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You are here Editorials Jesse Richard's Commentary New Yorkers Beg for Another Blackout!

New Yorkers Beg for Another Blackout!

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Note: This article was originally posted after the blackout of 2003. Unfortunately, even though we updated some of it's content the majority of it is still current!  PRINT THIS OUT AND HAND TO THE SHOP KEEPERS WHO LEAVE THEIR DOORS OPEN

As I strolled across town on 42nd street this afternoon, heading west from 3rd Avenue towards Grand Central Station, I was greeted with intermittent blasts of ice cold air in stark contrast to the 88 degree (today it is 104 degrees outside), heat and oppressive humidity. This is a common phenomenon in New York. I‘m not sure this is commonplace elsewhere, but New Yorkers are well aware of what I am describing” the blasts of ice cold air pouring out of almost every store in Manhattan as front doors are propped wide open to entice people to enter the comfortable environment.

What’s the problem? Hmm, how can I put this without becoming abusive? To put it mildly, the shop owners and managers are helping to screw up the planet, strain the grid and drive up YOUR electric bills by keeping the demand for electricity artificially high (it's called supply and demand.) I have been saying this for years, but I think after experiencing the power outage of August 14th, 2003, my message may hit home with greater impact. (It did not...that is why this is being republished!)

SHUT THE DAMN DOORS! How thoughtless are these shopkeepers? How many times have we been asked to take it easy and watch our electrical consumption? 50 million people just went through a collective lesson in personal electrical conservation responsibility, yet the New York shop keepers seem to have skipped class, or more accurately lack class.

One store in particular had 3 sets of doors wide open! It was located on a corner and had double doors on both the east and south sides, all open to crosswinds that were literally sucking all the cooled air right out of the store. Further west on 42nd street, the store had another set of wide open double doors. I asked the security guard standing there if I could speak to the manager. The manager was not available, but I left a nice little message for him with the nice guard. I was too distracted to notice the name of this store, but you can find it yourself on the north side of  42nd street about a block east of Grand Central, on the west side of the street. You can’t miss it, but you may become confused because just about every second store has its doors open, wasting electricity at a rate that is not only economically wasteful, but environmentally harmful as well.

Keep in mind this problem is not just a financial one. A great deal of our electrical power comes from coal burning plants. The Bush/PNAC administration had rolled back regulations allowing these plants to continue to pollute the environment at an alarming rate and the current Republican Congress is perhaps the most anti-environmental in history. The Bush/PNAC administration also doubled the efforts to expand oil drilling as part of their energy plan even though we do not use oil to create electricity in this country.

More importantly the use of hydrofracking to search for natural gas is poisoning underground water tables rendering towns and cites around our nation toxic. One town has so many chemicals in their tap water as a result of this that they were able to light their tap water on fire right out of the faucet! That is right...tap water so saturated with chemicals from the big energy companies that it is now flammable!!!

There is another little criminal hiding out in your house stealing electricity like an electricity eating ShamWow...your cable boxes! Go ahead...walk over to your cable box right now...even if it has been turned off...touch it. Is it hot? You bet it is. It is consuming electricity like a little toaster oven, EVEN WHEN IT IS TURNED OFF, stealing your electricity and heating up your homes during this hot season. Here is a tip...unplug them when you are not using them! They are robbing you!

Ideally we can dramatically cut our energy demands of we followed some of these simple steps:

If homes and buildings were designed so that the hot water tanks were located on the uppermost floor in a room with a glass roof, the heat from the sun would help raise the temperature of the water so that water heaters would not use as much energy. During the summer this would practically eliminate the energy demands for heating water. During the winter it would reduce power demand by raising the temperature of the water during daylight hours.
If every house had 1 small solar panel in a window, we might reduce the energy needs by about 1 light bulb per household. This would not have much of an impact on each home but collectively this would reduce the demand by hundreds of thousands of watts for the nation. What may seem to be a drop in the bucket is still a step in the right direction.

While these steps require construction or the purchase of solar equipment, the easier step that can save a great deal of energy is to get stores to SHUT THEIR DAMN DOORS!

This message is to the shopkeepers of New York from Patriots care about this nation. Patriots are responsible citizens. Be a patriot. Be responsible. Shut the door!

Think about it,
Jesse Richard - Founder,


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