Andrew Revkin, a former science and environment reporter for The New York Times who now blogs on nytimes.com, this week lauded the handful of downtown East Hampton Village businesses that had their doors closed on a recent hot summer day, but he called out with displeasure the many other shops whose air-conditioning was pouring out onto the street. A letter-writer in these pages this week also decried the bad habit of some retailers, calling the waste of the electricity needed to power all the cooling “shameful.”
New York City banned icy-blast come-ons in the hot August of 2008, as Mr. Revkin pointed out. The question came up in East Hampton Village before, but for whatever reason the trustees decided to take no steps. As long ago as 2006, the Long Island Power Authority made news about this, calculating in a survey that 65 percent of East Hampton shopkeepers had air-conditioners running with doors open — the highest percentage on Long Island.
For the record, when the air-conditioning is on, we at The Star keep the doors and windows closed tight, as do the very successful London Jewelers, BookHampton, and Starbucks, according to Mr. Revkin. If other businesses cannot manage to do what’s right, the village must step in and make it the law.