Energy conservation, or responsible power use, or green energy, or whatever, is something we can all support, provided we aren't an oil company executive or a high-ranking administration official with ties to such companies.
Sometimes, however, we need to be reminded of our theoretical commitment to this vague and ethereal cause via a massive public display of darkness.
That's what the French got - at least the ones in the immediate vicinity of the Eiffel Tower - when the tower symbolically shut off its lights for five minutes last week in a show of support for a big scientific report on how bad global warming is these days.
"I, an inanimate object, stand in solidarity with these scientists," was the message the Eiffel Tower was sending here.
According to the AP, "The Eiffel Tower's lights account for about 9% of the monument's total energy consumption of 7,000 megawatt hours per year."
That sure is a lot of megawatt hours per year, probably! The five-minute blackout was nice, but if the tower were to shut off its lights for an entire year, it would save almost 700 megawatts of energy - which, to put it in perspective, is enough to power the lights of the Eiffel Tower for an entire year.
Still, it's a nice "get" for those concerned climate scientists. When big, iconic monuments are on your side, people can't help but pay attention. And who needs to see the Eiffel Tower all lit up at night, anyhow? Except airplanes. Which are not energy-efficient.
PR Play rating:
3. On the right track