Friday, April 27, 2007


In a bright little boutique on Rue de Rennes yesterday. It has been warm in Paris but the interior of this place was stifling. Why? Because of the preponderance of halogen lights, which make you feel like you're inside an Easy-Bake Oven. Brings new meaning to the term "sweat shop."

Ah, why the halogen lights? Bien sur, in France, electricity is very expensive. And halogen lights use less electricity for the candle-watts they put out, if I'm using the right terms. That is why all apartment buildings have minuterie in their hallways: regular incandescent light bulbs on three-minute timers. In France, I think, ever since there has been electricity there has been a notion of thrift with energy consumption. I've always loved the fact that France was naturally "green," in so many ways.

Now, right when the planet is warming up too much, it seems as though some places or people in France are just not getting the concept. Back in the Easy-Bake Boutique, we ask the sales girl how she can stand it all day. "Oh, ça va," she says, "we are going to install la clim bientôt."

Let's see if I've got this straight:

1. We want to cut down on electrical consumption.
2. We install halogen lighting.
3. This makes our store (or office or home) much hotter.
4. So we install la clim (la climatisation) -- air conditioning
5. We therefore use more energy and heat up the planet more

I haven't checked at BHV, but surely Cool Fluorescent light bulbs exist in France? Or maybe I'll check at Monoprix, where the heat from their halogen lighting was driving people out of the main floor in droves.

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