Not Green: NBC Beijing Olympic Set Air Conditioned -- Outdoors
The NBC family of networks has no problem showing viewers how to save the planet. But if it is a muggy, smoggy 85 degrees, as is the forecast for Beijing this week, consider looking elsewhere for eco-inspiration.
WTHR, the NBC affiliate for Indianapolis, reported from Beijing and described the NBC set used for the network's two highest rated news broadcasts, â€śNBC Nightly Newsâ€ť and â€śToday,â€ť as air conditioned â€“ even though it is outdoors.
Even NBC â€śTodayâ€ť co-host Matt Lauer remarked about the air conditioning, but said it was still uncomfortable even with it.
â€śThe first couple of nights even with the air conditioning it was steamy in here, but we've been lucky ever since,â€ť Lauer said to WTHR. â€śItâ€™s been overcast some days, takes the temperature down. We call it fog smog.â€ť
Last fall, the network performed a publicity stunt on its November 4 broadcast of its highly rated Sunday Night NFL Football show, â€śFootball Night in
Less than two months ago, NBC was painting climate change as an issue of American national security. NBC chief environmental affairs correspondent Anne Thompson said on the June 25 â€śNBC Nightly Newsâ€ť that: â€śThe worldâ€™s thirst for energy is creating an environmental crisis that could soon become a security crisis for the United States.â€ť
Other media have criticized American over-dependence on air conditioning. According to Joe Klein of Time magazine, air conditioning represents an estimated 4 percent of U.S. energy use.
â€śBut thatâ€™s still pretty egregious,â€ť Klein wrote for Time on June 25, in a column encouraging people to â€śkill their air conditionerâ€ť for the sake of the environment. â€śWe used an estimated 4 quadrillion British thermal units on air-conditioning in 2006, which is more than the total energy usage of all but 21 countries. And a fair amount of that is peak usage â€” the sort that sends the electric grid crackling toward brownouts and meltdowns and increases the demand for the construction of more electric power plants.â€ť