Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wasting Energy

Right up front I'm going to admit that this post has very little to do with technology literacy. But bear with me.

Why is it that as demand for energy grows, prices go up, and the planet suffers from our endless consumption, our country is still fundamentally incompetent when it comes to conservation? On my way to a meeting across town (a sort of one-on-one training about wikis for a colleague) at 9:15 this morning, with the sun blazing down in glorious brilliance, I noticed that all the street lights along this particular stretch of busy city street were also on. What the heck is going on here? How is it that the city of St. Paul cannot time its street lights (or make them light sensitive) such that they turn off during daylight hours? Was this just a random error, or are they on every morning? How much energy is being wasted lighting up streets in broad daylight?

(In case you're wondering, it's not as though the sun had just come up, either. We're in the northern latitudes here. In the summer, sunrise is really early. According to the Weather Channel, sunrise this morning was at 5:50 a.m.)

For all my infatuation with 21st century technology, I believe that technology needs to serve people well, not just look flashy. What good is all our information technology if we can't consistently accomplish even basic tasks, such as turning off the lights in the morning?

Alright, I'm getting down off my soapbox now. Thanks for bearing with me. And turn off the lights when you leave the room, please.

No comments: