Thursday, July 31, 2008

Turning Up the Heat at the U.N.

In an effort to reduce energy use and thus lessen its impact on climate, the U.N. headquarters building will be adjusting the thermostat.

To set an example in the effort to curb energy use that contributes to global warming, the secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, has approved a one-month pilot project to raise the thermostat throughout much of the landmark building to 77 degrees from 72 degrees.
If the results are satisfactory, the plan could be extended year round. Savings are estimated at $100,000, and could reach $1 million, if adopted permanently.

I keep my home adjustable thermostat at 79 in the summer and upper 60s in the winter. The basement and upstairs areas, however, have much wider temperature fluctuations. For a large, aging building, I'm sure there are can be large variations as well.

One African envoy involved in countless heated negotiations recently said a compromise could prove more elusive at higher temperatures than it already is. (The diplomat and others interviewed found even the temperature a potentially sensitive topic and spoke anonymously.)

"When it is warm in the room, you are not fully attentive," the envoy said, "And when you are not fully following, you will not be in the mood to compromise."

One would think that those from warmer climates might gain a tactical advantage in negotiations. There is also a push to relax the dress code to ease the transition. No word yet on the acceptability of cut-off jeans and mesh tank tops...


Kal said...

Im so glad the someone has actually written about this. There is nothing more annoying than walking into someone's beach house (STRESS the word beach) and they have the air blasting on 72! It feels like a freezer! I keep mine set at 80..for those who dont like it are welcome to bring a Chinese fan

Chief said...

Some folks keep it at 80 in the winter and 72 summer. I say, "Why not flip it and save some cash?"