Keep it green |

Keep it green

Dear Editor:

With so much office space already available for rent, why on Mother Earth does Chaffin Light Real Estate need to build in Aspen?

First, a new office building is unnecessary. Second, the proposed design would block two existing buildings (300 South Spring and a townhouse on East Hyman).

Most importantly, the proposed building at the southeast corner of Hyman and Spring would destroy one of the few remaining green patches in downtown Aspen. The small lawn on the corner is a delight to the senses, even if you’re merely walking by.

Has no one heard of climate change?

I quote from “Confessions of an Eco-Sinner,” a 2008 book by Fred Pearce (a British journalist): “The closely packed cities … run up huge air conditioning bills … Stone, concrete, and asphalt absorb more solar energy and reflect less than natural surfaces such as grass, water, and trees.”

What the author calls the “urban heat-island effect” means that the more buildings and streets there are, the higher the ambient temperature. And that temperature just keeps going up. He points out that Hong Kong uses more energy to air-condition buildings than for anything else.

The heat-island effect happened in the San Fernando Valley (Calif.) when orchards, horse ranches, and open fields were paved over for strip malls and apartment complexes. It’s happening now in the Roaring Fork Valley. Aspen is no exception.

Why can’t we keep the green lawn and the trees at the corner of Hyman and Spring? Why must dollars always deprive us of Mother Earth’s small gifts?




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