LIMBA tidbits: September 2005

Members and friends,

Here are some thoughts for us to ponder. LIMBA routinely champions those projects that are, on balance, a plus to the environment. We rarely stress the environmental side of what we would like to see achieved, but those considerations are our guiding principles.


High volume efficient, ferries to Connecticut, freight rail, and repowering our electric plants, are all goals that will reduce pollution. Of course they also have the added benefit of making Long Island more efficient and competitive with other regions. And then there is the livability factor. Having fewer trucks on the road, and an easy access to New England makes life on Long Island easier and healthier.


President Bush said something interesting this week. He spoke about conservation. Despite the fact that the vice president disparaged conservation earlier in this administration, he is saying the right thing. But conservation as a matter of will and virtue is not sustainable. Systems bring about sustainable conservation. As an example of what I mean, is insulation in your home. Prior to the 70’s we had little or no insulation placed in buildings. Oil was cheap and always available; therefore we did not pay much attention to insulating homes properly. When oil got expensive we retrofitted old buildings, and better insulated new ones were built. As oil became cheap again we did not rip out the insulation. Effortlessly and without thought we continue to benefit from those changes.


Energy codes in buildings are an example of systemic conservation measures. We did the same thing with automobiles, when we made them more efficient. But automobiles were different. When they wore out we found ourselves in a situation where oil was cheap again, and the new cars became less and less energy efficient. Today we have a national fleet of autos that are a national disgrace, in the sense that we are robbing our future of resources.


No American looks at not traveling to see his children and grandchildren as an acceptable way of saving gas. Nor do we want to heat only part of our houses, or wear heavy sweaters around the house in order to save on heating oil. More efficient systems are the answer in both cases.


America has engineered and built amazing systems that have served us well. The subways of New York and water tunnels from upstate New York are prime examples. These systems have made our lives better, if not just possible. Now we have come to the point where we must create a whole new infrastructure over again, and enjoy the efficiencies that this effort will bring. It is what America must do if we are to have a future as the world’s leader.


On Oct 7th our speaker will be Dr. Cordaro His topic is “Hurricane Preparedness,” more on that next week.


Best to all

Ernie Fazio