Letters to the editor
RE: Harnessing Vail’s Wind
Thank you for your excellent and most timely article. The winds have served man’s energy needs since the earliest times of recorded history. Just ask the Dutch where they would be without having discovered the huge amount of horsepower available from the windmill.
I attribute my interest in energy to my father, J.J. Zorichak, who was appointed to be the first director of The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission by then Colorado Gov. Dan Thornton, who hailed from Gunnison. As the last governor from the Western Slope, he was the last governor to place a very high value on and take an intense interest in the great bounty of natural resources available to the residents of the western half of Colorado. (Somehow, until the recent advent wind power on the Eastern Slope, I cannot think of many natural resources on that side of the divide. They only have consumers over there.)
Former Gov. John Love appointed me to his Energy Task Force on June 7, 1973. Not only was the winter of 1972 a very severe one, it began about the last week of October, with the temperature dropping from the 70s at noon on one day to the teens the next day.
As Christmas approached, all natural gas customers with interruptible service had been switched to alternative fuels, and reserve stocks of those fuels were being rapidly depleted. Plans were made to reduce heating requirements to all but three categories:
hospitals, nursing homes and orphanages, and prisons. None of this planning was made public information.
By October of 1973, Nixon tapped Love to become his energy czar. John Vanderhoof had been in charge of the task force. He became governor, and Tom Ten Eyck became the director, and I was appointed to the Executive Committee and to the chairmanship of the industry and manufacturing subcommittee. I received my professional engineering degree in petroleum production from the Colorado School of Mines in 1959. I became an engineer with Coors Brewery, and 10 years and three job title changes later, my fourth title became oil and gas development specialist, with the assignment to develop a 93-well gas field in the Wattenberg area northeast of Denver, and pipe it to Golden 38 miles away, all on private right-of-way. I have given you this history to establish my credentials, experience and capability to comment on the wonderful article that you researched and wrote for the Dec. 27 Vail Daily.
Besides lauding the efforts of Adam Palmer, Luke Curtin, David Church and Dave Ozawa, to all of the other unsung heroes of energy conservation I say keep up the good work. To all of the science teachers educating students in the less sophisticated areas of alternative energy, such as solar heating and photo-voltaic cells, you cannot play too much with the fascinating displays of science projects and experiments.
Do not all of the practical small do-it-yourself projects emphasize conservation also? In my humble opinion, not enough emphasis is placed in the areas of efficiency, conservation and control of sources of lost energy, be it heat, light, electrical or hot water evaporating from an uncovered swimming pool or outdoor hot tubs.
Can we not all recall advertisements just 20 some years ago for air conditioning at just pennies a day?
Should we have air conditioning for the entire volume of some of these hulking SUVs? Why not drop a transparent plastic curtain behind the driver seat to keep him cool? Why not charge double if you want to air condition a dark-colored vehicle? Why not install it for free if it is light colored? Why not put in an automatic governor-controlled-shutoff at speeds above 45 mph? And so on. This is where teachers should use the abundant imaginations of youth in learning ways to give incentives to reducing waste, and disincentives to excessive usage.
How many of us have ever heard of a “heat pump”? Ask a mechanical engineer about the machine that can heat your home in the winter, and can cool it in the summer.
How many people know that if you disconnect your air conditioning unit in your car, you will not get the fast blast of hot air out of your defroster? That is because even at 20 below zero, the defroster turns on the air conditioner, nearly stalls the engine, just to produce that fast hot air.
After thousands of hours in air conditioned meeting rooms with runny noses from sitting under a down draft of 45 degree air, have you tried to ask someone to turn down the air conditioning? No, you can’t do it. They have a protective shield on the thermostat, so that you can never change it, summer or winter.
Cliff (Thompson), many thanks again for the fine article. I think you may have reawakened a sleeping giant – my conservation ethic. Thanks a lot.
With the onset of 2003, millions of Americans will be making the traditional health-centered New Year’s resolutions: to exercise more, to lose weight, to quit smoking.
This year, let’s expand our sights and our hopes beyond our own health to the health of our family, our natural environment, including the animals, and our planet Earth. In short, let us think globally as we act locally.
Amazingly, each of us can accomplish all that three times a day, by switching from meat and dairy products to convenient, wholesome, delicious, plant-based foods.
In addition to the highly recommended five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables, every supermarket now carries soy-based deli slices, veggie burgers and dogs, heat-and-eat dinners, as well as soy milk and ice cream.
On behalf of Cranberry Isles Seafood Co., we are offering our thanks and commendation to the men and women of Eagle River Fire District, Station 5 in Edwards. Two engines arrived within five minutes of the alarm sounding this past Tuesday morning.
The scene was quickly surveyed and action taken to contain and stop the fire that had started within a wall of our new kitchen.
Damage to the building and equipment was minimized due to the excellence of Station 5. We were most impressed by their speed, efficiency, and excellent performance.
We, as a community, are fortunate to have a fire department of this caliber.
Cynthia and Dan Lief