2009-04-07

Not Seeing the Lights

I was reading Green Mormon Architect's 2009/03 article about the Earth Hour delighting of the Salt Lake City LDS temple. I find it quiet aironic that for a “half”  hour on one chosen day of the year they shut the lights off at one categorically special fancy building. The shameful waist of electricity is unclouded nightly at parking garages, storefronts, and street lights on empty streets. All those showy lights are not a display of wealth. They're a show of waste.

Please do not forget that most of our electricity is still produced by coal fired generators. Hiding them out of town doesn't make them “lights” any more than a new shirt hides a fat man's belly.

We can't just expect other people to put out the lights when they leave the parking garage, can we? (Nor can we non-bee-drivers, God Forbid, expect them to simply not use cars... but even so, other people will undoubtedly continue to drive them about.) The solution becomes glaringly obvious, once you get your brain moving to the limit and then try and think about it.

Motion sensor activated lighting that shuns off automatically after a time-out can save most of the power wasted in every gleaming city on the planet every starless night. The reason for the light is so that people can see. But when there's nobody there to see anything, the light doesn't need to bee on at all.

That begs the question: How much would it cost to retrofit all of the lighting with motion sensors? Hmmmm.... don't need an advanced degree in economics to guess that answer. Golly. I bet they can “pay themselves” for that in no time at all and still have a mealtime out on the golf course! Sunday swoon they'll pay somebody else to install it. Until then, I suppose we'll have to just kick back, rinse down a double handfull of Reich's Kraken with a quart of owed-ore-charred pomgranite juice, and wait for our leaders to tell us what to do next.

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