Friday, February 23, 2007

Hollywood, America's most egregious Global Warming offender

Yes that's right! You heard it at Tiny's first. I thought it was important that I break this story before the Oscar's this Sunday, when you will surely hear plenty of Hollywood luminaries lecture us on being "green", the catastrophe coming, and how GW denial is sinful.

You might think I'm calling Hollywood a major offender of GW based on how many of the Hollywood elite travel by private jet, or stay in power sucking hotel suites, or own one or more 5000 sq/ft+ power sucking homes, or who while owning a Prius also own several SUV's, luxury sedans or, no, it's not because their personal green footprints are's because the product they produce, entertainment, is not green friendly at all!

That's right...after all, the entertainment product they produce is a in fact requires energy to consume. While food production, construction and transportation all probably have much bigger green footprints than entertainment, they are necessities. The type of entertainment Hollywood produces is not, and lets face it..the vast majority is also crap.

You see, when I was a kid I didn't use much electricity. I mostly played with balls, bats, MatchBox cars, GI Joes, and road my Schwinn Stingray for hours every day. Today my kids use more power in a day by themselves than my entire family did in a day when I was growing up...that's even with the inefficiency of appliances in the 70's and 80's. The number of American families that run one or more TV's for a good 4-6 hours every night, plus one or more cable boxes, plus the home theatre amplifier, surely close to 100M.

My personal footprint for just consuming Hollywood's product is huge. It's not unusual for me to be watching TV solo in our family room in front of a power sucking home theatre setup that has so many components it's on a dedicated 30 amp circuit. My wife will be watching a TV driven by a cable box in our bedroom, my son playing Xbox (and so running two devices) in his room and my daughter at our kitchen island drawing while watching Sponge Bob (again two devices because of the cable box). During this intellect sucking entertainment orgy my family engages in, I calculated the power usage to be equivalent to burning 45 - 100 watt light bulbs for 6 hours. This explains my PG&E bill each month....probably about the same as the average home mortgage payment in Ohio.

Of course something less indulgent is going on in most American homes each night, but the aggregate power usage is giant. Then don't forget the other major Hollywood product...movies..I don't go to the movies much anymore and instead do the on-demand and DVD thing...but the green footprint of a single 2 hour movie showing is big....all those people driving to the theatre is the biggest component.

This thin investment most, including Hollywood celebs, have in understanding both GW and energy is laughable. Most seem to think electricity is somehow green! Most electricity in this country doesn't come from wind, solar or's oil and coal fired generators and a bit of nuclear. The later of which we should really be invested in.

So Hollywood....if you were serious about being green you would tell us all to turn off our TVs, stop listen to are large amp stereo systems, stop going to the movies....stay home and spend time talking to your family and maybe read more books....we would all be better off. Gore's movie will surely win an Oscar or two...not because it contains truth, but because Hollywood likes to show us that they care about the world...and makes them feel better about being hypocrits in their personal life. So remember when you see a star on Sunday pull up to the red carpet in a borrowed electric car, that he/she probably just flew in from Europe on a private jet and that the outlet that car was plugged into earlier in the day isn't green!

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