Our Mount Shasta Taco Bell has wasted power by leaving their outside lights on during the day for over six years. I have contacted the owner many times with no reply or change so am now writing a letter to the editor.

Here is how their yearly average 10 hours of daytime outdoor lighting works out: Approximately 2.4 kW @ .174/kWh = $1525.00/ year X 6 years = $9,145.00! (I bet the store employees would love to have had that wasted money added to their paychecks!)

This is approximately equal to 432 tons of CO2 from our 56% coal powered electricity. To put this into context, our household operates on three tons/year so the six years of Taco Bell waste is approximately equal to what we would use in 144 years!

Our shopping center’s alley outdoor light fixtures are also now on 24/7. If this was our community’s water running down the street this would be a crime, but blatant energy waste is evidently no problem.

Last week I went to Costco. The massive SUV I parked next to had the engine running (with no one inside) to keep the AC going. I went into the store, shopped for 40 minutes, came out and it was still idling away.

These are three examples of human unconsciousness, and sadly these kinds of incidents are pervasive all over the world. We constantly hear how our species is destroying our ecosystem, and yet mindless consumption and waste prevail.

At >410 ppm, carbon dioxide is now higher than it has been for over 800,000 years (humans have been on the earth for around 250,000 years). Please enjoy these remaining good days, because it is difficult to understand how this story will end well.

Todd Cory

Mount Shasta