Printed letters, May 30, 2010
Teach warming in science class
A recent editorial suggesting the absurdity of not teaching climate change in District 51 is spot on. Students should be taught in natural science classes that our climate is indeed dynamic, and has been changing (cooling and warming) through all history for which such data are recorded.
Less assured by those data is the suggestion that AGW (anthropogenic global warming), or man-caused global warming, is irrefutable or supportable.
Responsibly, this must also be a part of the curriculum. Perhaps students should be taught to discern a thing called “politics” in such opposed claims about global warming. That part of the subject would then be shifted to the more nebulous world of political “science”.
And that’s in another classroom, down the hall.
Laws of thermodynamics are not personal opinion
Regarding the recent petition to remove global warming and other “personal” opinions from science classrooms in your county, I would like to ask how it is that some are capable of stating that the laws of thermodynamics and radiative forcing are matters of personal opinion.
They are fundamental laws of the universe, and the theory of global warming is derived directly from them, regardless of the economic consequences of dealing with them. You may as well argue that gravity is a matter of personal opinion because dealing with it would hurt the aerospace industry.
Don’t believe me? Do the math yourself, literally, and you will find that there is no way to refute the theory of global warming without also denying the 3rd law of thermodynamics and Planck’s law of radiation. And if those aren’t true, we’ve got much bigger problems than global warming.
Energy-efficient schools offer multiple benefits
Thank you for The Daily Sentinel’s article regarding School District 51’s efforts to make our schools more energy efficient.
Western Colorado Congress’ ad hoc Green School Committee, composed of interested parents, teachers and citizens appreciates the efforts now being made by District 51 to incorporate energy savings and sustainable-design standards into the new Columbine elementary school and all of its existing schools. We applaud the news that Chipeta Elementary School has achieved the “gold” standard and that seven schools have achieved energy-star ratings.
As District 51 has publicly stated, Chipeta Elementary School will serve as a model of how schools will be built in the future.
After the 2008 school bond issue was defeated, the district looked at overall heating and cooling expenses and needs. In 2009, an energy audit was conducted of each school and 24 schools received improved lighting and mechanical systems, including the Grand Junction High School gym.
Grants from Xcel Energy and the state totaled $1.25 million and helped with the effort to retrofit schools. Thanks to Superintendent Steve Shultz, Cal Clark and Eric Anderson from District 51 for this effort and their vision of how future schools will look.
Our committee stands behind the concepts espoused by LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and other sustainable, high performance, green school standards. Some facts we have learned about green schools:
• Student test scores are 20 percent higher and sick days and instances of asthma are 38.5 percent lower.
• Schools in the United Sates spend $6 billion on energy. That’s more than they spend on computers and books combined.
• Energy spending is only second to salary expenses.
• High Performance Green Buildings on average save $100,000 per year.
• LEED certified schools use 30 percent to 50 percent less energy than conventional schools.
• LEED certified schools use 30 percent less water and have higher teacher retention.
WCC Green School Committee