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logoShaping Tomorrow's Built Environment Today

Challenge Accepted: Tackling the Climate Crisis

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©2023 This excerpt taken from the article of the same name which appeared in ASHRAE Journal, vol. 65, no. 8, August 2023.

About the Author

ASHRAE PRESIDENT Ginger Scoggins, P.E., Fellow ASHRAE, previously served on the ASHRAE Board of Directors as president-elect, treasurer, vice president and director and regional chair.

For her time and dedication to ASHRAE and the industry, she is the recipient of the Exceptional Service Award and Distinguished Service Award. She chaired the ASHRAE Building Headquarters Ad Hoc committee, leading the Society’s $20 million fully net-zero energy building renovation project.

Her theme for the 2023 – 24 ASHRAE Society Year is “Challenge Accepted: Tackling the Climate Crisis.”

I am a child of the 1970s. What a fabulous decade to be a teenager! A number of monumental events occurred during this decade. Space exploration reached new heights. We witnessed the end of the Vietnam War. Margaret Thatcher became the first female to be elected as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Also, some amazing music came out of the ‘70s—music that has stood the test of time and still speaks to the current state of our world, like music by Marvin Gaye, Joni Mitchell and John Lennon, just to name a few.

But, as a teenager in the ‘70s, I was more focused on simple things—like going to the skating rink on the weekends, which we did every weekend, trying to style my hair like Farrah Fawcett’s, and Donny Osmond, whom I had a mad crush on. Now, for those of you who weren’t around to know who Donny Osmond was back in the ‘‘70s, let me say I am so sorry for you. Every teenage girl had a crush on Donny Osmond!

The ‘70s were also known for iconic TV shows, and it seemed like many of the popular shows of that time included cool-look­ing, souped-up muscle cars like those shown on the “Dukes of Hazzard” and “Starsky and Hutch,” which was my favorite show at the time. My friends and I loved sliding across the hood of a car like they did on Starsky and Hutch’s red and white Ford Gran Torino.

I got my own muscle car when I turned 16.

Actually, it was a Ford Pinto. Some of you might remember that the Pinto from the ‘70s had a reputation for exploding if the gas tank side was hit in a wreck. I don’t think my parents knew about this issue before they bought me this car—at least I hope they didn’t!

Luckily, all of my teenage wrecks impacted other parts of that car, so I survived. But in my mind, I was driving a souped-up Camaro. I even had a license plate on the front that proudly stated, “Ginger’s Pony.”

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