Toward a More Sustainable Theatre: Why Theatre Artists Should Be Concerned about Pollution, Global Climate Change and the Sustainable Future
Lawler, Mike, American Theatre
I recently attended a concert in a smallish community center. On the stage was the faculty woodwind quintet of the University of Wisconsin--Madison--my wife is a member--and pointed at them were 30 lighting instruments. By my count, all but five were running at full throttle, burning white with no color. These instruments (ETC Source Fours with 575-watt HPL lamps) are some of the most energy-efficient on the market, and yet I couldn't help but run some rough calculations in my head: Approximately 1.34 pounds of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere for every kilowatt hour burned (yes, I have memorized this statistic: a national average, from a 2002 Energy Information Administration report). Running these instruments for the few hours of a performance produces merely 58 pounds of [CO.sub.2]--not much. It's about the equivalent of burning three gallons of gas in your car. But just how many community centers are out there right now doing the same thing? I thought, forgiving myself for occasionally letting the music drift out of focus. And what about the bigger players in the game?
I imagined what it must be like on Broadway at that very moment, with thousands of such instruments lit. My head buzzed with more and more calculations: Let's say there are only 575-watt Source Fours running on Broadway--perhaps 3,000 instruments, running four hours a day, every day. Now we're talking more than 3 million pounds of [CO.sub.2] every year! The equivalent of burning 173, 755 gallons of gasoline! More than 3,500 barrels of oil! And my furious calculations were undoubtedly …
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Publication information: Article title: Toward a More Sustainable Theatre: Why Theatre Artists Should Be Concerned about Pollution, Global Climate Change and the Sustainable Future. Contributors: Lawler, Mike - Author. Magazine title: American Theatre. Volume: 25. Issue: 7 Publication date: September 2008. Page number: 58+. © 1999 Theatre Communications Group. COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale Group.
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