the defense industry by those criteria…

  3. Actually, the last history of college tuition more than beats inflation several times over. According to the College Board 2005 Trends in Higher Education Pricing report (, the average 4 year college tuition increase has gone up by 131% in adjusted dollars since 1985.

    The purpose of the college education system is to provide their residents with affordable higher education. Therefore, their primary goal should be to keep their costs as low as possible so as many of their qualified residents may attend.

    If this was a private institution, I would have no problem in their decision make such a decision, but since they are a receiver of public dollars, they must be held to an extremely high level of scrutiny on how the spend both tax and student tuition dollars.

    Now, trust me, I don’t have any problem criticizing the federal government military spending (though it should be noted that defense spending is only 39% of the total government budget –, however, I also note that the military is inherently wasteful by its very nature. The purpose of the military is to spend money on guns, bullets and men in order to prevent their use; i.e. to act as a deterrent for attack. Unfortunately, we don’t have a great track record on using them for this purpose, but their service is entirely reactive. I already recognize that 100% of military dollars will normally be wasted. On the other hand, education is a traditional service offering that should use it’s dollars wisely in providing that service if they are to use taxpayer dollars.

  4. When a university does projects like this, it generally fits into their curriculum for alternative energies, engineering, and many opportunities for technical research, development, and inventive opportunities for students to contribute as they have the hands-on experience available from the wind power project. It’s not really a luxury expense issue.
    Artdobber (Bob Gamage)

  5. What it really boils down to for me is that my employer made a choice that I might have made for myself, which assuages my disillusions with my employment (which are many). It may or may not be a good use of taxpayer money, but I’m so used to seeing taxpayer money used in ways I would never use my own money that this bit of news excited me.

    I suppose the item that is really up for debate is whether I should continue to accept taxpayer money for my services. I do feel that I’m providing better value now than I have in previous jobs, but I always consider taking actions that are more consistent with my values. I have found it quite difficult in my life to survive without some form of subsidy from sources I’m uncomfortable with, and to this point my employment has usually involved some feeling of compromise. The trend, at least, has been towards less compromise, and I hope to continue it.

  6. what i heard on the news last night is that the university is using it as an opportunity to give the students some larnin’ in the areas of renewable energy. they also mentioned an algae farm that will be used to create biofuel (one of our new clients actually), so i agree with artdobber that it has probably been figured into the budget and isn’t a frivolous expense.

    plus, anytime a big energy-hogging institution like a university tries to do something good for the world, i, personally, have to stand behind it.

    i also wonder if gov. ritter’s signing of the ‘renewable energy’ bill gave them any tax incentives to switch over.

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