tslights.jpgMayor Bloomberg himself said that "New York can't just sit back and hope for the best," when it comes to global warming. He was prompted by a report that showed the city responsible for 1% of the country's greenhouse gas emissions. And while NYC lacks smoke-stack industry and a car-centric commuting culture, it is the city that never sleeps and never turns off its lights. 79% of New York's greenhouse gases are contributed by the city's buildings, which must be heated, cooled, and lighted year-round. The Daily News wonders if the lighting needs to be around-the-clock though. The paper (and its reporters must love their metro editor) sent observers out to the far reaches of every borough to catalogue the late-night energy use of municipal buildings. Some of their more egregious findings:

Lights at the historic Tweed Courthouse, which houses the Education Department headquarters, were still blazing at 3:50 a.m.

The department's building at 65 Court St. in Brooklyn also was lit well into the wee hours.

A hulking building that holds municipal offices at 30-30 Thomson Ave. in Long Island City shined brightly at 2:45 a.m. yesterday with about two-thirds of its windows lit. At the main entrance, even the display windows featuring school blueprints and models were illuminated.

City officials were quick to note that cleaning crews and some information technology have to work through the night, but failed to give specifics on how many workers are pulling late shifts in the well-lit municipal buildings.

Mayor Bloomberg reassured that "Nobody suggests that we should stop using electricity, go live in tents and do without all of the modern technology," when asked about energy conservation, and promised that the lights that make the city skyline as recognizable at night as during the day wouldn't go out. He did suggest energy saving bulbs for Times Square, however, like the ones he uses in his home.

(Lights, Action, Camera!, by ~Raymond at flickr)