The page 1 headline says plenty:“Scientists favor selective control, not elimination of fluorocarbons.”

Hmmm. And this is what year? 1976?

Wow! How things have changed in a quarter of a century.

The reason I was examining the Sept. 20, 1976 issue of The News was to see what was reported in our 50th anniversary issue. (No, I was not a part of this publication in ’76. Geez, I was just graduating from college.)

Yes, The News is to celebrate its 75th birthday next year. And, as a publication, we are gearing up for this grand event. Expect to have some special features throughout 2001.

We do know we are going to have two anniversary-related issues, which we want to make our readers aware of now. On April 30, 2001, we are going to take a look at 75 years of cooling. Then, on Nov. 12, 2001, we are going to take a look at 75 years of heating.

Any input you may have for these two issues, we are all ears. Do not hesitate to call, fax, or e-mail me. We are interested in photos and personal tidbits, too. We do not just want to have a running account of what has transpired over the years — even though history is certainly an important part of any anniversary.

For instance, if you know of a person who has been in the hvacr business for 50-plus years, please forward his/her name to me. We’d like to talk to these “experts.” Of course, if your family has been involved in the hvacr industry for 75 years (or more), let us know. Stand up and be proud!

You can also go to our website (, click onto “Hvacr Forum,” and drop us your interesting notes regarding 75 years of heating and cooling. We want to make the 75th anniversary issue an issue you will read and re-read, a true collector’s item.

We want to supply our subscribers with what they want to read in regard to heating and cooling. Please let us know what is interesting in your eyes. Let us know what coverage we should provide for these two respective issues — and, throughout the year, for that matter. Don’t be shy.

Hazy Crystal Ball

After reading The News’ Sept. 20, 1976 editorial, I have come to the conclusion that it is just as difficult predicting the future today as it was a quarter of a century ago. Here’s whatThe News’crystal ball said 25 years ago:
  • “Within three years the smaller contractors who scrambled to learn about air-to-air heat pump installation and service will be scrambling again to learn about solar-assist systems using water-to-air heat pumps.”
  • “Among the larger contractors, the struggle for dominance by union contractors and open shop contractors will stabilize near present levels. Construction unions, wounded by the down-turn in commercial-industrial construction, the open-shop movement, and with no boom in sight, are likely to give way on work rules in order to hold wage levels. Look for a growing acceptance by both contractors and unions of wide-area bargaining, but don’t look for any real growth in multitrade bargaining.”
  • “One deep industry concern, the impact on refrigerant usage of the fluorocarbon-ozone controversy, appears on the way to being resolved without any real hardship — but the concern hung like a cloud over the industry for close to two years.”
  • “In fact, because of liability insurance and warranty concerns, some wholesalers may drop their equipment lines. The key will be the extent federal and state energy legislation requires the installer and others in the distribution chain to back up claims of operating costs for new and retrofit installations. Sales of equipment and components to replace inefficient systems for reasons of operating cost rather than breakdown will increase steadily during the period.”
  • To make life interesting, our intent in 2001 is to print what readers believe will happen in the areas of heating and cooling over the next 25 years. We have not selected the exact title to this weekly feature, but the current working title is: “In the year 2026, expect….” You will get the opportunity to fill in that blank. What will happen in the world of heating and cooling? In truth, your guess may be as good as ours. Of course, if you are still alive in 2026, you can check back to see if what you predicted in 2001 did come true. I plan on being around 25 years from now, but I am not so sure I will be editor-in-chief ofThe News.By 2026, I hope to be retired, living in a warm climate, and enjoying my grandchildren. Who knows? That place may be somewhere other than Earth!

    Skaer is editor-in-chief. He can be reached at 248-244-6446; 248-362-0317 (fax); (e-mail).

    Publication date: 11/06/2000