Huffing and puffing 

However, in
Clifton Adcock’s article (“Last call for ethanol?), I was surprised to
see no mention of the real reason this should be the last call for
ethanol: It is a bad idea altogether.

The costs to produce ethanol are high. Rising food costs worldwide is one big cause. Using land suited for food crops to produce fuel makes no sense. What happens if you have a drought? It also pollutes the atmosphere more than gasoline, while bringing down fuel economy by as much as 25 percent.

I would like to see Clifton dig just a bit deeper in the sad story of the government push to ram ethanol down our throats since the 1970s.

I must comment on another Adcock article (“Historic green,” April 20, Gazette). A government grant has been used by Oklahoma City to hire not one, but two Nashville, Tenn., firms to consult on ways to “green up” its historic preservation guidelines. In the article, I was edified by Sheila Dial-Barton of EOA Architects (one of the two firms) about how we might go about this: We can install solar panels. Wow, I would have never thought of that one.

But wait: Are they going to let you put those weird-looking panels on your historic property? Use LED lighting. I can get that advice at the local hardware store. Regarding the suggestion to use double-pane windows: Does anyone even sell single-pane windows anymore?

And then I got the out-of-the-box information I was hoping for: We can “use straw for insulation material”! I am assuming that Sheila has not read the great construction manual, “The Three Little Pigs.” I would not buy a historic building in Tennessee if they are stuffing them with straw! This cracks me up. OKC couldn’t find a couple of local firms that were up to this job? Maybe have some real out-of-the-box ideas that would actually help make OKC’s historic preservation guidelines a model for the rest of the country? I bet they could. As energy costs spiral, it is going to be imperative to have informed conversation about ways to mitigate the effects. Again, I applaud your efforts to spark that conversation. I hope to see much more.

—Paul Wellman
Oklahoma City
Wellman is owner of GreenEarth Structures.

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