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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Hour in context

So this evening, we're being told to turn our lights and electrical devices off at 8pm for an hour (though at this writing, Earth Hour has already passed in some parts of the world).

Earth Hour, we're told, is supposed to help reduce our energy consumption and cost. It's supposed to help reduce CO2 emissions. The Earth Hour website tells us

Join people all around the world in showing that you care about our planet and want to play a part in helping to fight climate change. Don’t forget to sign up and let us know you want to join Earth Hour.
The implication, of course, is that if you *don't* turn off your lights, you don't care about the planet.

Problem is, it's hogwash and poppycock. The reality is, turning off our lights for an hour - or even a day - will accomplish nothing. The amount of energy that would be "saved" is so low, it's statistically insignificant, with a very real possibility of overloading power grids at the end of the house, when so many people turn their lights back on. Then there's the suggestion to use candles instead. How silly is that? Let's burn candles (most of which are made of petroleum products in the first place) or lamps, with the smoke and fire risks, instead of using clean, safe light bulbs? Hopefully, folks with small children in the home will exercise stronger supervision! In essence, Earth Hour is nothing more than a feel-good measure.

Worse, the promotion is instilling a backlash. Just a few links.

Boycott Earth Hour - a blog post with several links worth following.
Unearthed Hour
Earth Hour - turn your lights on at 8pm

Even Google's use of a black background today is being panned.


Speaking of Google, a search with the term earth-hour is bullshit gets you more than 6000 links.

Then there's this article

March 30 Earth Hour Should Be Renamed 'Dark Hour - A Sign of the Times'

The Queensland, Australia-based Carbon Sense Coalition today came out in support of "lights out" during Earth Hour (Saturday, March 30), but recommended the time should be renamed "Dark Hour" and suggested consumers also should forgo the consumption of gasoline and diesel during this period.

Viv Forbes, chairman of the Carbon Sense Coalition, said consumers should spend the hour they sit in the dark--with no transportation, no heating or air conditioning, no television, radio, or Internet, and no coffee or cold drinks--remembering the contribution that carbon fuels have made to modern society.

"And while contemplating this hour of darkness, they should steel themselves for the hour when, if the global warming alarmists have their way, this will become a necessity not a nicety," Forbes said.

Forbes continued, "The only thing that lifted mankind from the Stone Age was carbon energy from coal, oil, and gas--for heating; for steam power; for electricity and water; for mining, smelting, and refining of metals; for transport on land, sea, and air; for lighting, heating, cooling, and communications; for production of food and chemicals; and for power for processing and manufacturing."

He added, "All of this comfort, safety, convenience, and prosperity are now threatened by hysterical claims that man's carbon emissions can and should be stopped. Even though the weather records and the science deny the doomsday forecasts, the politicians, like lemmings, are leading us over the Greenhouse Cliff."

The Carbon Sense Coalition is a voluntary group of individuals concerned about how carbon is incorrectly portrayed in Western societies, particularly in government, the media, and in business circles.

For more information, contact Viv Forbes, chairman, Carbon Sense Coalition,, or visit the group's Web site at

The Carbon Sense Coalition was a cosponsor of the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change, which attracted more than 500 scientists, economists, and policy analysts to New York City March 2-4, 2008. For more information and audio from the conference, visit

Reading the comments at many of these sites is also enlightening. These are fairly typical.

I guess I'll run my washing machine, drier, big TV etc at that hour to make up for all the loons on my block. Sorry to be blunt, but I hate these f***ing c*** suckers!!

This “Earth Hour” sham has nothing to do with saving the planet. Rather it is a disgusting “feel good” example of the absolute hypocrisy of a percentage of the world’s wealthy - and if you live in Australia you are enormously wealthy on a world scale. While billions in countries around the world sit in darkness every night, drinking filthy water, dying of malaria, AIDS, without electricity, dental or even basic health care, the trendy few turn off their lights for an hour and walk around congratulating themselves on “We’re doing our bit”!

Blind hypocrits! People in developing countries are needlessly dying every day and we will all be dead from natural causes long before global warming (if real)has any significant impact. If you want to make a difference stop navel gazing and do something for your fellow man NOW!

I'll turn on all the lights, do the laundry, and go on a meaningless one hour drive ;-)

So what are we doing for Earth Hour?

Nothing different. We already make it a practice to turn off lights that aren't needed. These days, we don't even have the heat on at all and have already been needing to open windows to cool down the apartment (summer's going to suck again!) because it gets too warm. I'm planning to do some photography while I'm out this evening, so I'll probably be on one of our two computers, uploading pictures and checking them out with the family.

And I won't be feeling the least bit guilty about it, either.


  1. Hehe... You said 'hogwash'...

  2. Thought you would appreciate this article


    I really didn't go on a meaningless drive, it was more bravado than anything ;-)

  3. *L*

    I was reading my email when I noticed it was quarter to nine. Almost missed it!

    Thanks for the link. A good read. :-D

  4. So many people have bought into this. I am an oddity around here. During earth hour, we were transfering our minidv's to dvd. Didn't notice the time at all.

  5. Anonymous9:19 PM

    Two questions.

    First. Summer breezes cool us. The stronger the breeze, the cooler it is. Wind turbines slow the wind and reduce the cooling effect of a breeze. Do wind turbines contribute to global warming?

    Second. Breathing produces CO2. The more you breath, the more CO2 you produce. Joggers breath more than sedentary folk. Joggers produce more CO2 than do couch potatos. Should joggers be required to purchase carbon credits from couch potatos?

    WCRX-LP editorial collective

  6. Do wind turbines contribute to global warming?

    *L* I'd never thought of that before! They would definitely effect local temperatures - at least for the "fields" of turbines.

    Should joggers be required to purchase carbon credits from couch potatos?

    LOL! Well, you have to be pretty sick and twisted to be a jogger in the first place, so why not?

    Just kidding, of course. ;-)

  7. Anonymous9:26 PM

    Tolerate one more variation on joggers and CO2.

    I promise not to be too tedious.

    Imagine the carbon footprint of the Boston Marathon.

    Even worse, imagine the carbon footprint of the New York Marathon.

    My guess is that these two foot races produce more CO2 emissions than any New York or Massachusetts point source CO2 generator.

    Why is the US EPA silent on this?

    (signed WCRX-LP editorial collective)


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