Aspen fills new enviro post |

Aspen fills new enviro post

Janet Urquhart
Glenwood Springs resident Dan Richardson has been named Aspen's global warming project manager.

Dan Richardson, a Glenwood Springs city councilman and consultant in “performance building,” has been named Aspen’s new global warming project manager.

The post was created in conjunction with the city’s Canary Initiative, a multipronged approach to reducing global warming that the Aspen City Council unveiled in March.

Richardson is the founder and director of Sustainable Design Concepts, Inc., a firm that specializes in environmental efficiency and performance building, which encompasses drainage issues, energy efficiency and indoor air quality.

“I really felt like I wanted to tackle something on a broader scale,” said Richardson.

Spearheading the Canary Initiative “seemed really right up my alley,” he said. “This is just something more.

“I can affect a lot of homes in the valley in my current position, but I can affect the world with this position.”

Richardson sees two primary focuses within his new job, which officially begins June 6: reducing Aspen’s greenhouse gas emissions ” the ones associated with global warming; and working regionally and nationally on the problem, including lobbying efforts and bringing together various organizations in the fight against global warming.

The Canary Initiative ” a reference to the old practice among miners of carrying a caged canary into mines to detect deadly gases ” acknowledges Aspen’s particular susceptibility to climate change and the impacts of global warming on its ski resort economy.

The ambitious plan calls for the formation of the Aspen Global Warming Alliance, involving the city, the Aspen Skiing Co., Aspen Institute, Aspen Global Change Institute and other local environmental players, to help the city implement a long list of goals.

Among Richardson’s first assignments will be coordinating a major international conference next year on global warming in partnership with the Aspen Institute and Aspen Global Exchange Institute.

Richardson’s city council term ends in November and he plans to continue residing in Glenwood at least until then. He said he doesn’t plan to seek re-election and will be phasing Sustainable Design Concepts out of existence.

Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is

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