Genuine environmentalists |

Genuine environmentalists

Dear Editor:I write to object to Paul Andersen’s uniformed slander of Tom Friedman (“Friedman’s green world,” July 16).Aspen is full of phonies – including many from Washington, D.C.; Tom and his wife Ann are the genuine item. I have known Tom for 27 years. He practices what he preaches, especially when it comes to the environment. He and his in-laws drive Toyota hybrid vehicles when, if they chose, they could drive Hummers, Bentleys or the fastest Italian sports car. Last time I checked Tom drove a Prius. The Friedman home in Washington, D.C., is a prototype of a truly green home, heated and cooled using geothermal power from wells in the yard. I am sure the Friedman’s could have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in construction of their home by using the heating and cooling systems found in the mansions and mini-mansions of the other Washington phonies who visit Aspen.Mr. Andersen would have done better by comparing the energy consumption of the 30-year-old energy “sinks” the Aspen City Council chooses to designate as historical last week. I would bet that most of these buildings, many of which can only generously be called shacks, consume far more per year than the Friedman home, which is twice the size. If I am correct, even an 800 square-foot accessory dwelling unit uses more energy than the Friedman home. If this town really has the same goals as Tom Friedman, it should be seeking to cut energy consumption in these old buildings. When it comes to energy conservation and global warming, Mr. Andersen and the Aspen City Council are the phonies, not Tom Friedman.Mr. Andersen and the editor of The Aspen Times owe Tom and his in-laws an apology for Mr. Andersen’s slander.Mr. Andersen and the editor of The Aspen Times might also consider the awards occasionally given to writers. Tom Friedman has won three Pulitzer Prizes. How many has Mr. Andersen won?Philip K. Verleger Jr.Aspen

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