When did we abandon common sense and logic in the pursuit of causes and ideals?
We recently moved into a new office in the town’s first “Green” building, a sort of glorious new age altar to the new religion of ecomentalism. Besides that it seems like the buildings “greenness” is directly proportional to its hideousness there are a number of things which make me stand back and think we are losing the plot.
Chief amongst these are the lighting, which is supposedly less harmful to the environment than a baby seal... In order to save energy the lights in each of the offices are equipped with motion sensors, which turn off the CFL lights when no movement is detected. A most noble idea! The problems is that we are a consulting engineering company filled with nerdy, semi-translucent engineers who, apart from fixing the occasional cup of tea or making a wee-wee, spend their day staring at a computer screen engineering things. For the most part this activity requires very little physical movement and as a result the lights go off roughly every thirty minutes which turns the office into the set of Protected content Odyssey, with the machine the only source of illumination. In order to turn the lights back on you have to get up and dance around the office waving your arms about like a beauty queen at the county fare.
Now this might sound trivial, but in the perilous realm of common sense the complete lack of logic becomes clear. The purpose of the super efficient, bunny friendly lights is to reduce carbon emissions by burning less fossil fuel to run the electricity maker, which in its simplest form saves money! Yes!! Now this is where it gets tricky… Engineers are expected to be efficient and accurate and productive, all for the betterment of humanity. If they spend five seconds looking at the lights that just went off, then thirty doing something that resembles John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, and another ten seconds catching their asthmatic breath before returning to their desks every time the lights go off, they aren’t being productive at all. This means that they are less efficient and take longer to complete specific tasks which cost more money. Engineers are paid reasonably well, even in India, and the money saved in utilities, and then some, is now spent on engineer’s salaries. Engineers who spend longer hours at work burning more dead dinosaurs to keep the lights on while exhaling even more CO2 due to the increase in wasteful physical activity.
I’m all for saving Mr Badger, but doesn’t this seem like an utterly daft way to go about things?
And this is only one example…. It seems that in today’s society we have to sacrifice common sense and become radical extremists in order to defend our own ideals. It’s unacceptable to be a moderate, we have to be, ultra conservative capitalist swine, right wing neo Nazis or left wing Socialists. If you are Muslim you have to be an Islamic extremist and if you are Christian you have to be evangelical. Greeks have to run their economy like Germans. And if you want to save the environment you have to recycle the plastic wrapping your imported, organic, free range, New Zealand lamb came in!
So I have to ask; is global warming making us stupid?
Please comment if you want to share the same opinion or if you want to accuse me of being a whale shooting, consumerist dog!
PS: While writing this our clever engineers have come up with a brilliant solution to recycle old motorcycle engines, which normally end up on a scrap heap somewhere in rural India! We have installed one in each office with a giant paddle attached to the gearbox to fool the motion sensor into thinking it’s a line dancing engineer!