Sierra Club and other greens want hotel guests to waste water and energy

By TODD MYERS  | 
Feb 10, 2020
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The Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the climate activists at 350.org will tell you they believe climate change is a “crisis.” They will also tell you that when you’re at a hotel, you should waste energy and water.

The three groups are publicly opposing Marriott hotels’ “Make A Green Choice” program, which rewards guests who forego having their room cleaned by giving them reward points or cash toward coffee or other food in the hotel. I have studied these programs for several years and probably have the largest collection of the little hotel cards encouraging you to save the planet. It’s not kleptomania if it is for a good cause.

Unlike programs that try to guilt you into reusing your towels, offering an incentive increased the success of the program. Marriott reports it has reduced energy use by 13.2 percent, water use by 8 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 16 percent.

Other hotels have followed suit. The Provenance Hotel in Portland has a similar program that offers $5 toward the honor bar, about half a Snickers.

So, why would groups that purportedly worry about climate change and its effects oppose the program? Because when push comes to shove, leftist ideology and hatred of business trumps the planet. Take a look at their justifications for this counterproductive position.

The Sierra Club’s article opposing the program makes some rather silly claims.

First, they argue the program is unnecessary because the ability to reuse towels and linens was “already an option for many Marriott guests prior to the adoption of the program.” Put another way, the Sierra Club isn’t opposed to reusing linens and towels as long as the program is ineffective. They are only upset when the program actually works.

In fact, the Sierra Club begrudgingly admits the program works, saying “the program has succeeded in convincing some guests to reuse their towels and linens. However, the significance of these small gains must be analyzed in the context of Marriott’s enormous carbon footprint.” Sure, the program works, but it isn’t big enough, which is why it needs to be ended.

They then contradict themselves and attack Marriott saying their current efforts aren’t enough and that “the urgency of the climate crisis demands faster action.” Before Marriott takes that faster action, however, they should begin by wasting more energy by needlessly washing sheets.

The thin reed the three groups cling to is that “zero leading environmental studies recommend skipping housekeeping in the name of sustainability.” By the way, zero leading environmental studies also say you shouldn’t turn the thermostat down to 60 and burn your hotel linens for warmth (Look for one - I dare you!).

The environmental groups know they are being dishonest and can’t bring themselves to say the program doesn’t work, so they feign ignorance about whether needlessly washing towels and sheets every day wastes energy. They are free to wash their sheets and towels at home every day and see what happens to their energy and water use and report back to us.

Their final grasp at an argument is that although they want to reduce CO2, they don’t want to do it this way. In other words, they want to address the problem they call an existential crisis, but only if they and their friends benefit.

This is just the latest example of the remarkable hypocrisy of left-wing climate activists. Last year Spokane’s chapter of 350.org attacked the Policy Center regarding climate policy. When I asked if they were carbon neutral – as I am – they shot back, “You’re not my mother.” They only want to fight climate change as long as others are making the sacrifices.

Occasionally, green groups will fret about why conservatives don’t believe the climate histrionics coming from left-wing activists. One big reason is that the left’s rhetoric is regularly contradicted by their own behavior. Opposition to Make A Green Choice is just the latest example of this hypocrisy.