It's Not Easy Being Green

Note: This was originally going to cover both conventions, to really get a picture of the energy use. Unfortunately, the setup is different here and I can’t really get a late night walkaround. So I’m going to post the coverage from last week.

If there was one message heard loud and clear at the Democratic National Convention this year, it was “Be Green!

Everywhere you turned, the environmental message was there. Every trash station was a self-sorter, manned by green-shirted helpers to assist you with putting your trash where it belongs. There were cups made of corn, paper made of old paper, and “Reduce, Reuse, Recyle” was a nigh-religious mantra.

One of the ways people can cut down on pollution, we are told, and conserve energy is by turning off devices in one’s home or office. Computers, televisions, DVD players and so on; all of these can be shut down to save electricity. Even unplugged, to prevent what is referred to as “energy leaks”. This is a message which has saturated not only the Democratic party, but Hollywood and, of course the mainstream press.

Imagine, therefore, my surprise, to find that energy was being wasted in metric tons at the Democrats’ convention; and by the press! I took a little tour of the Pepsi center compound last week, one night at around 3AM. I found it rather enlightening.


Everywhere I went, there were televisions, lights, computers and more running … dirty, coal or oil produced electricity everywhere, and dozens of vacant seats bearing witness.

The whole compound was pumping away like a nerve center, but the only people around were a few private security guards, watching the gear.

Now, I know you’ve probably left a light on or two. I know I have. Maybe let the computer run for a few days. This was literally dozens though, mostly large, flat panel displays. LCD, even plasma.

Hey, far be it from me to tell places like the New York Times how to be green. They’ve already told us. I just wonder why they haven’t shared with one another. Turn the lights and computers off, New York Times. Heck, you don’t even have to wait for three in the morning. Shut them off now and you can fight global warming and a national embarassment at the same time!