Earth Hour 2012 – A dissent and poll

satellite image of the korean penninsula at night, showing city lighting

The winner for Earth Hour every year since 2003 - North Korea. Odds favor them to be the winner again this year.

Every year at Christmas, many newspapers reprint “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus“, this excellent essay by Ross McKittrick should be repeated on every blog on every observance of Earth Hour. Copy, paste, and share it widely. A poll on what you plan to do to observe this event follows.

The whole mentality around Earth Hour demonizes electricity. I cannot do that, instead I celebrate it and all that it has provided for humanity. – Ross McKitrick

Earth Hour: A Dissent

by Ross McKitrick

Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics, Univer...

Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics, University of Guelph, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Image via Wikipedia

In 2009 I was asked by a journalist for my thoughts on the importance of Earth Hour.

Here is my response.

I abhor Earth Hour. Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century. Every material social advance in the 20th century depended on the proliferation of inexpensive and reliable electricity.

Giving women the freedom to work outside the home depended on the availability of electrical appliances that free up time from domestic chores. Getting children out of menial labour and into schools depended on the same thing, as well as the ability to provide safe indoor lighting for reading.

Development and provision of modern health care without electricity is absolutely impossible. The expansion of our food supply, and the promotion of hygiene and nutrition, depended on being able to irrigate fields, cook and refrigerate foods, and have a steady indoor supply of hot water.

Many of the world’s poor suffer brutal environmental conditions in their own homes because of the necessity of cooking over indoor fires that burn twigs and dung. This causes local deforestation and the proliferation of smoke- and parasite-related lung diseases.

Anyone who wants to see local conditions improve in the third world should realize the importance of access to cheap electricity from fossil-fuel based power generating stations. After all, that’s how the west developed.

The whole mentality around Earth Hour demonizes electricity. I cannot do that, instead I celebrate it and all that it has provided for humanity.

Earth Hour celebrates ignorance, poverty and backwardness. By repudiating the greatest engine of liberation it becomes an hour devoted to anti-humanism. It encourages the sanctimonious gesture of turning off trivial appliances for a trivial amount of time, in deference to some ill-defined abstraction called “the Earth,” all the while hypocritically retaining the real benefits of continuous, reliable electricity.

People who see virtue in doing without electricity should shut off their fridge, stove, microwave, computer, water heater, lights, TV and all other appliances for a month, not an hour. And pop down to the cardiac unit at the hospital and shut the power off there too.

I don’t want to go back to nature. Travel to a zone hit by earthquakes, floods and hurricanes to see what it’s like to go back to nature. For humans, living in “nature” meant a short life span marked by violence, disease and ignorance. People who work for the end of poverty and relief from disease are fighting against nature. I hope they leave their lights on.

Here in Ontario, through the use of pollution control technology and advanced engineering, our air quality has dramatically improved since the 1960s, despite the expansion of industry and the power supply.

If, after all this, we are going to take the view that the remaining air emissions outweigh all the benefits of electricity, and that we ought to be shamed into sitting in darkness for an hour, like naughty children who have been caught doing something bad, then we are setting up unspoiled nature as an absolute, transcendent ideal that obliterates all other ethical and humane obligations.

No thanks.

I like visiting nature but I don’t want to live there, and I refuse to accept the idea that civilization with all its tradeoffs is something to be ashamed of.

Ross McKitrick
Professor of Economics
University of Guelph

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UPDATE: MSNBC is running a similar poll here. It seem “Human Achievement Hour” has been noticed.

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/30/10926095-lights-on-or-off-earth-hour-challenged-by-human-achievement-hour

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162 thoughts on “Earth Hour 2012 – A dissent and poll

  1. Absolutely brilliant and spot on. It should be sent to every politician on the planet. Well done Dr. McKitrick.

  2. Ross is wrong. “Nature” is also what humans make of it. A nice urban landscape including great architecture is as natural as a rainforest.

    The dichotomy humans/nature is after all what brought us to demonizing humans, with loons dreaming up our return to some feral state.

    I guess we should say, “I like visiting THE WILD but I don’t want to live there”

  3. I concur with Professor McKitrick’s analysis. Electricity is the key component of our technological age, and it offers the most promise for Third World development. We should be praising electricity instead of turning our lights off for the so-called and misnamed “Earth Hour.”

    By the way, I voted to turn all my lights and TVs on and bask in their glow. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  4. Well said.

    You would have to be a seriously goofy, bolts-in-the-side-of-the-neck, alarmist to disagree with any of this.

  5. Ummm…. something must be wrong with the right bottom corner of the night satellite photo, because it covers such fairly big cities as Hiroshima (population 1.18 million), Okayama (710,000), Kurashiki (480,000), Shimonoseki (280,000), and Kure (240,000); why are all these in complete darkness???

  6. Splendid essay – will distribute widely. Just had a look at the Earth Hour website – Virtual lightswitch? Are they serious?
    To hell with the Enviro-Taleban! On with the lights! Forward!

  7. Three hours to go. Sorted my spot-lights, got the kids organised, every single electrical appliance in the Kaboom household will be on and active.

    Ross McK nails it! Well done!

    He identifies his agenda, which is the total annihilation of those bothersome people who seem to breed so prolifically. This agenda has been in place for many years. We need to fight, and fight hard.

  8. Interesting points esp “Earth Hour celebrates ignorance, poverty and backwardness. ………. It encourages the sanctimonious gesture of turning off trivial appliances for a trivial amount of time, in deference to some ill-defined abstraction called “the Earth,” all the while hypocritically retaining the real benefits of continuous, reliable electricity.”…..
    For me the issue is more that earth hour is a yearly greenwash feel good drop in the ocean that doesn’t actually make much difference if we all go back to our normal consumption patterns.

  9. Hear, hear Prof McKitrick.

    I was going to protest the inanity of this pseudo-commercial lack-of-fun-fest tonight by turning on every light, heater and appliance, but stuff it, I’m having a few bourbons and watching Idiocracy. Seems appropriate.

  10. Economics isn’t any nicer than The Wild. The Invisible Hand has brass knucks, and those who rely on renewables are asking for a potentially fatal drubbing.

  11. Working on a cardiac unit in a hospital, I can tell you that would fly over like a lead balloon. Other than the inability to actually monitor the cardiac status of the patients, our medication delivery system, our vital signs monitors, our charting system, and every aspect of patient comfort and care relies directly on the availability of electricity, to the extent that we have specially marked plugs for important medical equipment that are set up to never lose power in the event of a complete power loss, while we bridge over to our generators. Without electricity, the PPACA wouldn’t even be necessary, since there would be no expensive or accurate diagnostic medicine.

  12. tokyoboy says:
    March 31, 2012 at 12:34 am
    Ummm…. something must be wrong with the right bottom corner of the night satellite photo, because it covers such fairly big cities as Hiroshima (population 1.18 million), Okayama (710,000), Kurashiki (480,000), Shimonoseki (280,000), and Kure (240,000); why are all these in complete darkness???

    It’s a low-oblique photo — those cities are actually cropped out of the picture. That bright patch at center-right on the edge is Kitakyushu.

  13. Electricity is still a limited resource, so excessive use deserves criticism. Also, even if electricity were abundant, excessive lighting should still be criticised because of the light pollution it creates. Some might think that a well lit wilderness is a benefit, but others don’t and that should be respected. Just as you shouldn’t play loud music all night if your neighbours might mind.

    But Earth Hour isn’t about light pollution. It isn’t about saving electricity on a regular basis. It’s a symbolic act. It’s an option for doing something symbolic instead of doing it for real on an everyday basis. I’ve been measuring light pollution where I live, and it has been skyrocketing in the past few years, during the same years that Earth Hour has caught on. I can barely measure any effects when Earth Hour begins, while the difference during an average night a couple of years ago and now, or just a year ago and now, is probably more than 10 times Earth Hour. That is, if we could turn back time just a couple of years it would be like 10 Earth Hours permanently. It makes Earth Hour an embarrasing affair. A symbol of utter failure rather than of real concern.

    New technology has made lighting much more efficient in the past years. Rather than producing mainly heat, modern fixtures now turn much more of the electricity into useful light. This has been welcomed as a great way to save energy. But it doesn’t work this way. What is happening is that the advantages of the technology are not used to save energy, but to get more light using the same amount of energy. I think this new “green” technology is the main reason why I’ve seen light pollution skyrocket in the past few years.

    I will minise my lighting during Earth Hour. Like I do every day.

  14. Turning on every electrical item in your house could overheat your electrical system. Household electrical systems aren’t designed to handle everything at once, especially if you have an older house and many more electrical items than people had back when your house was designed. Yes, if your breakers are all working right, you’ll probably be OK, but it is still a small but significant risk. Anthony, please post a warning about this after the article.

  15. Re my last comment: silly question. I forgot this was a trivial gesture. The BBC will probably just broadcast in the dark for an hour.

  16. The huge amounts of money squandered on alternative energy could have been spent on providing many millions in the developing world with cheap electricity, clean water and basic schooling. It is a scandal that it hasn’t.

  17. Ok only 30 minutes to go here in Australia. 500 watt front yard spots on, check. Three 60watt fluoros under car port on, check. Kitchen, lounge and bedroom lights on, check. 2000 lumen pencil beam led torch ( blind an eco nazi at 50 metres) holstered. One tea light candle burning and producing CO2 to compensate for the little light in the fridge. Check. Ok bring it on!

  18. I have often felt this way, but find that if I tell my friends they get angry….
    This is really a re-casting of Julian Simon’s ‘cornucopia’ theory. He points out that, throughout the ages, human life has been getting BETTER, not worse, in spite of all the dire predictions that ‘something will go wrong’, and we should ‘stop progressing’. And that ‘getting better’ involves the continuous increase in the use of all sorts of resources – and this is NOT a problem.

    It’s always funny how, for the environmentalists, the right place to stop human progress is always about 20 years ago. This is a meme which has been going throughout most of recorded human history, and shows no sign of abating.

    Since the invention of fire, and the bow and arrow, humans have handled stored energy. We now routinely handle 10-100 HP per person. A home electric socket in the UK can put out about 5HP; someone cooking a Sunday dinner might be using double that at some point. We have built an infrastructure which can handle distribution of this level of energy entirely because of DEMAND. Not because that was defined as the ‘right’ amount of energy which would be needed.

    Suppose someone invents a ‘teleportation’ device, which would revolutionise transport. But, for fundamental physical reasons, it requires at least 1MW to function. Does anyone think that we would not rearrange our energy distribution system to enable this, even though it would be quite disruptive compared to current distribution systems? And would we then have environmentalists complaining that people should be using no more than 10MW per house?

    Handling more energy is fundamental to human life getting better and better. And it is DEMAND which enables this under a capitalist system. The environmentalists are trying to enforce a communist system under which a central decision is made about the ‘correct’ level of energy to use, and then people are provided with this. And we know how well that works…..

  19. Terrific essay. Dr. McKitrick mentions unsanitary conditions in the third world, thus bringing up the second-most-vital element in civilization: Reliable toilets. They, of course, ideally require electricity also, with pumping stations, filtration plants, and the like for modern systems. It is possible, though, to improve sanitation in places where open defecation defiles land and rivers, by installing sanitary or composting toilets until such time as the full system becomes available. Primitive “natural” defecation is surely not something modern humans should ever wish to return to. The Earth Hour folks should avoid flushing during that mystic hour; in fact, let them not flush during that whole day so they can imagine another aspect of life without electricity and modern technology.

  20. I don’t know if you noticed but there’s a nice switch button beside each video’s title on YouTube and when you click on it, the page turns black. I can see what they did there and I think I’ll follow the youtube example tonight – I’ll close curtains on my windows for the whole hour. It will look black enough for anyone outside and will let me keep doing whatever I wish to do at that time.

  21. My son is an apprentice electrician. Tonight he will drive 40mins from our home to a major bridge in Brisbane (Australia). He will open a switchboard panel and turn off 4 switches. This will turn off the pedestrian lights and the decorative lights on the bridge. The road lights and navigation/warning lights for aircraft and watercraft will be left on.
    He will play games/watch videos on portable battery powered devices for an hour and then he will turn the 4 switches back on. The bridge will again look pretty with its decorative lights. And then he will drive home.
    For this little gig, the Ratepayers (Taxpayers) of Brisbane will pay him for minimum 3 hrs work at double time. There are at least 4 other electricians turning off power to bridges and parks tonight in Brisbane – could be more.
    I can’t help thinking that if they were serious, the decorative lighting would be turned off permanently. But I guess this is a media event – tomorrow there will be pictures of the bridge fully lit and then darkened. Empty gestures!

  22. Obviously the developed nations rely on fossil fuel powered electricity. While accepting that the negative effects of co2 emissions are probably exagerated, I would prefer some sort of international effort be made to implement nuclear powered electricity generation in developing nations. Some sort of scheme should be set up so that for the cost of a fossil fuel powered station a nuclear power station be installed instead. Countries with abundant uranium like Australia and Canada could set up schemes to provide fuel and take the waste. Developed countries with existing fossil fuel plants should keep those that have already been built. Instead of wasting money on wind/solar power, the money could be used to support such a scheme, which would deliver significant reductions in co2 emissions.

  23. On their website it says that Earth hour is at 8.30pm, yet their clock counts down to 5pm, wuwt? Not that it makes any difference, as I’ll be going out for a meal with friends and won’t be saving the planet this week.

  24. David, UK says:
    March 31, 2012 at 1:42 am
    Re my last comment: silly question. I forgot this was a trivial gesture. The BBC will probably just broadcast in the dark for an hour.

    Considering their devotion to the Church of AGW, I’d say they always broadcast in the dark!

  25. My sentiments exactly……. My light will be on in a celebration of an “Hour Of Power”…… The coming of the light.

    I will not crouch in darkness and ignorance for anyone.

  26. Ross’s thesis leads to another point. When the activists attribute costs for burning fossil fuels in power plants (deaths from lung disease, warming of the atmosphere, etc.), they never net the societal benefits. Sort of like misstating financial statements.

  27. Peter_ Ga…… You don’t need to reduce CO2. CO2 is not a pollutant. There is no evidence that Anthropogenic CO2 has a significant effect on climate…. to the contrary it there is plenty of evidence that suggests Anthropogenic sources of CO2 are insignificant in their effect.

    The developing world is better off using coal and gas for electricity production. The modern Western coal or gas fired power stations are extremely clean burning. Scrubbers are very efficient at removing sulphur compounds and other pollutants.

    I agree that Nuclear power technologies must be developed, for that is the energy source of humanity’s far flung future….. But it will be hundreds of years before human society needs to rely on nuclear power generation as a replacement for hydro carbon based fuels.

  28. I like McKitrick’s idea of Earth Month. (sans the terrorist attack on the hospital) All of us would be so thankful when the power came back on. It would be fatal to “the cause.” More potent than any rhetoric. Make it mandatory.It would be the environmentalist’s last will and testimony. It would be their last exercise of political will.

  29. Great piece. I agree with the annual reprint.
    Glad I looked at WUWT this morning. I might have missed Earth Hour all together. In the US EDT it happens during the NCAA basketball semifinal. Now, which is more important?
    I sometimes can’t fathom the enviro’s. It is a sign of wealth and a life of relative comfort, wealth and idiocy that they can preach the things they do. I also notice that the most fervent enviro doesn’t give up his comfort. I was 10 (1957) before I slept in a bedroom that was heated. I didn’t really suffer because feather beds and quilts handled the eastern NC winters, but one learns not to dawdle getting dressed when you wake up with snow on the covers. We had indoor plumbing but some of my relatives didn’t. Some got water from pitcher pumps, sometimes the pumps were even in the kitchen. Farm work was a bit less machine assisted way back then. I didn’t have AC until the ’70’s. I remember folks in iron lungs. Not much before my time, no electricity meant that you didn’t eat a lot of fresh or “fresh frozen” foods. My son was born with an atrial septal defect (blue baby). In the ’80’s the surgery wasn’t that big a deal. In the ’50’s it was. I didn’t suffer from the life without all the modern conveniences way back then, but life expectancy was lower, people lived much harder lives, the water and air were more polluted. My cell phone has about as much, or more, computing power than the IBM 370 I used getting a doctorate in x-ray crystallography.

    All this made possible by the growth of cheap, abundant and available energy. And the environmental loons want to feel guilty and get in their way back machines to return to those thrilling days of yesteryear. Neither my mother nor grandmother thought the good old days were all that good and they certainly didn’t want to go back. My mother said that she was going to spend my inheritance staying warm in the winter and cool in the summer and when that ran out, she’d be knocking on my front door. :)

  30. I first came across Ross McKitrick’s excellent essay a couple of years ago, and send it to my warmiest pals on this day each year. It makes them very, very angry, but this mainly seems to be because they are quite unable to disagree with any of the individual propositions in it.

    When I ask them why it upsets them so much, they just splutter stuff like “the whole thing is just wrong!!” Yet going through it line by line, they cannot seem to identify specifically where the problem is.

    Congratulations, Ross McKitrick. This devastating critique hits the nail on the head with style and panache. If there is an Earth Hour next year, it will be doing the rounds again.

  31. Many of the things you say are correct but for energy in general, not just for electricity.

    Under the current tax structure and an inelastic energy marketplace, government has a self interest in maintaining high energy prices. Higher prices generate higher energy business profits and therefore higher income tax revenue on those profits. That places government squarely against the expansion of energy resources and therefore against us the consumers – the voters.

    I have a very simple idea that would dismantle that linkage and radically alter government’s position into one championing low prices, more competition and higher energy utilization – completely abandon taxation of corporate energy profits and instead collect only a PER UNIT ENERGY TAX.

    For vehicle fuels the taxing infrastructure is already there right at the pump in the form of the highway tax! Instead of taxing Exxon’s profit which just gets tacked on to the price at the pump anyway, tax only the fuel itself at the pump. If government collected say, (I’m guessing at the number), an additional 20 cents per gallon at the gasoline pump instead of taxing the equivalent amount that would represent the tax on Exxon’s profit.

    With that model the government will want us to find ways to utilize MORE energy not less. They will be on our side to increase competition as a means to LOWER energy prices. They will favor opening more federal land and off-shore reserves for exploration. It would put government back on OUR side of the equation.

    (Yes, this idea will smother government interest in fuel efficiency but that was, is and will always continue to be in the self interest of the consumer in a FREE market. )

  32. MindBuilder says:

    March 31, 2012 at 1:35 am

    Turning on every electrical item in your house could overheat your electrical system. Household electrical systems aren’t designed to handle everything at once, especially if you have an older house and many more electrical items than people had back when your house was designed. Yes, if your breakers are all working right, you’ll probably be OK, but it is still a small but significant risk. Anthony, please post a warning about this after the article.

    Speaking as an electrician, if your electrics aren’t designed to cope with having everything on then they’re functionally inadequate and consequently dangerous. An older house can be forgiven for having inadequate wiring but anything built in the last 15 years should have been designed to provide enough slack for every room to have all its lights on and a major appliance running in each one. It’s simple safety; more to the point it’s written in the regs, and I stick to those particular regs like glue because I don’t want my work causing house fires.

  33. And to all you radical liberals out there – coal saved our forests and crude oil saved the whales.

  34. Energy Hour – Switch on all the lights

    A tribute to the miners, drillers and energy workers around the globe who do a dangerous job providing the electricity and energy that enables our modern living standards.

  35. Apart from electricity certainly NOT being cheap in Australia, you certainly don’t seem to understand the reason behind Earth Hour, which is far more about A: overuse of and getting people thinking about it B: and the production / fossil fuels etc.

    Also a mere hour will not hurt at all. The following excerpt, shows you are also steeped in a sexist way of thinking, for a start. Once again, it IS only an hour… your whole attitude is not even in line with the whole global ideal of carbon footprints.

    “Giving women the freedom to work outside the home depended on the availability of electrical appliances that free up time from domestic chores. Getting children out of menial labour and into schools depended on the same thing, as well as the ability to provide safe indoor lighting for reading”.

    I could rave on more, but I’ll leave it there.. to think you teach, anywhere… is beyond me… chauvinist, and obviously not concerned on the future of our planet.

    Sasha

  36. “peter_ga says:
    March 31, 2012 at 2:44 am”

    I think you need to do some more research regarding Uranium reserves. If all power was derived from burning Uranium, the reserves in Australia alone would last only 35 years or so. That’s not a good prospect. There’s ~500 years of discovered coal reserves in Austalia alone. Time to stop being silly with the CO2 bogeyman, use it while developing Thorium.

  37. Don’t give Earth Hour the oxygen of even protesting against it. Just ignore it and it will go away.

    I had a large group of friends over to celebrate my birthday and it was never once mentioned in the conversation.

  38. Can we adapt Dylan Thomas? Don’t go gentle into that good night/…/Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

  39. “Anyone who wants to see local conditions improve in the third world should realize the importance of access to cheap electricity from fossil-fuel based power generating stations. After all, that’s how the west developed” – What!? What about other kinds of cheep electricty? You are looking backwards man!

  40. So whoever scheduled Earth Hour in the middle of Final Four games? I for one will leave all the lights on when I go out to watch my team play!!

  41. Sasha, are you seriously trying to deny that the availability of labour-saving devices was a major force in freeing women from their enforced traditional role as housekeeper?

    Are you are of why that role existed? Man are generally bigger and stronger, and thus were more suited to the labour work that constituted the majority of work available for most of history. Women were thus placed in the “traditional” role by simple virtue of the fact that someone had to do it. When electricity came along and started providing a way to supplement and then replace traditional male occupations and then providing labour-saving devices in traditional female occupations, the necessity for men to be the breadwinner began to disappear and women began to find freedom in the same way that millions of men found greater freedom when relieved of the once necessary drudgery of manual labour.

    No, it didn’t happen overnight. No, it wasn’t the only element that caused the change, but it was a huge part of it.

    Pointing this out isn’t misogynist. Attempting to deny it just shows you’re living in a fantasy world that thinks it’s still the 1950s. You are not oppressed except in your own mind.

  42. Great statement Ross. I have not heard nor seen a single thing regarding E.H. this year, is it today the 31st?

  43. afreestyler says:
    … which is far more about A: overuse of and getting people thinking about it B: and the production / fossil fuels etc.

    Why can’t you understand the implication of a world political entity declaring their authority over us with this proclamation of ‘over use’? Life expectancy started increasing dramatically with the introduction of coal and, later, with electricity from coal, starting about 150 years ago. At what point did energy mysteriously start being ‘over used’?

    Go ahead freestyler, pick the date on the life expectancy chart where you would have STOPPED increasing life expectancy because that was the point in time that ‘use’ crossed the line over into your perceived nonsense of ‘overuse’?

  44. “Also a mere hour will not hurt at all. The following excerpt, shows you are also steeped in a sexist way of thinking, for a start. Once again, it IS only an hour… your whole attitude is not even in line with the whole global ideal of carbon footprints.”
    I’ll take your points seriously at face value Sasha and then ask you a serious question as a result. Clearly there are more important people than you or I, so deeply concerned about the whole global ideal of carbon footprints and yet wouldn’t you say it is rather facile of them to simply recommend a tokenistic Earth Hour to return to candles or whatever? Wouldn’t it be more important for such people at the commanding heights of such concern (ie Obama, Gore, Pachauri, Mann, Hansen, Gleick, McKibben,etc, etc) to set a glowing example to all we skeptics and moral laggards and undertake forthwith that they will no longer work in a climate controlled atmosphere but dress for the occasion and face nature the way our grandparents did, all for the sake of the grandchildren? Wouldn’t that be the shining example to set to all those who work in the great outdoors or in non climate controlled workshops and factories? Why don’t they lead instead of scold us Sasha and what about yourself setting such an example from now on?

  45. McKitrick says it for me. If my lifelong interest in electronics has taught me anything, it is the astounding ubiquity and utility of electricity. It’s the single best thing we’ve ever done for ourselves, and any sanctimonious fool who expects me to pretend it’s evil will get a very short answer (maximum two words, the second of which is ‘off’).

    I shall be sinking a few vodkas and orange and watching some visual distraction on the PC. On a CRT monitor, natch.

  46. Kenneth J:

    At March 31, 2012 at 5:17 am you say:

    ““Anyone who wants to see local conditions improve in the third world should realize the importance of access to cheap electricity from fossil-fuel based power generating stations. After all, that’s how the west developed” – What!? What about other kinds of cheep electricty? (sic) You are looking backwards man!”

    ———————————————————————————————————————————

    You are talking about nuclear power, aren’t you?

    Or have you found some other source of cheap electricity; fairies at the bottom of your garden, perhaps?

    Richard

  47. Echoing comments from another thread on Canada, I suggest all Canadians turn all their INSIDE lights on at 8.30 pm. Just about all the energy from light bulbs goes to heating our houses, and it is still cold here in Canada, That way we can protest this nonsense, and not waste any energy.

  48. “So whoever scheduled Earth Hour in the middle of Final Four games?”

    Well naturally if you’re going to choose a tokenistic hour for lights out and climate controls off, you’ll pick the optimum change of seasons as well as after the dinner is cooked so the Sashas of the world will not be too inconvenienced. Here in South Australia in the Southern Hemisphere we will be winding our clocks back an hour to end summer daylight saving at midnight while in the Northern Hemisphere you’ll be about to head into Summer. All very convenient for a bit of global tokenism and feelgood for the year before business as usual.

  49. Maurizio Morabito (omnologos) says:
    March 31, 2012 at 12:29 am

    Ross is wrong. “Nature” is also what humans make of it. A nice urban landscape including great architecture is as natural as a rainforest.

    The dichotomy humans/nature is after all what brought us to demonizing humans, with loons dreaming up our return to some feral state.

    I guess we should say, “I like visiting THE WILD but I don’t want to live there”

    Or, I like visiting the wild AND, will live there when I retire.

    There, fixed it for you.

    Escaping from the city/pleasant valley suburbia filled with stupid people with city/suburban values is the thing my wife are most looking forward to in our golden years.

  50. Kenneth J, Hey man you been smoking the WWF weed again? I bet its real cheep man.
    26 min to go and I am turning on ALL my lights, TV and anything that uses power.

  51. afreestyler says:
    March 31, 2012 at 4:39 am
    Once again, it IS only an hour…

    In that case, why not give twenty bucks to the next person you see on the street? It’s only money…

    …your whole attitude is not even in line with the whole global ideal of carbon footprints.

    If someone tells you he can calculate a carbon footprint, he’ll also expect you to believe he inherited this fantastic bridge linking Brooklyn and Manhattan and he’d be willing to sell it to you because he *likes* you…

  52. Earth Hour is a meaningless symbolism. It’s really about the Greenies themselves and their emotions — about the Greenies feeling all nice and warm and fuzzy inside about themselves. In other words, its about being emotionally self-centered, and the rest of us are supposed to play along to make this nice, emotionally satisfying picture complete. There is really no other way to explain Earth Hour because it does next to nothing for Mother Gaia.

  53. As I do every year, I am ignoring Earth hour. As with almost all the other emotional appeals by the various pressure groups, I simply turn THEM off rather than listen to a word they say.

  54. Seriously? The intent of Earth Hour was not to celebrate our dark ages. In fact ask any environmentalist (or whoever began the Earth Hour campaign) and they would agree that electricity has many wonderful benefits and has made monumental impact on the advancement of our civilization. I am afraid you got all “in your face” without noticing that the Earth Hour campaign does not seem to be arguing that fact. The campaign is merely reminding people that this is a resource that has some (not all) negative impact on the Planet. That’s all. Some negative (and scientifically proven) impact. The campaign is suggesting one hour – out of our 8760 hours in a year – to reflect on that. Don’t want to? Fine. No need to rage on about how an awareness campaign is anti progress and anti women, just keep doing whatcha do. (Hey isn’t Earth Hour a great chance to teach our young kids about how things used to be? I think it is beneficial for them to experience a life without t.v, phone, video games for one hour. The added benefit – it is just a fun way to get together: families playing board games by candlelight instead of each in their own bedrooms watching movies, people getting together and talking or playing instruments or cards. Curious – when was the last time you did that? Just hung out with your family without outside noise, in the calm, peace and stillness?) The only people participating are not alarmists as suggested in a comment above but determining that a small simple 1-hour act of awareness “demonizes electricity” sounds pretty radical to me. Just sayin’.

  55. Whenever I hear about cheap/available electricity being demonized, I always thought of this quote:
    “Giving women the freedom to work outside the home depended on the availability of electrical appliances that free up time from domestic chores. Getting children out of menial labour and into schools depended on the same thing, as well as the ability to provide safe indoor lighting for reading.”

    But I could never remember where I read it !!!
    Now I will.
    Thanks Ross !!

  56. The modern, time-saving, lifestyle-enhancing electrical devices I have lined up for use this Earth Hour: Dishwasher, Self-Cleaning Oven, Clothes Dryer, Spa-bathtub, Computer, Water Heater, Security Lights, Furnace, Ceiling Fan…

    Looking forward to it. ;-)

  57. I just stood on my roof at watched what happened in Saigon at 8.30…. Nothing, not one single light went out, not one. Here in Viet Nam the WWF says “Vietnam is considered one of most affected country in the world because of the climate change, due to the long coastline and is oriented to the storm, cyclone, rainfall and frequent changes to. The phenomenon of climate change will affect some natural systems of Vietnam, the economy as well as the entire population.

    Evidence of the phenomenon of climate change can be clearly seen in Vietnam. The average temperature has risen 0.5 ° C and sea level rise 20 cm over 50 years ago. The negative climate phenomena such as rainfall, drought and floods occur with increasing intensity greater than in Vietnam.”

    See that 200mm sea rise and .5C in 50 years, lol I bet there is no so called peer reviewed paper on that one. WWF just tells lies all the time.

  58. afreestyler says:
    March 31, 2012 at 4:39 am

    well, what a demonstration of chauvinism from ignorance you have shown.

    In 3rd world communities women are housebound and pregnant due to the abject povety they are trapped in. The whole point is to free them from that subsistance level of poverty that condems them to being trapped in the cycle of wretched subsistance living.
    They tend to be pregnant because the culture demands children, whose mortality rate can be over 50% before achieving the age of 5. So they breed, as much to replace the dead children as to provide for their old. age – which is reached long before they are 50.
    Of course, with no cheap clean power, mortality in child birth is astronomical.

    But don’t worry, after all, YOU live in the first world and have the luxury of NOT being a human brood mare, with a low life expectancy, wasted in a life of abject povety. Whose greatest aspiration is not to starve (or freeze) to death next winter.

    You, Sasha, have missed the whole point of why “Earth Hour” is such a chauvenist, champaign socialist idiotic waste of space.

    Your attitude is far more damaging to the potential aspirations of 3rd world women than any amount of perceived sexual bias and intolerance you and your fellow travelers seem able to conjure out of thin air could ever do !

    Lack of cheap power CAUSES poverty.
    Poverty agravates sexual inequality, and is disastorous for women.

  59. I think electricity is great! That’s why I like to show respect for it by participating in a symbolic act like this. It’s how it’s abused that’s at issue here. (And, BTW, I too hate the light pollution that comes from said abuse.)
    Grow up! Be a good example to your kids and quit whinging about every little thing that makes this “ill-defined abstraction called “the Earth”” a little better place, just because it doesn’t suit your masters.

    p.s. I like oil too. It’s quite a precious commodity. I’d like to see some of it left on the planet for use by my grandchildrens’ grandchildren.

  60. How many Jewish mothers does it take to change a light bulb?

    None.

    “Don’t worry about me. I’ll just sit here in the dark while you go out and have fun.”

  61. Anthony:

    Reposted here though the one or two people a day who view it are probably already convinced!

    http://johneggert.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/earth-hour/

    I also agree with Maurizio when he says “Nature” is also what humans make of it.

    Beavers alter their habitat for survival as well. We and our alterations to our habitat are no less a part of nature than the beaver’s. We are just smarter and better at it than beavers are.

    Cheers

    JE

  62. Absent reliable, available energy life is “nasty, brutish and short”. One out of three isn’t bad. At least, it’s short.

    I will accept the emergency nature of modifying one’s carbon footprint when the attendees at a world environmental conference arrive by sail. No, I do not accept the symbolism of bicycling from the hotel.

    I suppose I could shut off my lights for an hour and watch the Final Four game by whale oil lamp. After all, it’s the symbolism that counts.

  63. I’m terribly sorry, but I just have to laugh every time I hear some dipsh1t say “save electricity”. Save electricity? for what? a raining day? One would be hard pressed to say anything more stupid.

    I don’t “save” electricity, I use as much electricity as I can afford. I use electricity to work for me, to liberate me and to make my life better. I use electricity to try to make the lives of others better. I use as much electricity as I can.

    Want to look stupid? … just say “save electricity”

  64. Although Earth Hour is merely a vacuous attempt by some mega consumers to make themselves feel better through proclaiming their “awareness”, a much more profound example of “doing without” is unfolding in the UK.

    Ministers are under pressure to invoke emergency powers giving 999 vehicles priority at filling stations after it emerged that ambulance drivers have been struggling to get hold of fuel.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/fuel/9177397/Ministers-under-pressure-to-bring-in-emergency-rationing-as-999-crews-struggle-to-get-hold-of-fuel.html

    Serious and even tragic stuff, and yet I couldn’t help noticing…

    Mr. Pickles and Mr. Balls?

  65. By the way, Earth Hour really has nothing at all to do with electricity. The symbolism of turning off lights is not demonizing the electricity which powers them. It is symbolizing unity with the concept of anthropomorphic global warming, and how humans need to do something immediately about this grave danger to the entire world. The whole point is to have some of our space-based cameras observe, from the difference in lighting between yesterday and today, how many people are supporting this concept of saving the world from humanity’s sins. Personally, I think this is all hogwash, smoke and mirrors, and the triumph of political will over useful idiots. But I found this link to a CNN news article, which describes what the Earth Hour people want to do and see:

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/31/world/asia/earth-hour-preview/index.html

  66. Earth hour doesn’t demonise electricity. I find McKitricks’ rant against it pretty sour-hearted. Earth hour is not so small or bloody-minded. It doesn’t make any material impact, but that is so not the point. It is part of the great tradition of symbolic acts in society, and it speaks well of humanity that it has come about at this time in our civilization/s and that it has such widespread appeal.

    Earth hour is about conservation. It is about acknowledging that resources are finite. It is about affirming public willingness to protect the environment. It is about reminding ourselves to waste less.

    It is entirely peaceful, almost romantic. And it happens all over the world. It’s like a serene vigil for the planet.

    It’s voluntary. You don’t have to do it, no one is going to punish you if you leave the lights on. It’s not risky. No one gets hurt.

    Of all the world wide traditions – christmas, Birthdays, New Year’s (of various calendars), this fine addition has a gentle demeanour, in a canon that is more odften rowdy and bawdy. All of it is great, and Earth hour adds some nice variety.

  67. How about the people trying to do better for themselves by building more power generation?

    http://www.nairaland.com/754092/federal-government-plans-3-coal-fired

    Interesting discussion – so what is stopping/delaying the Nigerians from build their power plants that would free people, the very same people I image are burning “twigs and dung”? Greenpeace? Enviro-nuts? Foreign intervention? Earth Hour Enthusiasts? Nope. Looks like simple government corruption from reading the discussion comments.

    Now, Why isn’t this corruption better monitored and more well known? And I suppose before I get too indignant about political practices in Nigeria concerning energy policy, I should not forget Solyndra et al right here at home…

    Earth hour is a stupid, pointless exercise aimed, I would maintain, at distracting us from the very real issue of poor governance, poor husbandry of energy resource, and unfair, utterly irrational energy distribution of energy resource.

  68. Well, I’ll be offsetting one idiot, because I have TWO houses to light up tonight!;)
    The whole “earth hour” is another “feel good” WASTE! we won’t be saving anything! We will be DUMPING generated electricity. And to make matters worse (in Ontario) the IWT’s get priority over other (CHEAPER!) forms of power generation!
    So in the end, we will be paying MORE money just to dump(waste) the power.

  69. afreestyler says:
    March 31, 2012 at 4:43 am
    “It would also not surprise me if you disallowed the prior comment… as it is ‘anti’ your post, and I’m a female… Have a Happy Day.”

    afreestyler appears to be an intolerant feminist. Your comments betray your privileged, limited and imature view of life. Try visiting a middle eastern culture before you embarrass yourself with future comments.

  70. Folks,

    Some posters are trying to re-invent Earth hour as something harmless and inoccuous.

    Most people, including Ross and myself, are under the impression that the idea behind switching everything off for an hour was meant as an act of contrition – similar to the acts of penance meeted out by the Catholic Church; making attonement; reflecting on the harm of your ways; showing solidarity with the “planet”.

    But then Sofullife tells us that Ross gets it all wrong: “I am afraid you got all “in your face” without noticing that the Earth Hour campaign does not seem to be arguing that fact. The campaign is merely reminding people that this is a resource that has some (not all) negative impact on the Planet. That’s all. Some negative (and scientifically proven) impact. The campaign is suggesting one hour – out of our 8760 hours in a year – to reflect on that.”

    So, we have a global movement that is organising a global 1-hour switching off of non-essential power, simply to remind us that there are “some (not all) negative impacts.”

    Why then, isn’t there a global road safety group that organises that everyone leave their cars at home for 1 hour because of the negative impacts of road travel?

    Why isn’t there a movement that organises a “day of fasting” to make everyone aware of some of the negative impacts that agriculture has on the planet?

    Why not a “no eating fish week” to remind people of the undeniable damage caused by overfishing?

    The reason is because there is absolutely no point in organising and performing any of these events merely to “remind people that there is some negative impact.” Everybody who doesn’t live in a cave knows these things already. The only reason for such a dramatic gesture is to try to manufacture a seismic shift in behaviour. In other words, to persuade people to make huge changes to their lifestyles. Any other explanation fails the sniff test.

    Now, how would you go about engineering such a behavioural shift? Do you go on about how “they would agree that electricity has many wonderful benefits and has made monumental impact on the advancement of our civilization.” as Sofulllife would have us believe?

    Absolutely not! You have to induce a sense of collective guilt. You have to persuade that energy use – electricity use – is a sickness on the planet, making our Mother Gaia ill. That’s what all this nonsense over carbon footprints is about – it is a measure of the sin of each member of the human race.

    And it doesn’t stop with fossil fuels. The only reason Greens allow solar and wind power, is because they are so completely useless. If ever a cheap, abundant source of sustainable emission free energy became available – eg polywell fusion or Thorium fission, what do you think would happen? Who was it who said “Giving mankind a source of cheap, abundant energy would be like giving an idiot child a machine gun.” Hint: it wasn’t a climate sceptic.

  71. @ afreestyler

    “..you certainly don’t seem to understand the reason behind Earth Hour, which is far more about A: overuse of and getting people thinking about it ..”

    I’ll just put this in simple words: You CAN’T ‘overuse’ energy. If you think you can, tell us how much energy use is ‘right’?

    We use a lot more energy per head than our fathers did. Our children will use a lot more per head than we do. Read Julian Simon’s cornucopia theory…

  72. “evanmjones says:
    March 31, 2012 at 7:22 am”

    All oil is renewable, just takes some oils a bit longer than whale oil.

  73. @tokyoboy
    “Ummm…. something must be wrong with the right bottom corner of the night satellite photo, because it covers such fairly big cities as Hiroshima (population 1.18 million), Okayama (710,000), Kurashiki (480,000), Shimonoseki (280,000), and Kure (240,000); why are all these in complete darkness???”

    There is a better picture of the Korean and Japan night lights here: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/dprk/dprk-dark.htm

    Still only Pyongyang really shows any lights…After all all can’t expect “Dear Leader” to go without can we?

  74. Can we just switch off Al Gore, achy icky Mann, Phil Jones, James Hansen, etc. instead? Would give the world a far more beneficial result.

  75. My nuclear family and I used to spend our summers on an island off the coast of Maine. Nine fireplaces and 50 kerosene lamps were used a lot. But, the 100 year old 8000 sq ft house with two children would have been unmanageable without a diesel generator to allow a clothes washer and dryer and vacuum cleaner. On rainy days and some late evenings we had a small TV/video tape player and a laptop computer (no Internet). Refrigeration and stove were propane.

    I was great living there. We thoroughly enjoyed the land and ocean and the kids really learned to appreciate how different, but still good life can be with little or not electricity. However, we ALL appreciated and loved to get back to our modern home and enjoy the progress!

  76. I believe in God and freely admit that I have no hard proof that God exists. Earth Hour is for those who believe in CAGW but with the difference in that they refuse to acknowledge there is no hard proof that CAGW exists. So it is a ‘faith’ of sorts to them and they must show penance to their false god in order to both feeeel like they are faithful in some way meaningful way in their little minds and to show others that they are faithful. What better way could there be for them than to turn their lights off?

    What I do NOT understand is why they do not just leave them off? Isn’t turning them back on a form of heresy?. If they really think CO2 is going to hurt the planet then WHY do they still use gasoline cars, take trips in kerosene airplanes and burn natural gas to stay warm? They must be miserably laden with guilt and self-hate doing those things? I pity them.

  77. peter_ga says:
    March 31, 2012 at 2:44 am

    Obviously the developed nations rely on fossil fuel powered electricity. While accepting that the negative effects of co2 emissions are probably exagerated, I would prefer some sort of international effort be made to implement nuclear powered electricity generation in developing nations. Some sort of scheme should be set up so that for the cost of a fossil fuel powered station a nuclear power station be installed instead…..
    _________________________–
    The possibility is there but the %^$%# rent seeking power mongers that run the world are only interest in money and power over everyone else not in a better life for humanity.

    The idea you are looking for is the self-contained thorium mini-reactor. A Research reactor was proven in 1954 and a reactor was operated for four years by Oak Ridge Nuclear Laboratory ( ORNL) from 1965 to 1969.

    ….Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, and Argonne national laboratories are designing a self-contained nuclear reactor with tamper-resistant features. Called SSTAR (small, sealed, transportable, autonomous reactor), this next-generation reactor will produce 10 to 100 megawatts electric and can be safely transported on ship or by a heavy-haul transport truck… http://www.thorium.tv/en/thorium_reactor/thorium_reactor_1.php

    Small Nuclear Power Reactors (Updated 22 March 2012)

    ….HTRs can potentially use thorium-based fuels, such as highly-enriched or low-enriched uranium with Th, U-233 with Th, and Pu with Th. Most of the experience with thorium fuels has been in HTRs (see information paper on Thorium).

    With negative temperature coefficient of reactivity (the fission reaction slows as temperature increases) and passive decay heat removal, the reactors are inherently safe. HTRs therefore do not require any containment building for safety. They are sufficiently small to allow factory fabrication, and will usually be installed below ground level.

    Three HTR designs in particular – PBMR, GT-MHR and Antares/ SC-HTGR – were contenders for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) project in the USA (see Next Generation Nuclear Plant section in the information page on US Nuclear Power Policy). In 2012 Antares was chosen. However, the only HTR project currently proceeding is the Chinese HTR-PM….. http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf33.html

    A bit of History on the reactors.

    research into a nuclear-powered airplane led to a stunning conceptual breakthrough in nuclear reactor design: a reactor whose fuel was entirely dissolved in chemically stable fluoride salts… The liquid fluoride reactor had tremendous safety and performance advantages over solid-fueled reactors, as well as a remarkable versatility in potential fuels. A proof-of-concept fluoride reactor was built and operated in 1954 at Oak Ridge. It was called the Aircraft Reactor Experiment (ARE), and it demonstrated that fluoride reactors had the chemical and nuclear stability that Briant and his colleagues had predicted….but the advent of intercontinental ballistic missiles led to cancellation of the nuclear aircraft in 1960.

    Dr. Alvin Weinberg, the director of ORNL and the inventor of the solid-fueled light water reactor (LWR), recognized the remarkable potential of the fluoride reactor and turned the attention of the fluoride reactor team from aircraft propulsion to terrestrial energy. He was particularly impressed with the ability of the fluoride reactor to safely and efficiently use thorium. Unlike any other reactor power source, a liquid form of thorium existed (thorium tetrafluoride, ThF4) that could be easily reprocessed to unlock thorium’s potential.

    In 1959, using his contacts in the AEC, Weinberg pushed for funding of a more advanced demonstration of fluoride reactor technology and was able to win funding for the second fluoride reactor: the Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE), which was built and operated by ORNL from 1965 to 1969….

    http://energyfromthorium.com/history.html

    Alvin Weinberg never gave up hopes of convincing the government to continue pursuing Thorium

    In a brief 1987 talk, R. G. Wymer of the ORNL Chemical Technology Division, described Weinberg’s passion for fluid fueled reactors.

    At Oak Ridge we were concentrating on the thorium fuel cycle. Alvin Weinberg, for many years the Director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is a great phrase maker. His dream was to “burn the rocks”, in “a pot, a pipe, and a pump”. By those rather fanciful phrases he meant that the thorium present in many granitic rocks throughout the world could, in a sense, be “burned” by incorporating it in a fluid fuel reactor…

    http://nucleargreen.blogspot.com/2011/01/alvin-weinberg-and-molten-salt-reactor.html

  78. Steinar Midtskogen says on March 31, 2012 at 1:28 am:

    Electricity is still a limited resource, so excessive use deserves criticism. Also, even if electricity were abundant, excessive lighting should still be criticised because of the light pollution it creates. Some might think that a well lit wilderness is a benefit, but others don’t and that should be respected. Just as you shouldn’t play loud music all night if your neighbours might mind.

    But Earth Hour isn’t about light pollution. It isn’t about saving electricity on a regular basis. …

    This is kind of an “Exhibition of lack-of-training that should have been received at home.”

    Should we ALL have received this ‘training’ (NOT to unlike, oh, say, potty training) , we would ALL being turning out unused lights … but apparently not ALL received this training; speaking for myself, Mom ALWAYS reminded us to “turn off lights you’re not using”. This, 45 plus years ago …

    Maybe ‘potty training’ needs to be re-addressed and see the light of ‘exposure’ in the public consciousness too? (Asked rhetorically and not in any way seriously … )

    .

  79. I have forwarded to my local Congressional rep. although she is a lost cause. Also to my state assemblyman, another lost cause. Does the consent given above allow me to include Ross’s essay in a letter to the editor of our local fish wrap aka newspaper with credit, of course?

    Thanks.

  80. So many people have different ideas about what earth hour is supposed to mean. I think Prof. McKitrick is spot on. We should be reveling in thankfulness for the blessing of electricity. Let our light shine in thankfulness.

    And should we shut off our electricity if we want to show our concern for those without electricity? I think the line from “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran sums up my feelings: “But you who are strong and swift, see that you do not limp before the lame, deeming it kindness.”

  81. archonix says:
    March 31, 2012 at 4:28 am

    Speaking as an electrician, if your electrics aren’t designed to cope with having everything on then they’re functionally inadequate and consequently dangerous. An older house can be forgiven for having inadequate wiring but anything built in the last 15 years should have been designed to provide enough slack for every room to have all its lights on and a major appliance running in each one. It’s simple safety; more to the point it’s written in the regs, and I stick to those particular regs like glue because I don’t want my work causing house fires.
    ——————————-
    In Canada the CEC section 8 applies demand factors as low as 10% in system sizing. This is based on the concept that it would be unlikely and difficult to use all circuits at full load at the same time. The design is based on normal operation with a safety factor. Many outlets are provided for convenience but the wiring cannot supply every one at full output simultaneously.
    A deliberate effort to fully load every circuit and outlet will definitely overload the system. Overcurrent devices should prevent any damage.

    ***The very real danger is that there may be loose or corroded connections or devices that could cause damage and fire. Also severe thermal cycling can cause loosening of lugs and buss connections leading to a fire later.

    Canadian house wiring is definitely NOT “designed to cope with having everything on”. Stress testing your wiring to make a political point is as dumb as Earth Hour.

  82. Well stated Ross.

    Few people realize just how much civilization is dependent on energy. The biggest difference between Eurasia and the Americas in development is strong beasts of burden (and the wheel).

    Horses brought about a dramatic change in the Indian Culture, but horses did not materially change the Indians hunter-gather lifestyle. Indians still did the same things in pretty much the same ways except now they used horses. The Spanish horse made it possible for American Indians to move onto the Plains and fully embrace the hunter-gatherer life style. In pre-horse days, women and dogs moved the camp. This limited the size of the shelters and the accumulation of belongings…… http://www.thefurtrapper.com/indian_horse.htm

    With the attack not only on energy but also on the use of animals such as oxen (cows) it would seem these idiots want to drive us back to the same level of civilization as American Indians. I sure hope they are good at flintknapping

  83. There is another advantage to the liquid salt cooled reactors that Gail Combs discussed above (Gail Combs says: March 31, 2012 at 10:39 am.) They can be located close to the customer such as a city, industrial facility, etc. thereby reducing the significant transmission line loss in the regional power grids.

  84. Well said and I agree with one quibble: why do we position ourselves outside of nature? Beavers build a dam, nature at work. Man builds a dam, a cancer on the face of the earth. Surely we are as much a part of nature as a beaver and that makes our creations part of nature. This planet is the way it is strictly because of nature and that includes human beings and the things we do (which frankly to me seem an improvement over the way things would be without man).

  85. If the RF spectrum (RADAR) was converted to light, the borders of NK and the area around Pyongyang would look like Las Vegas.

  86. You sir, are awesome.
    All of the infantile cry babies should go live in the third world. Indeed, I have. Try waking up in -20C and starting a fire. Try hauling water from a well, warming it up and bathing in your tent with it.

    [SNIP: We're not going to encourage that, even as satire or sarcasm. -REP]

    Do as I say, not as I do. Stroke my ego, make me feel good.

  87. squid2112 says:
    March 31, 2012 at 7:38 am
    I’m terribly sorry, but I just have to laugh every time I hear some dipsh1t say “save electricity”. Save electricity? for what? a raining day? One would be hard pressed to say anything more stupid.
    ============================================
    Same here !!
    When I hear those same dipsh1ts say we need to save petro for the next generation , I ask “Why, are they going to save it for their next generation?”
    It’s a resource !!
    Use the darn stuff !!

  88. Good article Ross. Thank you.

    I have worked much of my career in the Canadian and international energy industry.

    Occasionally, some imbecile will attack me and the energy industry, as evil doers who are destroying the planet.

    I respond that the energy industry keeps him and his family from freezing and starving to death.

    It is true – shut down the energy industry and few people would remain alive in Canada, the Northern USA or Northern Europe.

    In our specialized modern society, everything from heating our homes to our food supply is dependent on the energy industry.

    Allowing ignorant politicians to dictate energy strategy is like letting your four-year-old drive your car. Happy Motoring!

  89. RayG says:
    March 31, 2012 at 11:18 am

    There is another advantage to the liquid salt cooled reactors that Gail Combs discussed above (Gail Combs says: March 31, 2012 at 10:39 am.) They can be located close to the customer such as a city, industrial facility, etc. thereby reducing the significant transmission line loss in the regional power grids.

    The losses aren’t what you think they might be; not remotely ‘significant’. Engineering plays a part in this (maybe a surprise to the armchair quarterbacks in the group!) through the choice of operating parameters, such as keeping ohmic losses low through the use of low current flows which then necessitates the use of a proportionally higher voltage for a given amount of ‘power’ to be transferred.

    Still, the placement of facilities like a liquid-salt Th reactor might require placement near rail facilities (given the size and weight of components for a commercial-scale plant equipment; not everything can be brought in by truck over weight-limited vehicular roadways), and might require a contiguous land ‘footprint’ not available within an established metropolitan area, never mind the objections by that segment of population whose MO is outright rejection of anything even remotely ‘nuke’.

    .

  90. I thoroughly enjoyed this the first time I read this back when Mr. Mckittrick originally wrote it. It is as excellent now as it was then.

    I saw on the MSNBC (Moron State News Broadcast Company) link that the ISS is going to observe earth hour…what a pathetic and ignorant waste of tax payer dollars to achieve manned space flight and actually live in space (even LEO) and then pretend that we must shut off the lights to demonstrate some moronic care for an unfeeling unknowing gaia? Idiocy.

  91. i notice on the map how north korea is almost pitch dark with the exception of the tiny area around its capitol, and see how well lit south korea is but i also notice many lights off the coast of south korea and recall reading about the russins drilling some very deep water oil wells for them, could there be that many oil wells there to provide that much light? and if so the russians are quietly drilling for and extracting oil that is non organic and know other oil people told the koreans there was no oil there.

  92. “Earth Hour celebrates ignorance, poverty and backwardness.” I.e. “greenness”.

    By that definition, North Korea is either the greenest country around… or the coldest. Without power, their soul source of heat is wood. According to a U.K. study last year:

    The color of land in the two Koreas also shows the scars of the divided nation. Maplecroft, a U.K.-based risk consulting company, announced that deforestation in North Korea was the third worst in the world after Nigeria and Indonesia. By contrast, the U.N. rated South Korea’s forestation as the only successful case after World War II. Park Jong-hwa, a professor of environmental studies at Seoul National University, said that judging from NASA`s satellite images, 13,878 square kilometers or 11.3 percent of North Korean territory comprised deforested mountains. In seasons when all of South Korea is green with foliage, the North`s land in satellite images are spotted with brown dirt land. The Korea Forest Service of South Korea estimates that reforesting North Korea will require 4.9 billion trees

    http://english.donga.com/srv/service.php3?biid=2011112693788

    It would be interesting to know what the effects of the massive deforestation has been on their climate.

  93. From Gerard Vanderluen at American Digest

    http://americandigest.org/mt-archives/intellectually_insane/the_lights_are.php

    Click to Fade

    It looked as if a night of dark intent
    Was coming, and not only a night, an age.
    Someone had better be prepared for rage.
    There would be more than ocean-water broken
    Before God’s last Put out the Light was spoken.
    — Robert Frost, “Once By The Pacific”

    In 1914 Sir Edward Grey said to a friend one evening just before the outbreak of the First World War, as he watched the lights being lit on the street below his office: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”

    In that instance, it was the Great War that loomed. Now the Great Forgetting looms and, from time to time, it washes across the world. “Earth Hour” is such a dark moment as millions either choose to, or thanks to their compliant or complacent local governments suffer through, an hour in the dark.

    Once upon a time we knew enough to curse the darkness. In the aeons long climb from the muck, we have only had the ability to hold back the dark for a bit over a century. Now millions yearn to embrace it and, should they yearn long enough and hard enough, the darkness will embrace them and hold them for much longer than a brief hour of preening and self-regard.

    The Big Picture at the Boston Globe site routinely publishes stunning photographs of what is taking place in the world. But at editor Alan Taylor’s whim after last year’s “Earth Hour”, it went a step further in “celebrating” the rise of mass insanity in our age. “Earth Hour 2009″ presents a round-the-world tour of cities with each picture designed to fade from light into darkness at the click of a mouse. Proud of his clever variation on a theme, the editor’s instructions were — without a hint of irony:

    “[click image to see it fade]”
    Of course with a second mouse click the lights came back on. It never seems to occur to the people with the Green Disease, that is perfectly possible to

    [click civilization to see it fade]
    and get no second click.

    “Pater dimitte illis non enim sciunt quid faciunt.” (“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”) — Luke 23:34

    [Republished from 2009 because it's not worth spending new powder. And because I can't believe I almost forgot it was the sacred "Earth Hour." Oh, you did as well? Typical.]

    Vanderleun : March 31, 12

    Here’s the link to the photo essay he references

    http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/03/earth_hour_2009.html

  94. @Ross McKitrick
    ” …
    I like visiting nature but I don’t want to live there, …”

    Emphatically second that!

  95. One of the signs of human prosperity is the ability to get so much for so little. Earth Hour finished a less than an hour ago here in the UK. I decided to celebrate by seeing how much electricity I could consume without wasting, but by running everyday activities concurrently. My family of four has had the electric oven (with the Sunday roast), dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, iron, two PCs, a laptop and a 32″ television all running for an hour, as well as maybe ten light bulbs. The result was 4.2kwh of electricity usage. The maximum usage of all these things is nearer 15kw, so why the discrepancy? Human ingenuity, has created highly efficient devices. The oven only uses peak power for short periods, then maintains that power. The new washing machine uses around half the power of my old one purchased 20 years ago, and the dryer (with heat exchanger) less than a third of the old conventional one purchased 10 years ago. The iron is the same. They do this by using peak power in short bursts, and waste the heat less. Some will say that is a result of carbon credits and carbon taxes. They would be more than 90% wrong. Efficiency is spurred on by higher costs (the biggest of which is the recent rise in the oil price), but even if there were no rising energy taxes or oil prices, then incentives of getting more for less is still there.

  96. Vince Causey says:
    March 31, 2012 at 9:06 am
    “Folks,
    Some posters are trying to re-invent Earth hour as something harmless and inoccuous.
    Most people, including Ross and myself, are under the impression that the idea behind switching everything off for an hour was meant as an act of contrition – similar to the acts of penance meeted out by the Catholic Church; making attonement; reflecting on the harm of your ways; showing solidarity with the “planet”.”

    Thank you Vince for putting it so clear.
    Where would we be without electrical energy? All our civilisation is based on energy.
    To barry (barry says above: March 31, 2012 at 8:34 am)
    yes, resources are finite but with human inventivity we have done much to expand and increase our finite resources. We have options, viable options like Thorium and gas which can guarantee us and our children a good life. With help of technology we have moved away from the hard life that some 20% of the world population still have to endure without electricity.
    There is no catastrophe that we bring to our world improving our lives. Quite the contrary, all countries which have managed to pass the energy threshold have their population under control, only slowly increasing or decreasing without any need for draconic rules, have greatly improved their environment, can take care and spend time and money on nature and can even help the not so lucky ones which still live under energy poverty.
    The celebration of the energy hour is much more important. Look at North Korea and try to understand.

  97. _Jim says:
    March 31, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    “The losses aren’t what you think they might be; not remotely ‘significant’.”

    A very interesting assertion. From everything I’ve seen transmission and distribution losses, even though improving, still account for much more than the entire generation contribution from nonhydro renewables. I guess there is a case to be made that neither is really “significant.”

  98. It is amusing to me that if one is using the combined
    Mozilla/Bing interface, the screen they show today is
    the Eiffel Tower all lit up at night.

  99. Many of the world’s poor suffer brutal environmental conditions in their own homes because of the necessity of cooking over indoor fires that burn twigs and dung. This causes local deforestation and the proliferation of smoke- and parasite-related lung diseases.

    Ross cites the problem of deforestation in a powerless world.

    The Hansen-endorsed hypothesis of William Ruddiman is that deforested lands are hotter. Whatever effect CO2 has on climate and temperature, forests do tend to be cooler places. Beyond the humanitarian reasons that Ross cites, one might expect “greens” to prefer an “energized” North Korea to “save the planet” from warming. (More forests gobble up the evil CO2, and hence cool the world.) Another point worth making: the wealthier the average people of any state grow, the more stable and predictable that nation becomes. Of course, the future of North Korea has til now lain in the hands of their autocratic leaders. If the “dear leader” wants backwardness and dependency, they’ve proven they can maintain that debased state. Unless the new Kim turns out to be wiser than the last, another generation of North Koreans may live and die in the dark in that awful place.

  100. In the interest of saving the Earth, might I propose that ‘Dearth Hour’ by followed by Un-Invent the Wheel Hour? With additional follow-on displays of collective stupidity, Humanity can have one enormous flask of Kool-ade that will undoubtedly ‘save The Planet’.

  101. This morning i was driving my car to work and the news on the radio mentioned the “earth hour” issue. When they mentioned that we do this to ‘save the earth’ i almost hit a tree..

  102. I’m going to do my level best to save Ontario from having to pay the US and Quebec to take our excess unused energy. Unfortunately I can’t run my furnace and air-conditioner at the same time, and I fear my effort will not be enough.

  103. Our family ignored the first global earth hour. Our next door neighbours kindly knocked on our door during the ‘celebration’ to remind us that our lights should be off. My husband, showing unusual restraint, did not reply in kind with another directive that uses the word ‘off’.

    Something has happened between 2008 and today. This year the dimwits next door are not sitting in the dim.

  104. Checking the electricity operator website here in Ontario – power usage has actually spiked up!

  105. Ontario electricity usage is currently 500 MW above forecast! Keep those ovens cleanin!

  106. “You CAN’T ‘overuse’ energy.”

    This, and similar comments upthread, imply a certainty that fossil fuels (humanity’s main source of energy) are an infinite resource. I suppose this must be ‘settled science.’

  107. I despise westerners who have the luxury of indulging in such naive celebrations like Earth Day. Until these people understand what life is like without electricity, they will never understand. I challenge every one of them to go one week (not one hour) without electricity. They’ll then understand. And they’ll probably then start thinking of what millions of people in poverty stricken Africa must endure… not over a week… over their whole life.

  108. I forgot about this non-event until this reminded me, so I had to dash around the house turning on the lights – with special emphasis on the outside lights.

  109. I was going to say that it is an upper middle class phenomenom, until I saw this link to the australian News site.

    Libya’s Martyrs’ Square, a focal point for the 2011 revolution, will join Earth Hour for the first time.

    Parts of Iraq and Afghanistan will also take part and Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers will turn off lights on the International Space Station.

    Should do wonders for undercover activities in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Local ad man Todd Sampson who started this game in 2007 seems to be getting cold feet.

    “It’s not designed and it would be foolhardy to believe that switching a light switch (off) will save the planet,” Earth Hour co-founder Todd Sampson said.

    “It was originally done to raise awareness; to get people to think about it and then take action in many different ways.

    “I think scepticism is part of the debate; it moves everything forward.”

    “I’d probably say just to remind everyone to remain vigilant,” a spokesman said.

    Police seem to think so too…..

    NSW Police have urged householders to be vigilant about their property as the lights go off during Earth Hour.

    “I’d probably say just to remind everyone to remain vigilant,” a spokesman said.

  110. “I despise westerners who have the luxury of indulging in such naive celebrations like Earth Day”

    Indeed? If I think of the energy deficient communites around the world, the Western attitudes that I find most distasteful are those upthread that celebrate progligacy and spite – those that switch all the lights on when they don’t need to.

    Did you know that 5200 cities and towns in 130 countries participated last year, including a great many poorer communities for whom blackouts are a daily or weekly occurence?

    http://www.altiusdirectory.com/Society/earth-hour-participating-countries.html

    In commnities where energy supply is not a constantly running faucet, Earth Hour has more immediate significance than for energy-rich societies. You apprehension nmay be misplaced. I wonder, have you spoken to anyone from these parts? Or have you read comments from the people you refer to?

    We in the most developed countries certainly lead far more luxurous lifestyles than most other people in the world. In the comfort of our cosseted lives, it is as easy to condescend as it is to shed crocodile tears. The most common abuse of our vaunted position is to use conditions of the poor and disenfranchised elsewhere in the world as a political football. Soundbytes in blog comments, of any variety, rarely do justice to the realities.

    So much hate in this thread.

  111. afreestyler says:
    March 31, 2012 at 4:39 am

    I could rave on more, but I’ll leave it there.. to think you teach, anywhere… is beyond me… chauvinist, and obviously not concerned on the future of our planet.

    Sasha

    To paraphrase Dan Aykroyd,

    “Sasha, you [SNIP: Way too abusive. Let's not do this. -REP]..”

    Dr. McKitrick is quite correct. Until abundant energy became available the abuses of women and children, both in an out of the workplace, were common. Only through the civilizing influence and progress made achievable by the widespread implementation of electrical power has it been possible to free man (and woman) kind to pursue happiness. But if you knew anything about history – at all – you’d already know that.

  112. Local ad man Todd Sampson who started this game in 2007 seems to be getting cold feet.

    “It’s not designed and it would be foolhardy to believe that switching a light switch (off) will save the planet,”

    No, he’s just being consistent. The organisers never pretended that turning off the lights around the world would have a meaningful impact on actual CO2 emissions. It has always been about endorsing and sending a message, specifically to mitigate CO2 emissions, although the event has a broader symbolism.

  113. Fun that BBC had no mention of Earth hour on theitr website. The CBC did but they are gettting a rollicking in the comments. I had my lights on which is a crying shame. Jupiter, the crescent moon and venus were specacular tonight. Would have been good to get the telescopre out tonight. As usual my neighbours had theit outside lights on at full blast. I suppose as a cheap skate I turn off all my lights if I can, remember in England they turned off all the street ligths at 11pm. I am conflicted between the frugality of my upbringing (don’t waste food, electricity) and the sheer abundance of cheep power and food.

    Cheers Mark

  114. barry says: March 31, 2012 at 6:22 pm
    “You CAN’T ‘overuse’ energy.”
    This, and similar comments upthread, imply a certainty that fossil fuels (humanity’s main source of energy) are an infinite resource. I suppose this must be ‘settled science.’
    —————-
    The power that lights my light bulbs come from hydro. Turning on extra lights means I can turn down the electric heater and the result is the same amount of energy used.
    When the site c damn in B.C. gets built, it will repurpose the energy that currently just gets dumped to see and instead will power an additional 450,000 homes.
    There are thousands of forest fires in my province alone each year, converting enormous amounts of energy into waste heat, if my government doesn’t want me to use fossil fuel, I can cut down some of the trees in my yard and burn them, and I will do that if the carbon taxes that I currently pay gets too much higher.

  115. “barry says:
    March 31, 2012 at 8:52 pm”

    Yes, symbolics. And sym just left town. But the French can get away with turning the lights off on the Eiffle tower for just 5 minutes, it’s a security issue you see.

  116. “barry says:
    March 31, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    I wonder, have you spoken to anyone from these parts? Or have you read comments from the people you refer to?”

    Yes, *I* have. I have family in some of these parts too and know they would dearly love to have a cheap and reliable source of power, at the flick of a switch. Still their state run power utilities charge them fees to be connected to the grid. One striking and highly contratsing image that remains with me is that in some remote areas in Ethiopia for instance, where subsistance farmers live in poverty, brand new shinly galvanised power transmission masts installed on farmers land take power away from where it is made to where it is consumed in the city. However, power is the least of these peoples worries when basic daily food is now beyond the reach of many thanks to inflation and corruption.

    But it’s OK! We’ve turned our lights off in support of emissions reductions, that’ll fix things up in Africa.
    /sarc on
    Well done Barry.
    /sarc off

  117. Barry,
    TS is CEO of Leo Burnett, hails from Canada, is a darling of our left leaning ABC, is an accomplished public speaker and knows how to push the right buttons.

    He is the co-creator of the Earth Hour initiative, which has been recognised as one the best ideas in the world

    He seems to be backing off from an idea that has gone out of control.
    Remember he did say…

    “I think scepticism is part of the debate; it moves everything forward.”

    ……whatever that means.

  118. barry says:
    March 31, 2012 at 7:41 pm
    “In commnities where energy supply is not a constantly running faucet, Earth Hour has more immediate significance than for energy-rich societies. You apprehension nmay be misplaced. I wonder, have you spoken to anyone from these parts? Or have you read comments from the people you refer to?
    We in the most developed countries certainly lead far more luxurous lifestyles than most other people in the world. In the comfort of our cosseted lives, it is as easy to condescend as it is to shed crocodile tears. The most common abuse of our vaunted position is to use conditions of the poor and disenfranchised elsewhere in the world as a political football. Soundbytes in blog comments, of any variety, rarely do justice to the realities.
    So much hate in this thread.”

    barry there is no hate that you encounter here in the thread, you are interpreting it so (to feel good in your understanding?). You are shedding crocodile tears.
    As skeptic to CAGW one has to face all kind of false accusations, insults and moral superiority assumptions and this is again one of those.
    We do not simply point our skeptical point of views to the theory of human cause catastrophal warming with the certain risk of being called deniers, fossil fuel shills, just because we want to enjoy our luxury lifestyle ignoring the others. It is not a luxury lifestyle, but a hard won through generations work life improvement that we do not want to be thrown away by green culture. We want to share it with all humans (of course who are interested in it).
    barry it is not because western use of energy that other people in the world do not get their share & have access to energy supply. This is exactly the point that many people in this thread make that you so stubbornly refuse to see.

  119. My home (empty) in Canada used 118 kw for the month of March. I have blogged this on every warmist site I can find and challanged other warmists to match my use (without telling them I am not there). Do you think any of them has? No.

  120. I spent earth hour with 3 computers running and the lights, on monitoring servers at work which is 30 miles away as they work through a complex batch processing task that runs for 40+ hours.

    By working from home, I avoided driving 30 miles round trip and using the same electrical energy at work (and losing a lot of sleep and living on junk food out of the vending machines). Instead I got to eat home cooked food, and nap in between my duties.

    I think progress and electrical power are pretty good deals. I’ve lived in cabins and pickup campers with no heat in temperatures well below freezing, spent time totally off the power grid, and had to chop wood for heat. Pump water from a hand pump out in the yard before you could wash or cook, walk miles to go to school or work when I was broke and could not afford gasoline or bus travel. (1970’s during high gas prices and steep inflation).

    I agree earth hour is a useless symbolic gesture by folks who are more concerned about appearances than realities. The best way to cut excessive birth rates, starvation and short lifespans, in the 3rd world is give them a reliable energy infrastructure at affordable prices.

    Larry

  121. Barry,

    It is your right, I suppose, to serve as an unpaid muppet for two giant corporations, WWF and Fairfax, who together actually own Earth Hour(TM) and all proceeds for the event. But their teams of lawyers are very vigilant about enforcing their rights too, so you might want to be careful with staying between the lines and with how you proceed with your enthusiasm. Make sure you have their approval.

    You said, “It has always been about endorsing and sending a message, specifically to mitigate CO2 emissions, although the event has a broader symbolism.”

    Bullocks, Barry; the latest poltroon in charge of the UN, Ban Kimoon, just lied about Earth Hour(TM) being a show of solidarity for people who don’t have sufficient electricity. A few others here mewled about this just being another communal festival-like event that’s harmless and fun. Such things are signs of losing and trying to “save face.”

    Also,there is no “broader symbolism” beyond the marketing and PR acts which are designed to accustom people to supply free labour and publicity from top-town diktats while pretending it’s a “grassroots” action. Fortunately, Earth Hour(TM) is a flop and perhaps the owners will find other ways of wasteing their money on their corporate cronies and sycophants. And we, the real grassroots pains-in-the-arse will be here ready to pounce again.

  122. The best way to cut excessive birth rates, starvation and short lifespans, in the 3rd world is give them a reliable energy infrastructure at affordable prices.Larry

    That and redirecting foreign aid away from the incompetent and cleptocratic tyrannies and rent seekers who are in charge of every poor nation and to viable entrepreneurs, communities and institutions. We must, heavy-handledly if need be, in the much-maligned “colonialist” fashion, make these decisions ourselves and go even further in empowering liberal democratic factions until they can vote-out or hang from the lamp posts the genocidal maniacs that have been running their lives. Those will be easy to find; most are parading in colourful get-ups in the halls of the UN or vacationing in Switzerland. As things are, we are stupidly handing money without pre-conditions, proper rules, stringent inspections or biting penalties.

  123. For all the kumbaya chanters who think Earth Hour is the “one of the best ideas in the World”, it’s time to put up or shut up. For this to be a great stroke of symbolism, it has to be effective right?

    Show us the power grids powering down or those great pictures from space that were supposed to show us the power of this great symbolism. All we’ve seen so far is a bunch of government sponsored powering down of big tourist attractions, surrounded by miles and miles of normal lighting.

    Show us the “success”.

  124. We must, heavy-handledly if need be, in the much-maligned “colonialist” fashion, make these decisions ourselves and go even further in empowering liberal democratic factions until they can vote-out or hang from the lamp posts the genocidal maniacs that have been running their lives.

    I suspect that, short of coups and violent invasions, U.S. could do more, legally, but it’s hard to know just what we do now to bring down totalitarian regimes because it’s necessarily done covertly. Establishing trade with the capitalists and entrepreneurs in these countries (including N. Korea) is, I’d guess, possible, but dangerous for those who ally themselves with our country.

  125. Peter,

    For the record, I didn’t switch my lights off and barely thought about it on the day. I’m just not that active on the climate change issue. I like the science more than the politics. I also like truth more than bollocks.

    Hundreds of millions of people switched off their lights for Earth Hour all over the world the past few years, and the number of participating countries/cities/towns has grown every year. In terms of reach and symbolic messaging, this is a highly successful campaign, whether people like the idea or not. The organisers aren’t backing off from it – they are touting their great success and they are indicating that they are moving on to the ‘next step’.

    (Antipathetic commenters and readers here may have an opportunity to exploit the accelerating crusade by putting one of the founders in harms way – but they’ll have to play along with Earth Hour for a little.

    I’ll get in the water with a great white shark if 10,000 people submit their own I Will If You Will.

    )

    It is also to the success of the brand that a broader positive symbology is being woven around it. The action is incredibly potent – think of lighting candles in a Church. The simplicity makes it powerful, and the consequence of bringing family/households together around a flame makes it even more so. It’s just a very clever, simple idea.

    All the criticism of Earth Hour I see is based on reframing (misrepresenting) what the event is about – for example, that the effort is trying to make a direct impact on CO2 emissions. Certain readers will uncritically embrace such rubbish, but to a neutral, rational mind, it’s entirely unconvincing.

    Comments in the thread here and elsewhere indicating a decline in the fortunes of Earth Hour are simply wishful thinking. Your attempt to make the issue no more than a corporate boondoggle are likewise unconvincing. The number of people that voluntarily participate would be a smashing success for any ‘product’.

  126. Earth Hour in Ontarion certainly was easily trumped by Human Achievement Hour….the electrcial demand curve for the province as posted on the system operator website actually looked to be up from where it was. It also was quite apparent how hopelessly inept the Earth Hour effort was the next day…. I check 8 newspapers and two television networks and there was only one ‘post mortem’ article. And it had a ton of comments under (virtually all negative to the concept).

    Hmmmm…. Isn’t Earth Day coming up later this month? Sounds like some Human Achievement Day activities couild be fun this year….

  127. Missed it. The Final Four was on. Sorry about that. Somethings really are important, you know.

  128. Jimmy Fallon: (as reported by newsmax) “On Saturday the Empire State Building went dark for an hour to draw attention to climate change. Of course, 10 endangered eagles then crashed into the building.”

  129. To all the quasi-skeptics who still buy into the overpopulation meme:
    It’s bollocks.
    Both because increased population improves living standards by providing more human resources,
    AND
    because it’s almost at a standstill; the always-accurate UNPD Low Band projects peak at <8bn by ~2040
    AND
    because replacement rate numbers are crashing world-wide. Demographers are stunned:
    Depopulation by birth shortage in all the world — except the US; huge male child imbalances throughout Asia; falling lifespan in Russia.

    http://www.fpri.org/ww/0505.200407.eberstadt.demography.html

  130. It is clear, that many of the people making these comments have never spent much time in areas where people in fact live with no electricity, no water supply, and in poverty. Because, if you had, you wouldn’t be so shameless as to blatantly flaunt your wastage of these resources that you are privileged to have access to. Conserving our natural resources is what Earth Hour promotes, and that is exactly what we need to do. Earth Hour does not say that electricity and all the opportunities it has provided is wrong, it is saying that we need to stop living in excess and be conscious of the limitations. As much as you all want to overload your power usage just to spite the campaign, you could rather try to use less, pay less, and actually do something productive to help those that don’t have access to reliable and sustainable power sources.

  131. Great post SCR! The majority of the posters here don’t care about our planet or the resources we reap from it for our comforts. They will be the people who will scream first when we run out of coal and oil.
    Sorry, but IMO the Professor has it WRONG!

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