France Discovers Amazing Way to Cut Emissions: Turn off the Lights

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Ben Cohen
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While scientist are busy finding the new source of energy to power our needs, the French are going back to the old school and introducing a practical way of significantly cutting carbon emissions without hurting the economy. The new solution? Turning off the lights:

The French minister for energy and environment unveiled last week a proposal for lights in and outside shops, offices, and public buildings -- including the flagship Louis Vuitton store and the Lido cabaret house on Paris’s Avenue des Champs Elysees -- to be turned off between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. starting in July. The plan, to be applied across French cities, towns and villages, is aimed at saving energy and money and showing “sobriety,” Minister Delphine Batho said.....

While there has been an outcry from business owners who are worried the new laws will harm Paris's reputation as the place to go for tourists, the rest of the city has been turning out lights at night for many years:

The Energy Ministry says the rule won’t mark a big change from the current situation, pointing out that lights at Paris’s 304 monuments, churches, statues, fountains and bridges, are already being turned off at night.

The Eiffel Tower’s lights are turned off at 1 a.m. after a last glittery splash. Over the last decade, the illumination of the Notre Dame cathedral has been brought down to 9,000 watts from 54,000 watts.

It's not a sexy solution as it removes some of the glamor from walking around places like the Champs Elysees at night, but it definitely works.