November 12, 2007

University wastes energy

As I go about my day on campus I am constantly reminded by an abundance of posters and handouts that we should cut down on our energy consumption to preserve the environment, not only for ourselves but for others around the globe and for generations to come. I think most people would agree that it has now become almost trendy, fashionable perhaps to be labelled as a 'green' person. I can imagine that for some this would encourage a more environmentally friendly lifestyle - brilliant. For others, peace of mind prevails and has a similar effect.

It is possible to 'play your part' in the global battle against climate change by changing your lifestyle, but there is the common consensus that, what I do won't make much difference at all. However, collectively it is possible to make a change, as a community, and this is something that can be done for example by organisations such as the University of Warwick. One might imagine then, an institution such as the University of Warwick may wish to take this notion on board, aiming to reduce its energy consumption. 

This is not what I see. The amount of energy needed to run five water fountains outside the mathematics dept. doesn't bear thinking about. The Warwick Arts Centre is flood lit by night with fancy colours, as is an elevator shaft opposite the Warwick Manafactuing Group. These all may be pleasing to the eye, but are they necessary? I am aware that these views are very kill-joy, but is it not time we all started to think about the people who will really be affected by climate change, namely those living in undeveloped counties, instead of creating pointless exhibits, on show purely for our want of aesthetically pleasing surroudings? The icing on the cake came as I walked past a perfectly lit seating area (ok that is sensible) outside the humanities building, but the seats had implanted in them, ultraviolet lights... lighting up the floor, what is going on? Has this university completely forgotten what it should be stanting for as a leading educational institution in this country?



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