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It's easy to feel glum thinking about the environment these days as ice sheets melt, the West dries up and well-heeled tourists expand their carbon footprints by jet-setting to see treasures like Mount Kilimanjaro's glaciers before they're gone.

And then Earth Day pops up, with the standard self-righteous reminders about extra chores you could be doing to turn things around.

It's enough to make you want to watch reality TV.

Before you tune out, you might find encouragement, as we did, in the efforts of some local businesses and individuals (see p. 16) to turn modern technology to the planet's advantage. For instance, Fort Carson's futuristic-sounding plans could push it off the grid by 2027; Colorado Springs Utilities is giving energy rebates out like candy; and Colorado College-owned KRCC radio is planning a new home that would be a sort of "earth station."

The save-the-Earth mantra has long been synonymous with sacrifice. But innovation seems to make it possible to turn the quest for efficiency from a derided "personal virtue" into a sensible national value. We hope you find this as inspiring as we did.

Anthony Lane

  • Don't turn to reality TV just yet.

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