Walk down the street on a summer day in New York City (and other cities, I am sure) and you run a high risk of being assaulted. Not by muggers. By frigid air blasting out of stores. These stores think that opening the door and letting the cold air blast out "welcomes customers". I think it helps destroy the planet, costs the stores money, and increases the risk of a blackout.
More below the fold
Say what you will about the MSM, but the NY Times' Clyde Haberman is taking the lead on this issue. He's written several columns on this, and they seem to touch a nerve. Here is one.
When Shops Keep Doors Agape, Think of Cold Air at $140 a Barrel
By CLYDE HABERMAN
Published: June 17, 2008
Not for the first time, Jo Gangemi felt anger well up as she passed a clothing store on Prince Street the other day. There this shop was, with its air-conditioning on high and its front doors wide open, the cold pouring wastefully, senselessly — outrageously — onto the sidewalk. Like so many other stores on blisteringly hot days.
in New York City, my councilperson (Gale Brewer) has sponsored a bill to make this a crime, punishable by a fine. Mayor Bloomberg, however, is opposed:
Legislation sponsored by Councilwoman Gale A. Brewer of Manhattan would end this practice and fine violators $200 for each open door or window. Unless the law forces them, Ms. Brewer says, the stores will not do what common sense says is the right thing. Her bill has gone nowhere, however, in part because it lacks support from the Bloomberg administration, which despite its own ample "green" talk has shown scant interest in telling businesses what to do.
Instead, it prefers a voluntary approach, relying on what one administration official has called an "educational campaign."
Either it needs to be a better teacher or a lot of businesses have learning disabilities. The open-door policy is thriving. A stroll through town on Saturday, when temperatures neared 90 degrees, made that clear.
In an earlier article (from 2006), Haberman notes that this practice also increases the risk of blackouts:
"A lot of the approaches to date have been on the carrot side," said Gil C. Quiniones, a senior vice president of the city's Economic Development Corporation and chairman of the mayor's Energy Policy Task Force. The carrot takes the form of cash payments and other incentives to businesses that improve energy efficiency.
But make no mistake, Mr. Quiniones said: On "the hottest of the hottest days," when Con Edison's power plants are firing on all engines, it doesn't take much to jeopardize reliable energy distribution to all neighborhoods. The waste created by all those open restaurant and store doors can really hurt.
"Trust me, it's not a little thing," he said. "It's a big thing."
He may consider himself trusted.
(note that since this is two articles, I think it is OK to quote this much; I've also been in contact with Mr. Haberman, and he encouraged me to write).
What can we do?
If you're good at being politely aggressive, you can go into the stores and ask about it. This may be particularly effective in stores that are not part of big chains, since they probably set policy at the store. We can write letters, both LTEs and letters to store management. Mr. Haberman reports that he has gotten a lot of mail on this subject, with the vast majority opposed to open doors. We can make lists of the stores that do this. Here are some:
Steve Madden email@example.com; 1-888-SMADDEN
H & M 212 564 9922
Foot Locker 800 991 6815
Jamba Juice 866 4RFRUIT
Aerosoles 800 798 9478 (e-mail link on website)
Ann Taylor Loft 800 DIAL ANN
Aldo Shoes 888 818 2536
Uniqlo 877 4 UNIQLO
I haven't contacted these places yet; for one thing, the only one I ever go to is Jamba Juice; I tried Jamba Juice's e-mail, and my mail bounced. I tried their phone and it said it was unavailable in my calling area. Go figure. But I will be calling and writing, and I hope you will too.
In the comments, add other stores that have opened the door to waste, or give ideas for stopping this practice