Scientists warn Christmas lights harm the planet

From the “bah humbug department”. I have nothing against energy efficiency, I have LED’s myself and I didn’t even put them up this year. But, timing is everything, and people already stress out during holidays. Adding a guilt trip over Christmas lights hardly seems necessary or productive. – Anthony

Find the Christmas lights in this image

Find the Christmas lights in this image

From Australia’s Courier Mail

By Graham Readfearn
December 24, 2008 08:06am

SCIENTISTS have warned that Christmas lights are bad for the planet due to huge electricity waste and urged people to get energy efficient festive bulbs.

CSIRO researchers said householders should know that each bulb turned on in the name of Christmas will increase emissions of greenhouse gases.

Dr Glenn Platt, who leads research on energy demand, said Australia got 80 per cent of its electricity by burning coal which pumps harmful emissions into the atmosphere.

He said: “Energy efficient bulbs, such as LEDs, and putting your Christmas lights on a timer are two very easy ways to minimise the amount of electricity you use to power your lights.”

He said the nation’s electricity came from “centralised carbon intensive, coal-based power stations” which were responsible for emitting over one third of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Dr Platt added: “For a zero-emission Christmas light show, you may consider using solar powered lights or sourcing your electricity from verified green power suppliers.”

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113 thoughts on “Scientists warn Christmas lights harm the planet

  1. Solar-powered C hristmas lights – that only work during daylight hours. That should make for an impressive light show. Don’t these people ever get tired of guilt-trips?

  2. Sigh………I guess methane-spewing Reindeer wil be banned from pulling Santa’s sleigh next. In the end – we are not supposed to use anything to light or warm ourselves, just huddle and blink at the stars wondering what the bright lights in the heavens might be. The shame of these people knows no bounds……..

  3. Interesting to note that the lights track very closely to development, average prosperity, and probably human longevity…

    I.e not too many lights on in Zimbabwe…

    Hang on a second – isn’t that also correlated to CO2 production…

    And we are being told to shut CO2 down.

    Personally all those lights are a beautiful sight.

  4. I put those 4.8W LED strings on my tree this year. All told maybe 12 strings for 50 or so Watts .. my TV draws more than that .. practically anything else in my house draws more than that.

  5. What happens to the Pacific and Alaska at night? Things must be worse than we thought! Merry Christmas all, may the GW not get too deep, stay warm and safe.

  6. WTF?! It snowed before I could get my Christmas lights up! lol!

    Now if I had got those energy efficient festive bulbs none of this would of happened, curses, I’ve spoiled christmas. :(

    Oh but on the bright side(hehehohoho), I hear a polar bear was doing his green part and ate one of those pesky CO2 producers, snowmobile and all.

    ( I heard it tasted a lot like Ribbon seal with a slight hint of Anwar! :p)

    All the best to you on this merry global catastrophe and have a happy warming new years! :)

  7. “verified green power suppliers”… they’ll give you a really good deal. Not.

    How about we take the five billion or so in grant money that’s been given to researchers who are desperately trying to prove the “un-debatable” (although frankly shoddy and shaky) alleged science of anthropogenic global warming, and hand it over to real scientists to research nuclear fusion? Whilst they’re getting some real answers to the thorny problem of sustainable energy, the rest of us can lay in supplies in case(?!) the weather/climate continues to turn cold and nasty. Just a thought. Probably not the most popular of ideas…

    Here’s another thought: when nuclear fusion is a reality (which it surely will be one day), we can turn on our ultra-efficient LED Christmas lights, sit around the fire whilst the cold winter winds blow around our superbly-insulated houses, and reminisce about the days when so many megawatts of energy were wasted arguing with the AGW zealots. Pass the eggnogg!

  8. “SCIENTISTS have warned that Christmas lights are bad for the planet due to huge electricity waste and urged people to get energy efficient festive bulbs.”

    …and they want us to use plug-in electric cars…?
    Must be grant application time again.

  9. Oh give me a break. There are a lot more Kwh to be conserved by dealing with excessive outdoor lighting, especially all the light wasted that shines upward. Given the typical ground albedo (about 19%), much of the light in your photo above is from light nighttime lighting that lights the sky, not the ground. The grinches at CSIRO are barking up the wrong tree.

    http://www.darksky.org/

  10. Quick point the picture you are showing is GREATLY ENHANCED picture. In reality from that distance NONE of the lights shown would be visible.

    Another giant leap in exaggeration, but just a small propaganda step for NASA.

  11. Perhaps we could have christmas lights powered by wind farms. OOPs that would only be 20% of the time and who knows when.

    Pipers Creek Australia

  12. Enhanced? Nah! Didn’t you know the ocean was filled with bioluminescent plankton? Look at that ocean glow! This must be our fault somehow.

  13. Jim B Canada (00:01:08) :

    Not only is the photo highly enhanced, it also indicates the sun appears to have gone out completely.
    So it definitley can’t be a factor in global warming.

    Another NASA first!

  14. The Australian CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific Research Organisation) was once a very well respected Government financed institution.

    The finance has been gradually reduced for years and years, During the funding reducing periods many employees and researchers were fearful of their livelihood.

    And then came AGW and a new lease of life.

    There are some very committed researchers and scientists at the CSIRO – and you can take that to mean ambiguity

    This poster must disclose that he has done contractual work for the CSIRO in the past (administrative and facility works and not scientific)

  15. Les Francis (01:21:15) “The Australian CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific Research Organisation) was once a very well respected Government financed institution….”

    Well respected, and a source of pride and inspirtation to many generations of we Australians.

    Now, this story… Aargh… it brings me feelings only of anger and shame.

  16. Forgive me father for I’ve sinned…

    Anyways – to compensate the “unnecessary” CO2 I’m causing during X-mas, I’ve decided to hold my breath occasionally, sing as well as fart less during the holidays – I hope that’ll do…

    And if not – well, I guess I’ll just burn in the hell fire of global “warming” then…

  17. We need first to care for the poor, not pad the pockets of demagogues. Carbon dioxide is essential for plant growth. The increase in CO2 from burning fossil fuels will strongly help developing countries grow the enough food for their growing populations. Global temperatures have been declining for the last decade even while CO2 rises. Annual days without sunspots are the second highest since 1900, suggestion decades of colder weather. More people die from cold than from heat. So with the shepherds, lets celebrate Christmas.

  18. As Darell Huff once said, “A difference is only a difference when it makes a difference”. I wish people would remember that.

    Rich

  19. Here in the UK, East Sussex council has banned fairy lights that haven’t been approved as a “Fire Risk”……guess who for?

    The Fire Service!!

    Slightly off topic: on top of this the council has banned comfy chairs in the recreation room and the snooker table the firemen use in their downtime “because if makes them look unprofessional”.

    If even that isn’t enough for the poor firemen to cope with, the EUSSR is insisting that the UK complies with the 48 hour a week Working Time Directive (Law). This will hit the UK’s retained fire servce that is made up of paid volunteers that give up their time off from their usual full time jobs to support the full time Fire Service. By the time they’ve done their training they may only have 2 hours left per week as the backup team.

    So if you have a fire this winter, don’t expect the Fire Service to come and put it out….guess that means more noxious gases from burning furniture, exploding gas appliances etc to add to GW. No doubt they’ll include that now in their AGW figures. Maybe that should be called the EU Global Warming scam caused by their mad Directives!

  20. The Kingston incident just the “tip of an iceberg” – and there’s more to come?

    From LPAC:

    Dec 23, 2008 –Communities nationwide have repaired fewer than half of the 122 levees identified by the Federal government almost two years ago as too poorly maintained to be reliable in major floods, according to Army Corps of Engineers data.

    State and local governments were given a year to fix levees cited by the Corps for “unacceptable” maintenance deficiencies in a February 2007 review that was part of a post-Hurricane Katrina review. Only 45 have had necessary repairs, according to data provided in response to a request by USA Today published today. The remaining unrepaired levees are spread across 18 states and Puerto Rico, most in California and Washington.

    As if cued to underscore the problem, an earthen dam holding back a retention pond broke early today at a power plant run by the nation’s largest public utility, releasing a frigid mix of water, ash and mud that damaged 12 homes, buried a road and railroad tracks leading to the plant, and put hundreds of acres of rural land under water. The 40-acre pond was used by the Tennessee Valley Authority to hold a slurry of ash generated by the coal-burning Kingston Steam Plant in Harriman, about 50 miles west of Knoxville, said TVA spokesman Gil Francis.

    http://www.larouchepac.com/news/2008/12/23/fewer-half-unacceptable-levees-repaired.html

  21. Maybe Christmas lights should be powered only by Eco wind generated power?

    Be pretty dim here in Farnham, Surrey, UK as there isn’t even a breeze.

  22. Roger Carr says:

    Now, this story… Aargh… it brings me feelings only of anger and shame.

    Hang on, I thought that only KRudd could make one feel ashamed of being Australian.

  23. Perhaps each new generation of environmentalists need a fresh cause, and when the limits of what is achievable become apparent, they move onto a new one: pollution, nuclear radiation, the rainforests, ozone, and now, CO2.

    CO2 is great because it affects everything. It is the meta-cause that can spawn any number of causes. Christmas lights? CO2. Air travel? CO2. Cars? CO2. Beef? CO2. Greed? CO2.

    We’ll start to get into more sensitive subjects. Are you obsese? Feel guilty about your carbon footprint.

    I’m waiting for a science study that shows people with higher testosterone levels have a higher carbon footprint lifestyle, and that it is more eco-friendly to be a woman. That should tie in nicely with feminism.

  24. Looking at this map, the place we should all be emulating is North Korea. It’s that eco-friendly paradise of darkness west of Japan that makes South Korea look like an island. They need to do something about that little blip of light where Pyongyang is, though.

  25. @Mongo (21:21:26) :

    You wrote in part: “Sigh………I guess methane-spewing Reindeer wil be banned from pulling Santa’s sleigh next.”

    Didn’t you hear the latest? Santa is going to go to a solar powered sleigh (the very minute they figure out how to get it to run all night on Christmas Eve).

  26. grrrrrrrr… the greenies here in Australia are the worst. But for the first time since I’ve been living here, 8 years now, the are showing “It’s a Wonderful Life’ on Christmas day!!
    And now it IS Christmas!!

    And thank you so much, Anthony, for this wonderful and enLIGHTening blog!
    A Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you, your family, and all!

  27. It pre-supposes that the earth is getting warmer and we are the cause…questionable to say the least.
    Latest data (unless your name is Hansen) show plenty of ice in Antartica and plenty in the Arctic…and snao all over Canada.
    Skiing good at just about all resorts in Northern Hemisphere.

    So put your light on and tell the scientists to “get stuffed”.

  28. Meanwhile, citizens urged CSIRO to discountinue operation of their global warming supercomputers given the vast energy usage of these supercomputers which causes increases in harmful emissions of greenhouse gases leading to dangerous climate change.

  29. The amount of power used in lighting all of the Christmas lights in the world is trivial compared to overall daily use. If the atmosphere were this sensisitive, we would have long since died. The journalistic offal referenced in this thread offers nothing but an AGW version of ‘bah-humbug’

  30. Australia as a continent is on the edge of the map, blacked out compared to the northern hemisphere. Even if you believe in global warming, our country is still in the dark.

  31. Turn off everything and the cities would lose money on natural gas sales and need to raise taxes, you can bet on that. It’s turning into madness now, turn off your Christmas lights. I guess they will want to replace Christmas with Green Day or something.

  32. Do these so-called “scientists” have no shame? These peddlers in fear and guilt, particularly at this time of year, and during a time of a worldwide economic crisis rivaling the Great Depression are the lowest of the low. One does not have to be particularly “religious” to see that charity, kindness, and yes, love are eminently desirable, and even essential human qualities. In Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and Seus’s “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”, both Scrooge and the Grinch have revelations and redeem themselves. Will the the AGW zealots and pseudo-scientists such as these ever realize the great harm they have caused, apologize, and redeem themselves? It seems doubtful.

  33. Dr Platt added: “For a zero-emission Christmas light show, you may consider using solar powered lights or sourcing your electricity from verified green power suppliers.”

    I wonder if Dr Platt owns any stock in “verified green power suppliers”?

  34. You are so evil. Don’t you know that Santa’s workshop is going to fall thru the thin ice at the North Pole if global warming continues unabated? (Not to mention that Santa is overweight because of his junk food diet filled with empty calories) Don’t you know that Arctic ice has been melting for the past two weeks – in mid-December – in the total darkness?

    Arrrkkk!
    Bleaghhkhh!!
    Glyptzlpfft!!!

  35. I wonder what puts out more CO2; printing, distributing and disposing of the Brisbane Courier Mail news paper or the Christmass lights in Brisbane Australia? If the former, the least they can do is stop printing. Everybody has to do their part right?

  36. In the clean, green, PNW we use only renewable hydroelectric power for our Christmas lights.

    Oops, forgot, it seems hydro is not clean, green, or renewable in Washington State. It got left off the list when the watermelons mandated what types of power were to be considered sustainable.

  37. Les Francis (01:21:15) :

    The Australian CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific Research Organisation) was once a very well respected Government financed institution.

    As you know, CSIRO spearheaded ground breaking research wrt El Nino and
    La Nina oscillations. Their work regarding fish migration and the precipitation outlook for the south eastern Asian region and South American was respected and held in high regard by primary producers of Australia many other countries.

    They have now become a pathetic joke who’s agenda is to pander to the pseudo science of the IPCC and the ideologies of environmentalism.

    They will earn and deserve nothing but contempt from our rural producers.

  38. The NASA presentation of the whole world at night brings up two questions: (1) (facetious) Who turned off the sun for the photo? and (2) Were the originals that went into the presentation “photo-shopped” to enhance the effect? Off-topic: isn’t the term “denier” applicable to one who dismisses temperature data from satellites while clinging to the obviously flawed (and manipulated) surface temperature record?

  39. Looking at LED Christmas lights in stores, I have not seen any lumen/watt figures on the boxes. Nasty incandescents aren’t all that good, but really efficient LED’s are very expensive.

    I have some doubts as to the overall savings. Particularly counting the CO2 emitted during the untangling process.

    Won’t matter, in a few years incandescents will be history.

    I think the scientists warning us about such things harm the planet far more than the things they warn us about.

    Let’s hope a small measure of sanity returns next year.

    Merry & Happy to all.

    REPLY: I bought the LED lights mostly because they have long life and had better connections…I get tired of playing “find the dead bulb”. – Anthony

  40. I need to log off now, the PC is using energy……the final step is to slow down breathing and place yourself into a coma like state. You can’t eat beef, corn is needed for fuel and all the green plants need to be left in place to convert CO2. You cannot build a wooden house and steel needs electricity to produce. Horses spew out methane, they are out. Gee, what’s the use of living? Of course, the Government needs us for taxes, that’s why.

  41. Merry Christmas everybody.

    Thank you all for making a absolutely fun and informative site.

    Well, you got scientists and you got scientists. Some scientists are working to find the cure for cancer, some scientists are working to improve food production, some scientists are working to explain the workings of nature better.You get the picture.
    And then you have scientists who worry about Christmas lights, and some scientist who worry about moose flatuence, or in this season reindeer flatuence.
    And say “Anthropogenic Global Warming” as easily as Scrooge said “Bah Humbug
    Thank God we still have a lot of those in the former group.

  42. “REPLY: I bought the LED lights mostly because they have long life and had better connections…I get tired of playing “find the dead bulb”. – Anthony”

    But…but…but…….

    That’s what we’re SUPPOSED to do at Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And a happy one for you and yours ;)

    JimB

  43. Retired Engineer (07:22:11) :
    Looking at LED Christmas lights in stores, I have not seen any lumen/watt figures on the boxes. Nasty incandescents aren’t all that good, but really efficient LED’s are very expensive.

    Yup, that’s definitely an engineer. The efficiency is more relevant if a specific amount of brightness is part of the specification. If the specification is only “bright enough to be visible at night”, then it’s quite likely that the incandescent with the lowest wattage draws more power than any LED visible at night.

    I tried one string of white LEDs this year. 4.8 watts and ridiculously bright.

    canuckjack – “festive bulbs” are used for Festivus. Incandescent bulbs are needed because they’re used to melt the Festivus wax Yule log.

    (And I might use blockquote’s cite= if I knew what it does and how one uses it to cite someone else’s comment)

  44. How many KWH have been consumed broadcasting this latest effort at getting
    people to change from the Christian faith to the Environmentalism faith?

  45. Anthony says he gets tired of playing “find the dead bulb”, so now we know where to send our dead bulbs. Once he has several boxes of them he should have no trouble finding dead bulbs.

  46. Off topic, but wtf is going on with NSIDC?

    Is that total flattening out and dipping below the 2007 line real? Or will a later adjustment correct it?

  47. I just did a post the other day on why incandescent light used in cold weather become heaters. In my case our electricity comes from nukes, by not using Christmas lights our natural gas heater runs a bit more creating more CO2 not less!

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2008/12/22/ban-all-incandesents-a-not-so-bright-idea/

    Canada’s banning of incandescents makes about as much sense as pulling up on your ankles to fly.

    Also from my previous post carried by WUWT, I pointed out some errors in the NSIDC documentation and the NSIDC has issued several corrections to their website.

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2008/12/24/nsidc-issues-corrections-to-webpage/

    Please snip if you don’t want the reference here.

  48. This reminds me of the scene in Batman when the joker guy put poison in makeup and hair spray, causing everyone on TV to show up in warts and pimples. Christmas tree lights are deadly! da da da da da da da da BATMAN!

  49. In my youth the Christmas lights came in strings of 25 using 7 watt bulbs and normal use was 3 strings for the tree. making total of 525 watts on the tree that isn’t counting the outside lights. then we went to the strings with 4 watt bulbs making 300 watts on the tree. now we are using the mini lights and only about 75 watts per tree. I look forward to the good LED’s soon. What has caused the changes is the increasing cost of energy. I suspect in the near future there will be again great increases in the cost of energy under the new administration. We here are already turning the thermostat down and often burning wood for heat. I wonder if going back to the stone age will help to reduce emissions. Remember that what was used for fuel then cause CO2 and also lots of ash.

    Merry Christmas to you all and burn the lights while you can. Perhaps we should turn off all the street lights and signs. that should cause cooling for sure.

    Bill Derryberry

  50. CSIRO is a joke…. They are pretty much a Green activist group now…. There is no longer a scientist among them.

  51. I think we’ve got to the point where we can read alarmist articles about the harmful nocturnal emissions of Christmas lights with detached amusement. Yes, it’s madness, but it will pass. Fewer normal folks appear to be buying into the AGW-will-destroy-the-planet notion, and these may well become fewer still, if world temps continue to fail to skyrocket.

    Wishing Anthony and everyone else a joyful and incandescent Xmas and New Year!

  52. Only in San Franfreako.
    ——————————————————
    S.F. fliers may pay their way in carbon usage

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/12/24/MNIR14PSQF.DTL&type=green

    “Environmentally conscious travelers flying out of San Francisco International Airport will soon be able to assuage their guilt and minimize the impact of their air travel by buying certified carbon offsets at airport kiosks.”

    “But the general idea, officials said, is that a traveler would approach a kiosk resembling the self-service check-in stations used by airlines, then punch in his or her destination. The computer would calculate the carbon footprint and the cost of an investment to offset the damage. The traveler could then swipe a credit card to help save the planet. Travelers would receive a printed receipt listing the projects benefiting from their environmental largesse.”

    “”The carbon kiosks will not only reduce global warming,” Ballard said, “they will serve an educational function. It’s something interesting to do while you’re killing time at the airport.”

    “Given the innovative nature of the venture, airport officials said they don’t expect 3Degrees will turn a profit – at least not at the outset. McDougal said it’s impossible to predict how many passengers will want to make what is essentially a voluntary contribution to compensate for the impacts of their air travel. But he hopes the program takes off.”

    ———————————————————
    “…they don’t expect 3Degrees will turn a profit – at least not at the outset.”

    That will change when it becomes mandatory.

  53. Once again, the AGW movement shows that there is nothing sacred and/or fun when it comes to its all-important mission of ‘saving the planet.’ How about this? If we can, let’s stack up side-by-side all the emissions used in promoting the AGW agenda – from plane trips to the electricity used to operate the offices of groups like Greenpeace and even the IPCC to all the energy it takes to promote reports like this one on Christmas lights – with all the energy/C02 produced by Christmas lights and see which one is bigger year after year. The once the numbers are tallied we can decide which one we should keep and which one should get the ol’ heave-ho ho.

  54. I switched to LED lights a few years ago because they avoid the hunt the bulb problen amd do draw less power ( a few watts) and hence save a bit of money on the eleticity bill.

    I’m also fascinated by the way I can’t focus the blue ones clearly which ( I am guessing) is due to the eyes inability to refract as well at this wave length .

  55. I’m going to add lights to my F-150 4×4-which I need to go to work in.
    Due to 8 in of snow in La Grande, Oregon. CSIRO can bite me…

  56. Isaiah 9:6 says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Jesus is the reason for the season. Bring His light into your life.

    That’s why they want the lights turned off.

  57. I’d like to make a point regarding the assertion that one can use green energy to eliminate the “harmful” effects of Christmas lights. Efficient use of solar power requires consumption at the instant of creation. Same goes for wind power. Christmas lights increment the amount of power consumed, and the incremental demand for power is almost 100% covered by nuclear and coal. (This is due to the fact that coal and nuclear supply power on demand – and do not demand consumption when energized.)

    Therefore, is simply is not realistic (or probably possible) to do what these grumpy scientists are asking. Any green energy that you would have purchased for your Christmas lights will certainly be consumed somewhere else – thus you’re just moving a hole (while making another in your pocket).

  58. It’s 10:42 AM here in chilly Missoula. I just went out and turned on my Christmas lights. Saw the sun for the first time in a week and waded through 14″ of snow to fix a string that didn’t immediately light. Merry Christmas everyone.

  59. You should NOT be looking at Blue LED’s at night, the human eye is not made to do that.
    You should be thinking about turning street lights out, so people can see your pretty LED christmas lights. Many councils in England are doing just that, putting timers on the SL’s so that they go off at midnight, or just plain turning the insects off. They’re saving a bundle, like Geiko, so easy a city council can do it. Billions of SL’s all over the world sucking power when people are trying to sleep. Billions of FL’s in huge corporate buildings on all night when nobody is there. Of course, we waste power like there in an infinite supply of oil & gas to light the world. Why? Because people who sell power make a lot of money off of the average person, they just spread it onto the residential lighting bill as a surcharge that eventually becomes permanent, and they get rich doing it.
    The commerical people don’t pay surcharges, but you sure do.
    Ever checked? Of course you haven’t. You have no idea, do you?
    No, you don’t. It’s a money game, tag, you’re it.
    See, they just tried to scare you over your puny once a year LED’s on your Christmas tree they overcharged you for, but the real story is all the money they are sucking out of your pockets as they make YOU pay for lighting up the world.
    Know what?
    Most will buy into the scare. People are stupid. And gullible.

  60. Actually, I got so tired of playing the “dead bulb hunt” game, and the price of lights drops so low right after Xmas, I used to just keep 10 extra boxes of 100 downstairs.
    When it was time to decorate, any string with a dead bulb went in the trash.

    For $.99/string, it just wasn’t worth the time, period.

    JimB

  61. It’s just a thought, but what happens to my lava lamps when the bulbs become unavailable?
    When will the Edisonia Black Market start up?

  62. And, for those of you who want to parrot the ‘crime safety’ line, the only published studies of Steet Lighting deterring crime indicate that only the CHANGE in lighting deters crime. As soon as the neer-do-wells determine that nobody is watching, they’ll be back to their nefarious deeds.
    Which is why somebody came up with motion sensors. That really makes ‘em nervous, but even then, eventually, you better appear with your shotgun to back it up.

  63. John Egan and others wondering about arctic sea ice decline in December:

    If you go to this link and use the “Previous” link a number of times, you can see on the map that the sea between Nova Zembla island and mainland Russia lost quite some ice over the last weeks:

    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/cgi-bin/seaice-monitor.cgi?lang=e

    Now I do not know whether this area is large enough to account for the flat graph. Just used google maps to do a quick&dirty size check, it might be close to 500*500km or 250,000 sq km. It looks to me to cover for big part of the gap that starts to exist in Dec between the red (2008) and blue (2003) lines, which by eyeballing seems to be around 350,000 sq km.

    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

    Warmer sea water currents? Warmer air coming in as the cold arctic air is being blown out to Russia, Europe and North America? Who can tell?

    Merry xmas to all!
    Remmitt

  64. Heh. And here we thought that the Puritans/Pilgrims had all died out because people got really tired of having everything that might be fun forbidden. Nope. They just switched religions in order to make sure that they can harangue us for being eeeevil for not toeing the line (that they established and do not have to conform to) on CO2.

  65. LED’s certainly last longer. Even cheap ones run 15-20k hours. For typical use, that’s far longer than I will last. My efficiency comment was mostly to poke fun at those pompous ‘scientific’ types who tell us we are wasting energy. After all, if the lights are indoors, they help to heat your house. Not quite as good as gas heat, but better looking. Heating water for my hot chocolate uses more energy in 30 seconds than running my old evil (but very small) incandescents all night.

    Worse, most of my electric bill is ‘customer charge’ and not commodity. If I pull the plug on everything, I would still pay about 2/3 of what I pay now. Not much incentive to buy new lights when my old ones still work.

    “Find the bulb” ? I’m really out of date. My clunky lights stay on when one goes out. Low voltage, in series, so if I unplug one, the string does go out, but still very easy to find. That was a real problem 40 years ago, but I thought it had been solved. We’ve gone back in time?

    It’s cold. I think I’ll plug in another string of lights. I can even see the blue ones.

  66. I feel like this is something that should be shared. I mean this isn’t News to me, and it shouldn’t be to anyone else out there. You can’t possibly think that Christmas Lights wouldn’t do anything to the environment, could you? The “bah Humbug department” should report more often for those idiots that think that what they do has no effects on the world around them.

  67. Environmentalism is such a flexible pseudo-cause. It’s the vehicle by which busy bodies can control us even further.

    WHEN are we act collectively (as the libs would want) and demand a stop to this mindless bullying?

  68. “” Jim B Canada (00:01:08) :

    Quick point the picture you are showing is GREATLY ENHANCED picture. In reality from that distance NONE of the lights shown would be visible.

    Another giant leap in exaggeration, but just a small propaganda step for NASA. “”

    How do you know that ?

    All that the camera records, is the contrast between what is lit and what isn’t. Nobody has to enhance anything. Just as most stars are invisible to the naked eye; but recordable by the camera as bright against a dark background; so too can the lights on earth be seen against the background with perfectly ordinary camerea equipment.

    And if I was CSIRO, I wouldn’t complain. some of the better LEDs have more than 50% external quantum efficiency, so more than half of the energy they consume, is radiated in the visible region and a good fraction of that exits to space with little effect from GHG, so they are helping to cool the planet. If all that electricity went into incandescent lamps, they would mostly heat their environment.

    As for that free (one day) thermo-nuclear energy; as they say the energy of the future; and always will be.

    Better hope it never happens in your lifetime; unless you really want to see this planet get screwed up by too much energy consumption. today’s “global warming” will be peanuts compared to a thermonuclear future; just fancy; extinction by slow Hydrogen bomb.

  69. In Massachusetts, the “waste” energy from my indoor incandescents helps heat the house – which brings up the efficiency approaching 100%. Kudos to Jeff Id for noting this above – is it really hard to figure out? We also get a good portion of our electricty from Plymouth Nuclear, so my smaller outdoor incandescent bulbs don’t produce much carbon either, and they sure look pretty!

    If these frauds really cared about carbon output, they’d all be demanding a total shift to nuclear for power plants.

  70. “” Robert Bateman (09:55:53) :

    You should NOT be looking at Blue LED’s at night, the human eye is not made to do that. “”

    So what is it about blue LEDs at night that you should not be looking at them ?

    Certainly in the dark adapted eye, the vision changes from photopic response to scotopic; but ordinary evening light is hardly dark adapted.

    The major way in which blue lights (LEDs aren’t any different from any other blue lights) exhibit vision difficulties, is that the human eye is highly chromatic aberated, because of the vitreous, and aqueous humor filling the eyball, so the blue focus and the red focus are quite separated, so blue and red lights, will not focus together ,bu that is just as much a problem of the red as it is of the blue. Geen/yellows will focus in some intermediate plane; but other than that there is no reason to not look at any colored LEDs at night.

    Now I wouldn’t recommend anybody look at the brightest yellow LEDs (AlInGaP), as they are among the most luminous, and can damage the retina from close up viewing. It used to be that laser based systems were classified accodring to vision hazards, and one didn’t have to worry about incoherent light sources too much, but modern LEDs are such high luminance, that now they have to be certified as to vision hazard resrictions. Every one of those LED illumination systems underneath your Optical mouse, has to pass strict rules for eye safety.

    Yes Kids pick up the mouse and jam their eye to the hole to see how bright it is.

    Many of those seemingly innocuous mouse illuminators actually form multiple images directed in different directions , so that not more than one beam can enter your iris at one time. You can’t get your iris, where the mousing surface is, which is where the multiple beams all overlap.

    And given that I designed the vast majority of the more than one billion optical mouse optical systems that are in circulation worldwide, and hold most of the patents on the multiple beam illumination optics; I think I would qualify as somewhat knowledgeable on that one.

  71. Why oh why, in these miserably poor times, can’t the jokers turn down the lights?
    Everytime I see that jpeg of the Earth at night, it makes me sick thinking of all that wasted power, oil, gas, coal etc. that is being burned for nothing.
    Nothing but fact that Retired Engineer brings up:
    If I unplug all my lights, turn off all my devices, I still pay the surcharges and monthly. They give no incentive, but wan’t me to buy more bulbs.
    And they want me to buy a twisted CFL hand grenade that will break in my hands if I am not careful, and maybe break in my hands if I am careful.
    The jpeg at the top turn my stomach to knots.
    Oh, what an awful waste.

  72. joealmun :
    You can’t possibly think that Christmas Lights wouldn’t do anything to the environment, could you? The “bah Humbug department” should report more often for those idiots that think that what they do has no effects on the world around them.
    Right. Christmas lights are a “threat to the environment”. How exactly? What about breathing, which expels C02 – wouldn’t that be a “threat” as well?
    As for “effects on the world”, well, everything effects everything to some degree, doesn’t it? Of course we have an effect, how could we not, except by dying? Of course, that, in a nutshell is what the environazis want, isn’t it?
    Yes, there are some effects we want to try to minimize, such as pollution (which does NOT include C02), and forest and land degradation. In the grand scheme of things, however, the idea that Christmas lights are anything to worry about is completely absurd – something only an idiot would worry about, in other words.

  73. It looks like the majority of Australia is in the dark. OK they really need to get those carbon taxes in place! :)

  74. I had cause to try to deal with the CSIRO a few years ago. Pretty much a sheltered workshop.

    George E. Smith (16:02:18) :

    “As for that free (one day) thermo-nuclear energy; as they say the energy of the future; and always will be.

    Better hope it never happens in your lifetime; unless you really want to see this planet get screwed up by too much energy consumption. today’s “global warming” will be peanuts compared to a thermonuclear future; just fancy; extinction by slow Hydrogen bomb.”

    Really. I hope you are kidding. BTW Google “Bussard fusion” The fusion future may be about to happen. Only it isn’t “thermo”

  75. And Tibet is in the dark, too. I guess those monks up there went green, or they hide thier candlepower well.

  76. I feel like this is something that should be shared. I mean this isn’t News to me, and it shouldn’t be to anyone else out there. You can’t possibly think that Christmas Lights wouldn’t do anything to the environment, could you? The “bah Humbug department” should report more often for those idiots that think that what they do has no effects on the world around them.

    Your use of a computer and the huge infrastructure required for you to be able to voice your opinion here affects the “environment” much more than a few holiday lights which are only on for a short time during the year. Yet I don’t see you forgoing your luxuries to “save the planet”. Obviously you feel only other people should make sacrifices and not yourself.

    sheesh!

  77. “joealmun (14:50:19) :
    I feel like this is something that should be shared.”

    Feelings… nothing more than feeelings…..

  78. “SCIENTISTS have warned that Christmas lights are bad for the planet due to huge electricity waste.

    He said the nation’s electricity came from “centralised carbon intensive, coal-based power stations” which were responsible for emitting over one third of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

    Maybe he meant to say “over one-third of Australia’s HUMAN greenhouse gas emissions” which would be something like 1% of Australia’s total greenhouse emissions. And there is a subtle psychological play here that connects “Christmas lights” to “one third of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions” which is preposterous. One would need to look at the delta … what is the difference with and without the lights. I would imagine it would be hard to figure exactly because December 25 is about the time of the longest day in Australia, when regular lighting is burning the least.

    But what it speaks to most of all is a personality disorder. There is no intangible value placed on the lights. People might decide that the uplift given by the lights is worth every ounce of the extra greenhouse emissions. The “scientists” place no value on that and are seeming only interested in their sacred greenhouse gas. They seem to be saying that what makes them feel better should also make everyone else feel better. Or better, what makes them feel unsettled, should also make everyone else feel unsettled. The implication being that if you are more like them, then you are “good” and if you have less anxiety over the greenhouse gas, then you are somehow “bad”. It seems pretty narcissistic of them to assume that they are “right” and that to be good you must do as they say you should.

    Maybe it would knock them down a peg or two if some powerful spokesman in government or media told them to buzz off. I am tired of media attempts to use a guilt trip on people for exercising their family traditions that really in the overall scope of things don’t hurt a soul.

  79. I have been too busy working to post much lately. (That’s a GOOD thing.)

    I notice that most of the places without lights are hellholes I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemies.

    Merry Chirstmas. Say it with lights.

  80. I just noticed a story that San Francisco airport will be giving travelers the option to purchase “carbon credits” to offset their travel carbon footprint. Next time I fly through there, I am going to ask if they have “carbon credit credits” and if they ask me what those are, I will say “they are credits that offset the guilt of not actually buying the carbon credits that offset the guilt of not actually cutting down on your energy consumption but making you pay something so you feel you have somehow made up for it … or something”.

  81. Send these CSIRO scientists into the outback saltpans to shovel salt and cure global warming by increasing the reflectivity of the desert. That would do a heck of a lot more to cool the planet than turning off Christmas lights.

  82. How do they account for the record snowfalls across the US and Canada, I guess they will say thats weather not climate. Convenient that when Adelaide had a string of days over 35 celsius that was evidence of climate change.

  83. “Adelaide had a string of days over 35 celsius that was evidence of climate change.”

    Yep. Record cold is “weather” and record heat is “evidence”. Amazing, that, isn’t it?

  84. George E. Smith (16:27:14) :

    ” …..The major way in which blue lights (LEDs aren’t any different from any other blue lights) exhibit vision difficulties, is that the human eye is highly chromatic aberated…..”

    Thank you for your clear explanation of my observation about blue (LED) lights. It’s a pleasure to read a well thought out and reasoned comment.

  85. Well what else woud you expect from the sheltered workshop of the publically funded CSIRO.

    Its par for the course.

  86. As usual, New Zealand’s off the map – but it might have shown a light or two glimmering in the major cities.

    However, NZ cannot compete with the magnificent building-high Christmas light decorations in Hong Kong, bordering both sides of the harbour. Unfortunately this year the general amount of decoration is less than it used to be. Hard times or apathy? It’s difficult to tell.

    Season’s greetings to all.

    — Annette – who has enjoyed an unseasonally warm Christmas day in Hong Kong.

  87. Annette Huang (04:04:24) :

    As usual, New Zealand’s off the map – but it might have shown a light or two glimmering in the major cities.

    Never fear, the the image Anthony used was cropped by an anti-New Zealand zealot.

    The link on the image, http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap020810.html takes you to the “Astronomy Picture of the Day” and a link to a 2400×1200 pixel version. Both include Hawaii to New Zealand in all their 2002 glory.

    evanjones (22:09:27) :

    I notice that most of the places without lights are hellholes I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemies.

    Ah, spoken like a true Hew Yorker. :-) On a ski trip to Vail I went up the chairlift with one of them. He couldn’t wait to get back to civilization and away from all the nothing around Vail.

    After noticing all the hellholes, then I look at all the dark. After all, I do own a nice small telescope. Living in the northeast US, dark is a precious commodity and our eyes are drawn to places like the Adirondacks in New York, the White Mountains in New Hampshire, and wonderfully delineated “Crown of Maine.” The latter is a bit of an astronomical hellhole – any light there (up or down) is blocked by pine trees.

    And then there’s Canada. They still have lots of good dark and is fairly nearby.

    New York City is enough to drive an astronomer mad. Hmm, James Hansen has an astronomy degree, perhaps he just needs more dark, comets, and nebulae. Orion is gorgeous this time of year.

  88. deadwood (06:35:48) :

    In the clean, green, PNW we use only renewable hydroelectric power for our Christmas lights.

    Oops, forgot, it seems hydro is not clean, green, or renewable in Washington State. It got left off the list when the watermelons mandated what types of power were to be considered sustainable.

    You have to DAM rivers to create Hydro – and DAMS are just plain wrong.

    Beware the path of the Heretic. You’ll burn one day! Burn I tell you! – mark my words…

  89. “” Mike Borgelt (18:54:24) :

    I had cause to try to deal with the CSIRO a few years ago. Pretty much a sheltered workshop.

    George E. Smith (16:02:18) :

    “As for that free (one day) thermo-nuclear energy; as they say the energy of the future; and always will be.

    Better hope it never happens in your lifetime; unless you really want to see this planet get screwed up by too much energy consumption. today’s “global warming” will be peanuts compared to a thermonuclear future; just fancy; extinction by slow Hydrogen bomb.”

    Really. I hope you are kidding. BTW Google “Bussard fusion” The fusion future may be about to happen. Only it isn’t “thermo” “”

    Not kidding at all Mike. Atleast now with apparent energy shortages and increasing demand an rising costs, people are at least somewhat concerned about energy efficiency.

    If we suddenly had an essentially limitless source of energy that was cheap; the world would go hogwild, and wasteful, and at some point, our global total usage of the ultimate fossil fuel, would start to put a real climate change burden on the planet.

    I have no problem with the concept of the present world population being elevated to a decent standard of living and healthy living at that; but the complete removal of any limits to human population explosion, would eventually doom this planet, as far as humans are concerned.

  90. Merry Christmas Everybody
    I came back to add this statement about the following: “Scientists say Christmas lights….” What I would like to know and would like to have reported is just how many scientists are actually saying this statement and just what percentage of the total number of scientists counting not only their field of study but all scientists from aerospace scientists to zoologists.
    I think it is only a handful of “scientists” at most, with a few fingers left over.
    Trace scientists if you will! LOL!

  91. Wow, that is a very good article Smokey. I have no doubt that America is flirting with ecosocialism. I hope the American people will see that this “experiment” is not working before we lose all our rights.

  92. Except for the trivial amount of light radiated into space, energy used to light ends up as heat. You either heat with lights or your heating plant. At xmas most of the energy for lighting is a proxy for heating – ie no net expense.

    Among the exceptions are:
    – southern hemisphere at xmas: Australia may be one of the few places in which using more efficient bulbs may help because a large amount of energy is used for air conditioning and very little for heating.
    – exterior lights; these do not heat in any obviously useful way.

    Most analyses of the savings from high efficiency bulbs that i have seen ignore the savings from parasitic heating.

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