qatsi (qatsi) wrote,
qatsi
qatsi

Would the last one out please turn off the lights?

So, E-day would appear to have been a complete failure. At lunchtime actual usage was up by about 10%; things seem to have settled since then, and the weather is apparently to blame.

No, I think people are to blame.

uitlander and I discussed the mores of some of our co-workers, who complain if they come in to the kitchen when you are boiling the kettle with just enough water. Of course, if they want a drink too, it is no longer enough, but most of the time that doesn't happen, and people at work waste a lot of energy that way. Then there's the people who leave their PCs on 24x7, even though they're only at work for eight hours a day. I admit I used to fall into this category, having been told that turning electronic and mechanical devices on and off puts them under additional strain and increases the risk of failure, but haven't for some years. After all, if a PC will last 4 years it's likely outlived its shelf-life at work, simply due to "progress". (Of course, the continuous cycle of equipment provides another set of issues.) Add the plethora of gadget- and petrol-heads at work, and we're big energy spenders. If you buy the "right" to pollute, our CEO will certainly do just that.

Once upon a time, things used to be expensive, and we would conserve them, making do and mending. Now, so much is imported cheaply from China. Our politicians play to the consumptive element of human nature; after all, no-one wants to be told they're doing wrong, and the economy stays afloat by our "right" to bloated expectations, for many people funded by dubiously affordable credit.

I do happen to think E-day wasn't a particularly good idea, mainly because I think we need to get serious about the environmental damage we do, in all ways. I'm convinced most of what we need to put right involves fixing our wastefulness (it was amusingly ironic to read one comment on the BBC site reflecting on the amount of street and building lighting visible - from a reader flying from Glasgow to London). Some of it may involve a change in attitudes and lifestyles; unfortunately both carrot and stick are invisible at present.
Tags: green, science
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