My pet peeve is waste. I see it everywhere. One place is UCSD, an enlightened institute of higher education, I’m told. One example involves the use of water on campus. At the Canyonview Pool, I’ve noticed that almost every day — for example, for the last several days and at least every other day in recent months — the terraces surrounding the pool are hosed down with tremendous streams of water, even though there is nothing visible on them.
One day while swimming I observed [that] one hired student use an electric blower to remove any small items that might be on the decks. Within half an hour, another student came along and carefully hosed down the clean decks. Finally, much to my surprise, after another half hour, still another student swept the still drying terraces although nothing was on them. Now I’m all for sweeping; it provides the student workers with exercise — which is what the pool should be used for — and it uses a renewable source of energy. But in times of extreme drought, shouldn’t we be more concerned about throwing water on the ground? And in a time of global climate change, shouldn’t we be more careful about the unwarranted use of electricity? If you agree, then maybe we should let Gary C. Matthews ([email protected]), Vice Chancellor for Resource Management and Planning, and Mike Anderson ([email protected]), who directs students to wash the decks on a near-daily basis, know that we disapprove.
— Milton Saier
Professor of molecular biology