Monday, May 16, 2011

Decoding Skorman: Feeling Environmental


at the 8:19 mark, Skorman notes his cynicism with conservation efforts.


Colorado Springs, Colo., Residents Should Adopt Recycling Ethic.


Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News 

Publish date:

October 13, 1998


Skorman, Richard

Oct. 12--Atmel Corp.'s commitment to recycling (as reported Sept. 25 in The Gazette) sets an excellent example for our community. Although Atmel is saving some money on its trash-hauling bills by recycling, the company probably is spending that savings on the environmental engineer they've hired to run the program.
Atmel's customers probably don't care that the company recycles 50 percent of its trash. There certainly aren't any regulatory reasons for them to make such a large effort -- we don't have local recycling regulations. So what's Atmel's real motivation? An Atmel administrator said the company is "feeling lots better environmentally doing the right thing."
As a member of the Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation Advisory board, I have learned of several other examples of local businesses "doing the right thing" for the environment. Local developer Steve Schuck sold his option to 75 highly developable acres of the Myron Stratton property in southwest Colorado Springs to the Trust for Public Land so it could become a park.
Classic Homes is willing to do the same on 74 prime acres of the Houck Estate. Castle Concrete has contributed tens of thousands of dollars more than the law requires to help reclaim the "scar" at Queen's Canyon. The Broadmoor hotel contributed $100,000 to efforts to preserve the Myron Stratton property.
At the ballot box, voters have embraced the same ethic. Yes, we support less taxes, smaller government and fewer regulations in our private and business lives. But a majority also voted to create the Great Outdoors Colorado program, change the mission of the State Land Board to focus on preserving open space and restrict fur trapping and bear hunting.
Residents in Colorado Springs last year even voted to increase local sales taxes to purchase new trails, open space and parks (the TOPS program).
But we lack local incentives for individuals to conserve. In Colorado Springs, we are both blessed and cursed with fewer environmental problems than many other cities. For example, we have three state-of-the-art landfills run by Waste Management and BFI. They are well-lined, have plenty of room to grow and are environmentally safe.
We simply don't have the space, leakage and hauling problems other cities suffer. As a result, we have less motivation to recycle. Despite major recycling education efforts by Keep Colorado Springs Beautiful, Wecycle and other groups, only about 15 percent of all residents participate in curbside recycling -while cities like Portland can brag about 80 percent of its residents participating in a similar program.
Water consumption is another good example that urgency boosts participation in environmental programs. Even though we live in a semi-arid climate that produces only 16-18 inches of moisture a year, barring a major drought, Colorado Springs Utilities has secured enough water rights to meet growth projections for at least 40 more years.
Utilities also delivers excellent water quality at a fair price. Consequently, there's little incentive to conserve in Colorado Springs, and most of us don't.
During winter, we use an average of 65 million gallons of water a day. During summer, that figure doubles to more than 125 million gallons a day. Fifty percent of our local water use goes for landscaping, and 50 percent of that is wasted as a result of poor soil preparation, poor watering techniques and our penchant for thirsty landscaping choices such as grass from Kentucky.
Local energy use follows the same trend. We are lucky we can purchase low-sulfur, cleaner-burning coal from Northern Colorado to power our local plants. Colorado Springs Utilities has installed baghouses to catch 99 percent of the flyash, eliminating power plants as a major source of local air pollution.
Local utility rates are 30 percent less than the national average. As a result, we don't have economics or pollution incentives pushing us to conserve energy in Colorado Springs. Few make the effort.
So how can our community become more motivated to not waste precious resources amid abundant water, good landfills, less-polluting power plants and a relatively clean environment?
The rest should follow the example of Atmel and others in the business community. We all need to adopt their ethic of "feeling lots better environmentally doing the right thing." Our children and grandchildren will appreciate us because we made the effort.
Richard Skorman is owner of Poor Richard's Bookstore and Restaurant and Little Richard's Toys and Kid's Books. He is vice president of Downtown Colorado Springs Inc. To contact RichardSkorman, call 578-5549 or e-mail


  1. Spydra, great find. You should send this youtube video to the gazette and Steve Bach campaign HQ. I find it especially distrubing when he discusses how the world is so overpopulated, as if to imply him and his progressive ilk are the saviors of humanity and will "fix the planet"

  2. This is actually the second time I've posted this video, at the end of which he also addresses the rumors that he is gay, and the fact that talking about his wife Patricia Seator makes him feel dirty.

    I find it very disturbing is at 8:13...where he says "there's not much time left." What is he talking about and what does he mean by it?

    Please see my article about the Georgia Guidestones to learn more about population control.