A Rebuttal

 A Rebuttal

Dear Editor:
“We Get Email” response to “Red Light on Green Ideas” – Eugene, thank you for reading my article on climate change. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. There are some things I think you should consider. #1. Cars with air-conditioning versus windows down – In my article I mentioned to keep windows down on ‘short trips’, instead of air-conditioning, if tolerable. The rule of thumb is to keep windows down while on city streets, then resort to air-conditioning when you hit the highway. The aerodynamic drag you mentioned pertains to cars when driving highway speeds. As importantly, cooling off the car by opening the windows before turning on the AC is always an efficient way to save energy and money. #2. Straw use – My first recommendation was to ‘ditch’ the straw. If you feel the need to use a straw, then I recommend using bio-degradable or reusable straws. Americans use half a billion plastic straws a day, which are almost immediately discarded and then stick around for a couple of hundred years causing a serious environmental issue. #3. Mindful Irrigation – Nationwide, landscape irrigation is estimated to account for almost one-third of all residential water use, totaling more than seven billion gallons per day (that’s a lot of water). Currently, the total New York State reservoir limit is at 90% full compared to 95% normal capacity this time of year. Water demand in NY State has ‘decreased’ since 1990 due partially to water conservation efforts. So, we are not in jeopardy of going dry any time soon. However, the statewide temperature in NY has warmed three degrees Fahrenheit since 1970 and is projected to rise another three degrees by 2080. These temperature increases along with less snowmelt will have a direct effect on our water reservoir system’s capacity. (NYS Dept of Conservation ‘Water’ website). Therefore, we need to continue to practice water conservation to ensure we are prepared for the future consequences of climate change.

Tom Last

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