You CAN'T make a difference.

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You CAN'T make a difference.

Postby Jeff » 2004.04.21 5:28 am

An email I recieved:

Campus Spam wrote:The following message is sent on behalf of SEAC and Campus Greens.
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh consumed a total of 31.5 Million KWH last school year resulting in a total cost of $1.3 Million.
In a time of fiscal uncertainty and budget constraints it should be of real concern to every student, staff, and faculty where every cent of our money goes.
If electricity were to be conserved this would release more funds to where they really belong, in education.
April 21st, 2004
SEAC and the Campus Greens along with campus administration has organized a campus-wide blackout to create awareness about the University’s energy consumption. This is a chance for the campus community to organize, demonstrating their power in creating an environmentally sustainable world and taking fiscal control of their own future.
We can find ways to reduce our impacts on the natural world and counteract budget constraints by working together.
Later, join representatives from RENEW Wisconsin, WISPIRG, Johnson Controls, and WPS to find out what energy alternatives there are in Wisconsin and to find out how YOU can make a difference.

Ahh, the ignorance that college idealism inevitably brings forth. What do these people hope to accomplish? If all students on campus turned off all of their stuff for one day, lights included, the impact on the school’s total electric bill would be negligible. Think about it. Every building has to have its hall lights and emergency lights on. School computer labs and computer servers run 24 hours a day. Every science department has its own high voltage equipment ranging from a mass spectrometer to the heat lamps on the plants up on fourth floor Halsey. The vending machines chug away continuously keeping their contents cool. Security cameras and motion sensing equipment require constant power. Street lights. ATM machines. Card-swipe door locks. Exhaust fans. GFCI lights. Everything consumes power. Are you telling me that turning off my TV for one day will help make a difference? Who are you kidding?

Let’s say 1,000 students stop using electricity for a day. That could be hundreds of kilowatt hours saved, but still not be anywhere near enough of a dent in the total kWh used for campus to make any sort of difference. Perhaps these people should concentrate their efforts elsewhere. Why don’t they lobby to have all of the new computers for the school labs (and one-third of all lab computers are replaced annually) have low-wattage power supplies? Or for LED lighting to replace incandescent and fluorescent wherever possible? Or cut down on the number of vending machines. (We have way too many, anyway.) There are plenty of better things to do than delude yourself into thinking you’re important through student involvement in a cause that you only vaguely understand and believe in.

Oh yes, one more message to the “environmentalists” who sent me this message. My computer has a 400 watt power supply. I’m sure my big CRT monitor needs at least 100 watts to light up. And I needed them both on to read your email. Multiply that by the 10,000 or so students you just sent this email to, and cry your little green tears all over your hemp rug.
I do what I can.

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