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Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013 01:03 pm

Letters to the Editor 9/26/13

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NAPALM IS A WAR CRIME
Sixty-three years ago atop a high ridge in the hills of North Korea, we were ready to open defensive fire against the sons of Chinese rice farmers climbing up to meet us, when a ground support plane came over the ridge from behind and dropped a belly tank of napalm on the ascending army. A gelatinous river of horror burning all in its path. Some of us tried to fire at the human torches to end the pain: useless.

Even at 83, I didn’t need the aide-memoire, but applaud the thought and courage of both the artist and his editors for publishing (“Focus on Syria,” Chris Britt, Sept. 19). Napalm is a war crime, no less than toxic gas, and should be high on the list of such.

Robert Evans
Springfield


MORE ON GEOTHERMAL

I read with interest last week’s article, “Renewable resources for your residence,” (Scott Faingold, Sept. 19). Kudos for raising the awareness of renewable energy.

I have a couple comments relating to your info on geothermal heat pumps (GHPs). The first is the article failed to mention that GHPs also qualify, through 2016, for a 30 percent federal income tax credit for the entire cost of the installation, either for a new install or a retrofit. In addition, CWLP currently offers a significant rebate for GHPs. It is based on the cooling capacity of a GHP because GHPs significantly reduce CWLP’s summer peak and helps defer the need for expensive new electric generation.

When I retrofitted my home 30 months ago, I installed a GHP that has 65,000 BTUs of cooling capacity and I received a $2,925 credit on future CWLP bills. With the federal tax credit and CWLP credit, my $18,000 project was reduced to $9,675, or about the same price had I installed a 95 percent efficient furnace and 15 SEER air conditioner that the article mentioned were good efficiency ratings for those products. Having not installed those two products, I don’t have any combustion in my house and no outside condensing unit. What I do have is a third of a mile of closed looped polyethylene pipe in five 180-feet-deep boreholes in my side yard circulating fluid that draws energy from (heating) and back into (cooling) the earth, using half the energy of those conventional heating and cooling products.

This renewable geothermal exchange can be done for any size building and the more efficient the building’s envelope (insulation, windows, doors) the better. Big drafty houses are not a candidate for a GHP as the unit will have to be oversized, have more pipe placed in the ground and use significantly more electricity to operate.

GHPs are a 50-state technology and scalable to any size well-insulated home or building. Be it my house, a new house, the new Illinois Times headquarters, Lincoln’s Tomb, the new Matheny-Withrow school or Glenwood elementary school in Chatham, GHPs make economic and environmental sense.

Douglas Dougherty,
president and CEO
Geothermal Exchange Organization
Springfield


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