Is the greatest challenge to global warming not carbon dioxide, but bureaucracy? A month ago, the Guardian passed through Stratford station and noticed that, even though it was the middle of the day, all the lights were on. On enquiring after this massive waste of energy they were told: "London Underground is a rich corporation and can afford it". That sound? Our jaws hitting the floor. (Ow.)
The paper calculated that all the lights in the lovely, glass walled, station not only cost the earth but also taxpayers - to the tune of £40k a year. They contacted TfL and the Mayor, but the only movement a month later is that LU are commissioning a report on how to save electricity across their stations. It seems nobody at Stratford will able to locate the switch until that report is completed. Woohoo.
What we really loved, though, was the plethora of excuses trotted out by stations in response to queries about their lights: "the windows are dirty", "we are testing them in case the lights melt", "because it is a Victorian building". The mind truly boggles.
However, the Grauniad has discovered a way for citizens to take action. Network Rail's customer charter (which is so well publicised we can't find it on their website) states that any customer has the right to see the duty station manager if they have a problem with environmental standards. If that fails, you can contact Network Rail themselves. So: anyone feel like turning the government's hectoring about switching off the lights right back at them?