Original Article - ‘Environmental Warrior’ Mayor Bloomberg cools his SUV with a wall unit AC!
You couldn’t make it up, but New York Mayor Bloomberg’s latest contribution to a greener environment is to attach a full-sized room air conditioner unit to the side of his SUV.
The low-tech solution to Mr Bloomerg’s famous dislike of the heat in fact causes less pollution than running the vehicle’s own air-condtioning while its engine is idle.
And in full view of confused and amused tourists and passers-by, workers outside City Hall yesterday attached the familiar looking air-conditioning unit to a specially designed out-sized box on the passenger window of the New York Mayor’s car.
Mayor Bloomberg is known to hate leaving an air conditioned building and entering a hot car during the summer, but his environmental credentials take a hit every time his car is started and left to cool while it waits for his arrival.
Indeed, the mayor’s two Chevy Suburbans have been put on cooling restrictions since July 2009 when reporters from the New York Post noticed them sitting idle with the air-conditioning on for several minutes at a time.
‘This is an experiment to be used on extremely hot days like the types we saw last week,’ said mayoral spokesman Stu Loeser of the air-conditioning units which will run on standard electrical plugs set up outside City Hall.
‘Even with the vehicles parked in the shade, the temperatures inside can quickly rise to more than 100 degrees.’
New York City has some of the strictest idling laws in the United States, with cars using their air-conditioning units only able to stand stationary with their engines running for three minutes.
After Mayor Bloomberg was exposed as flouting the restrictions he apologised and seemingly set to work imagining a greener solution to his need to stay cool.
‘There is far less emissions corresponding to the power of a single air conditioner on the grid than idiling a V-8 engine,’ said Loeser.
New Yorkers meanwhile were not sold on their mayors creative solution to air-conditioning his SUV.
‘It’s definitely not better, that’s for sure,’ said Julian Hernandez from Queens.
The air-conditioning unit outside City Hall where it will wait to cool Mayor Bloomberg’s car before he gets in
‘But I don’t know if its worse cause I’m not sure how the mechanism works but it sounds confusing.
Another passer-by, asked for his opinion was equally nonplussed.
‘I’m not sure if it really addresses the problem, but hopefully it’ll start making strives to make green initiatives in the future,’ said Jack Anderton from the Bronx.
Last week when temperatures in New York hit the high 90′s, Mr. Bloomberg visited the Bronx Works senior centre and called on all New Yorker’s to turn off ‘all non-essential appliances.’
‘It only takes a couple of minutes to cool off a room,’ said Mayor Bloomberg.