It makes sense when you think about, although few of us ever really have: it takes a lot of electricity to play the ubiquitous background music that we hear in shopping malls. How much? According to a recent Scientific American podcast:
The malls of America consume more than a gigawatt of electricity per month playing the anodyne sales-spurring pop. Enterprising Stanford students crunched the numbers on how much energy it takes to play all that pop and came up with a figure of 1.18 gigawatt-hours. Given the present energy mix that means Mantovani adds more than 3,000 metric tons of CO2 to the atmosphere each year. To put that in perspective, the world as a whole emits roughly 30 gigatons of greenhouse gases per year.
It just goes to show you that while every little bit helps, every little bit hurts, too. (Curiously, I live about 45 miles from one of the Muzak Corporation’s locations on I-90 east of Albany. If you walk into their elevators, what’s playing? Yep, thrash metal. Go figure.)