Silent Protest of Light

A couple of comments have mentioned the global “turn off your lights” night. Lubos Motl at the Reference Frame has a suggestion

Earth Hour: turn your lights on at 8 p.m.

Tonight, at 8 p.m. local time, you should turn on all the light bulbs you have for 60 minutes (it will only cost you 3 cents per light bulb in average for the whole hour) to fight global obscurantism. You should look how many lights are on around. Every light bulb you see will be a sign of the audacity of hope, as Jeremiah Wright would say.”15 years ago, I would have done this. Now, I plan to turn all my lights on as my silent form of protest against the likes of Gore and his Enron like carbon credit scheme. I’m going to “Watts Up” my house!

If you want to learn about the event, here is the web page:

http://www2.earthhourus.org/

Of course if you are simply interested in saving money and using less electricity (something I’m for, especially here in California since the state has hamstrung itself for future power generation) then get one of these:

I have several. They work great. And, buying one via this link sends some help back to me for keeping my www.surfacestations.org effort running.

45 thoughts on “Silent Protest of Light

  1. This was the same thoughts I had when I heard about the 60 minutes that we are supposed to turn our lights off. Personaly, I am currently replacing all my burnt out bulbs so that I can have extra on tonight. I am also generaly using more electricity today (TVs on, doing several loads of laundry, running the dishwasher without a full load etc.)

  2. This can’t be a good plan for lowering my $150 PG&E bill last month. I wish more could be done to counter the Goreian AGW movement then a turn your lights on counter protest during a turn your lights off protest.

  3. “only cost you 3 cents per light bulb ”
    Nope.
    A 60 watt lamp burning for 1 hour used 0.060 kWh
    A kWh of electricity costs 9 cents (average US price…higher in CA)
    So it only costs 0.54 cents.
    REPLY: I think Lubos was using European electricity prices when he calcukated that.

  4. Slap a few handfuls of water buffalo dung on the side of your house.
    ==========================================

  5. Tonight my wife and I shall be watching Tombstone, while this comp will have been on for a good 12 hours +. And since we like to be comfy we shall have the heat cranked all the way up to 22C. And my wife has a habit of leaving lights on all over the house, so tonight I shall just forgo that….
    I am curious though. They are doing this the night before the goreacle goes to spout his lies and demonize the increasingly large group of skeptics (including a growing crowd of former IPCC scientists). I have to wonder if any portion of that farce is going to be broadcast live, so they can point to the (likely minimal) success of this event?
    By the by, I just came across a blog by someone called Astroprof. I don’t think it is the same person as the troll astroturgid, as he sounds reasonably intelligent and gave a very good explanation of the overlap of solar cycles.

  6. I dunno. There’s something deliciously strange about a solar powered light. Sounds about as useful as a motorized aerobics exercise machine. Or kinda like the solar heating in my house — works best in the summer months. 🙂
    (Yes I know about solar charged batteries. I couldn’t resist though)
    I wonder how many people are actually aware of “turn off your lights” night. Little point in protesting by doing the opposite if it could just be chalked up to not knowing.

  7. I had a bit of a go-round with a customer recently about “earth hour”, and will paste our correspondence, as I it shows how they tend to think (if it can even be called that). I’ll put hers in italics.
    It started with a question: How can we inspire people to take action on climate change? The answer: Ask the people of Sydney to turn off their lights for one hour. On 31 March 2007, 2.2 million people and 2100 Sydney businesses turned off their lights for one hour – Earth Hour. If the greenhouse reduction achieved in the Sydney CBD during Earth Hour was sustained for a year, it would be equivalent to taking 48,616 cars off the road for a year.With Sydney icons like the Harbour Bridge and Opera House turning their lights off, and unique events such as weddings by candlelight, the world took notice. Inspired by the collective effort of millions of Sydneysiders, many major global cities are joining Earth Hour in 2008, turning a symbolic event into a global movement,Please join me in signing up to turn your lights off for one hour on March 29 from 8pm – 9pm, and in spreading the word.
    http://www.earthhour.org/user/hkCa
    Thanks,
    Karen

    Karen, Saving energy is great, but it has nothing to do with climate change. Check out the article below, written by scientist James Peden.
    http://www.middlebury.net/op-ed/global-warming-01.html
    Bruce
    Yes, thanks, I’ve heard it both ways. “Global warming” and “greening” are the concepts du jour that get people moving in the right direction. I’ll take whatever works to get people thinking about gross overconsumption, and I always prefer “better safe than sorry.” Do you think “peak oil” is a hoax, too?
    Karen

    Did you even read the article? I doubt it, because nowhere in it does he mention peak oil, which has nothing whatsoever to do with global warming. So, “whatever works” is fine, as in, the ends justify the means? Science be damned?
    Bruce
    She never responded. Sheesh!

  8. Ted Longmann
    9 cents!!
    Here in Germany it’s 20 euro cents a kwh, i.e. about 30 US$ cents, and rising. So Anthony wasn’t joking!
    Gasoline here is about $8 a gallon. To fill up a normal car, you have to shell out about $150.00. Let this be an indication of what’s to come should we fail to
    make our case.

  9. Earth Hour and similar events remind me of when European royals such as Marie Antoinette played at being common folks such as milkmaids, giving the impression of wealthy people pretending to be energy-paupers just for an hour, a day or other short stretch of time. I think they’re an insult, really, to the world’s poor who currently have no choice other to scrounge firewood for their cookfires, or nations such as South Africa who are struggling to maintain a decent supply of electricity to their people.
    Well, it’s going to be a dark, rainy Saturday evening here in London, so yes – my lights – and my heating – will be on as usual.

  10. The Cult of Darkness
    Our enemies are worshipers of a Cult of Darkness. From my home I have a clear view of the skyline of New York City, nine miles to the East. On September 11, I watched from the front steps of my home as barbarians murdered almost 3,000 of my fellow human beings.
    Other may choose darkness, but I will not go gentle into that good night, I will rage, rage against the dying of the light. Tonight all the lights in and around my home will be on.
    Mike
    Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged 1957
    New York City rose in the distance before them, it was still extending its lights to the sky, still defying the primordial darkness, almost as if, in an ultimate effort, in a final appeal for help, it were now stretching its arms to the plane that was crossing its sky. Involuntarily, they sat up, as if at respectful attention at the death bed of what had been greatness.
    ….
    The plane was above the peaks of the skyscrapers when suddenly, with the abruptness of a shudder, as if the ground had parted to engulf it, the city disappeared from the face of the earth. It took them a moment to realize that the panic had reached the power stations and that the lights of New York had gone out.
    Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night
    http://www.bigeye.com/donotgo.htm

  11. Years ago I read that it takes about a hundred watts to run a human.
    ==========================================

  12. I’ll take whatever works to get people thinking about gross overconsumption, and I always prefer “better safe than sorry.”

    Bruce, by that reasoning she should never leave the house, not eat food prepared by anyone else (this means slaughtering her own meat/growing her own food completely), not use anything manufactured, etc. Which means, as I’ve stated, going back to a hunter-gatherer subsistence existence. NONE of these pro-alarmist are doing this, therefore they don’t REALLY believe there is an emergency.

  13. Here in Germany it’s 20 euro cents a kwh, i.e. about 30 US$ cents, and rising. So Anthony wasn’t joking!
    Gasoline here is about $8 a gallon. To fill up a normal car, you have to shell out about $150.00. Let this be an indication of what’s to come should we fail to
    make our case.

    That’s because of increased taxation, is it not?

  14. Pierre Gosselin
    Yes, it varies here as well… 8 cents/kWh in CO, ~24 in CA, 32 in HI. ***
    It amazes me that very few seem to know what their rate is. As an engineer and physicist, most of my friends are technical…but they don’t know either.
    Gasoline prices here are approaching $4/gallon and people are going nuts…not realizing that the rest of the world has been paying $6 to $8 for years.
    Of course, these same people “happily” buy milk (or WATER) at $5-6/gallon
    *** rates generally vary with usage. These numbers are for moderate usage from friend’s actual electric bills.

  15. Here in Omaha one of the local Universities had an annual “thing” where the PLRKs camped out around campus in refrigerator boxes and such (on a warm spring) to show solidarity with the homeless. Unless it was unseasonably cold.
    I note that at 8:00 P. M. CDT, it will still be quite light out.
    Unless it is overcast and snowing.

  16. Now, I plan to turn all my lights on as my silent form of protest against the likes of Gore and his Enron like carbon credit scheme. I’m going to “Watts Up” my house!
    This attitude is the epitome of ideological thought — screw the other guy regardless of the expense to yourself, just for some measure of self-satisfaction. Pardon me for saying so (and I want to be very clear that I want to separate the thought from the person — hate the sin, love the sinner), but I think the idea of juicing up the juice in such a self-defeating manner is crazy. Better to ignore the event entirely. To do otherwise is simply shooting yourself in the foot.

  17. I already have a spotlight ready to illuminate a sign that says Al Gore is a GREEDY HYPOCRYTE. OTOH, I’m looking at the plug-in hybrids so I don’t get stuck with another 50 cents per gallon increase every time Hugo Chavez acts like an adolescent punk.

  18. Wow – nice house Anthony! I didn’t realize you lived in the Beverly Hills section of Chico. That tip jar and the residuals from solar lighting sales must be paying off handsomely. Either that or the checks from Exxon-Mobil have been exceedingly generous. Speaking of that, I just cashed mine this morning.
    Tim Blair has links to the Australian power consumption during the Lights Out hour. Since this was an Australian idea that has spread around the world you would have thought the impact would be significant. Turns out, if anything, power consumption rose. But at least it made people feel good and isn’t that what’s most important?
    http://timblair.net/ee/index.php/weblog/sparkage_boosted/
    I too live in California and agree it’s important to conserve energy. But we do it to prevent getting hit with $300 monthly electric bills and to do our part to prevent rolling backouts during the Summer. California’s incredibly timid and short-sighted leadership scares me much more than the threat of AGW.
    REPLY: Its a stock photo, not my house. -Anthony

  19. An hour of darkness would be a fabulous gift to stargazers near urban areas everywhere. Too bad they’re doing it an hour too early.
    I can’t help but feel we’d all be better off if that were the justification for everyone shutting their lights off rather than the pointless token action known as “earth hour”.
    (BTW – “Earth Day” shares its calendar space with Lenin’s – as in Vladimir, not John – birthday . Coincidence?)

  20. RICO Said:
    “but I think the idea of juicing up the juice in such a self-defeating manner is crazy. Better to ignore the event entirely. To do otherwise is simply shooting yourself in the foot.”
    I don’t know, Rico. If you can’t spend a dollar to lodge your protest, you can’t be very serious. Everyone’s an environmentalist one way or another, but to succumb to this type of nonsense is off the wall.
    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  21. To Rico:
    By the way, if you think it’s wasteful to spend money in lighting our homes as a protest against all the insanity of AGW, perhaps you should consider how much money (and resources) you’re wasting on the various blogs you flit through each day!
    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  22. I once tried to have to have a conversation about AGW with my wifes son, who is an educated intelligent but very liberal type person.
    After trying as best I could to intelligently present the evidence counter to AGW
    he finally said “all the facts in the world can’t change the way I feel”.
    That really says it all, emotion is way more important than facts for the
    majority of homo sapiens. Why else is the humanity fairing so badly even in the 21st century.
    Al Gore invented the internet. How can he possibly be wrong about AGW. 🙂

  23. Andrew Blackburn (14:21:37) :
    “(BTW – “Earth Day” shares its calendar space with Lenin’s – as in Vladimir, not John – birthday . Coincidence?)”
    This is part of the reason why we refer to Greenies as ‘Watermellons’……. green on the outside and red on the inside.

  24. It’s now 8pm in the central time zone and I just turned on as many lights as I could – at least one in each room.

  25. I was just kidding you Anthony, I figured it wasn’t your house. The photo filename gave it away that it was a stock photo. However that might not have been obvious to others so thanks for pointing that out.

  26. Heh, that’s exactly what I planned to do as soon as I heard about this ridiculous “earth hour” thing.
    Makes me wish I had one of these.

  27. A House? I assumed it was a rural weather station! I guess I should have known, because I couldn’t find a gas-grill anywhere in the picture.

  28. I switched all our lights on at 8pm for 1 hour (We live in Brisbane, Australia)…..we were lit up like a Christmas tree in an otherwise darkened neighbourhood. I simply had to make some sort of protest after all the media hype surrounding the event – sadly our “free press” seems to have lost all objectivity regarding the AGW debate. Eco journalists (a paradox if ever I heard one) seem less like journalists and more like Cromwellian “Witchfinder Generals” with each passing day…..and I find myself approaching 50 suffering the same moral outrage as I felt as an idealistic student back in the late seventies!
    For me the manner of the AGW debate has become almost more important than its outcome. The way in which debate has been stifled, scientists vilified, predictions favoured even in the face of hard evidence to the contrary is surely something all intelligent people should rail against, whichever side of this particular debate their sympathy lies. Earth hour to me is the epitome of this struggle.
    I like to think that on such an occasion, light symbolises enlightenment and independent thought, whilst the dimmed streets represents ignorance and the herd mentality on which the peddlers of all dogma rely.
    It was quite a shock to see how many sheep there are in my part of the world. I just hope that by the next time this stunt is pulled the data sets have become impossible for the media to ignore….or perhaps we should try and launch our own stunt – an “Enlightenment Hour” perhaps, where we celebrate the amazing achievements of mankind’s inquiring mind by switching on all the lights. I’m sure it would get publicity if only because of the moral outrage it would cause within the “herd”!

  29. @Jeff
    That’s right. The joke here is that filling stations do the tax collection for the government. In Germany for each liter there is 1) a fuel excise tax 2) ecology tax and 3) 19% value added tax. Interestingly, the value added tax is applied to the cost of the petrol + the fuel excise tax + the ecology tax. That’s right…even taxes are taxed!
    In the end, 78% of the price of one litre is TAX alone.
    Ted Longman
    You’re absolutely right.
    I’ve noticed it here too. Nobody can tell you what they pay for 1 kwh of juice. Yet, they all complain about the high energy prices.

  30. It was quite a shock to see how many sheep there are in my part of the world.
    Well, you do live in Australia . . .
    (Actually I agree with what you have to say. I like the “Enlightenment Hour” idea.)

  31. Getting back to the solar lights; we’ve used similar lights before ( different brand) . The problem is they don’t produce much light. They’re Ok as markers which delineate the edge of a path, but they aren’t bright enough to light up the path. Are these brighter than that?

  32. Solar doesn’t work well at all up here in the Pacific Northwest. I guess the sun angle is generally too shallow except at the height of summer.

  33. According to at least one Chicago area news reader, “Chicago went dark last night in recognition of earth hour.”
    The Chicago Sun-Times (aka the Chicago Scum-Times) reported the same thing and included a before and after photo. The “after” photo did indeed show two major buildings had turned off their “trademark” lights, but it also showed more people and/or buildings had actually turned on additional lighting! What a photo! If it’s on their website I’ll take it down and post it somewhere.
    I haven’t seen any satellite photos posted anywhere, has anyone else?
    Jack Koenig, Editor
    The Mysterious Climate Project
    http://www.climateclinic.com

  34. Came across your site for the first time today, very interesting discussion. Here in London, electricity is between 10p and 17p/kwh (about double that in US cents). Petrol works out at £4.86/gallon or more than USD10.
    Expecting yet more “green” taxes soon, plastic shopping bags are the latest evil (but no-one seems to worry about plastic bin bags?). I like to see how many times “saving the planet” is used as a motive to raise taxes – how do they imagine they can buy their way out of this one?

  35. The further irony is that after a point (which we are already after), raising taxes actually reduces revenues.
    As a good liberal, I want to extract as much money out of the rich that I possibly can. As an empiricist, it is obvious to me that, in our current circumstances, by far the best way to do that is–cut taxes for the rich!
    I actually went to the bother of tracking marginal tax and capital gains cuts year by year (2000 – 2006) in 2006 dollars and comparing them with federal revenues. The results were most illuminating.
    If the greens actually mean what they say, they ought to be in favor of cutting taxes in order to get their money out of the resulting increased revenue. (One is led to wonder if they really mean what they say . . .)

  36. (One is led to wonder if they really mean what they say . . .)
    Maybe you wonder, Evan — I don’t.

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