Tracking Earth Hour in the Greenest State

Earth Hour comes to every time zone at 8:30 PM today. Will it make a difference?

Their website says:

On Earth Hour hundreds of millions of people around the world will come together to call for action on climate change by doing something quite simple—turning off their lights for one hour. The movement symbolizes that by working together, each of us can make a positive impact in this fight, protecting our future and that of future generations. Learn more about how Earth Hour began, what we’ve accomplished, and what is in store for 2010.

As many WUWT readers know, I’m all for energy efficiency and conservation when applied in a meaningful way. For example, a few months back, I retrofitted my home with some very cool LED recessed lighting.  You can read my About page to see some of my other energy saving projects.

WUWT readers also know that I’m against Catlinesque stunts. Earth Hour, while born of good intentions, is one of those stunts that really doesn’t amount to any long term meaningful energy savings. In fact it doesn’t really even amount to any short term savings.

For example, last year, according to the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), Earth Hour made zero difference to the California power consumption. Zero, zip, nada.  Have a look at the graph:

earth_hour_3-28-09_caiso

California power use 3-28-09 from CAISO - Click for a larger Graphic

Big Hat tip to Roger Sowell for the graphs:

Some greens were quick to point out “but look the power dropped then”.

Yah, it does that every day about that time:

3-29-09_caiso

California power use 3-29-09 from CAISO - Click for a larger Graphic

If there was a big effect from Earth Hour, you’d see a step event as everybody turned off their lights in Califonia. Plus, the greens don’t seem to realize that no power plants get switched off, so there’s really no CO2 savings.  The power plants are run based on demand forecast. Short term spikes from well intentioned stunts really don’t make a blip of difference to Co2 emissions.

For WUWT readers that wish to track this year’s California Earth Hour impact in real time, you can visit the CAISO tracker:

http://www.caiso.com/outlook/SystemStatus.html

Have fun. Let us know what you did for Earth Hour.

====================================

UPDATE: Thanks to a commenter challenge, I was obliged to look for some other real-time power monitoring locations, this one in Ontario Canada for example:

http://www.ieso.ca/imoweb/siteShared/demand_price.asp?sid=ic

For a fun project, WUWT readers can find their own local power reporting website and post up results here, and I’ll do a new post showcasing the effects of Earth Hour worldwide.

To post images or screencaps in comments use http://www.tinypic.com/ or a similar service and just paste the full image URL in the comments, no tags needed. – Anthony

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148 thoughts on “Tracking Earth Hour in the Greenest State

  1. Most generating capacity would just keep on generating as it cannot be switched off for an indeterminate short period. Now if people of that bent really wanted to make a difference they would detach from their electricity supply for at least a month or sign up to have their supply limited every hour 24/7 to only that percentage being produced that hour by ‘renewable’ ‘green’ energy. That might concentrate a few minds.

  2. I believe if EVERYBODY turned off ALL their lights at the same time, it could cause havoc to the electrical grid. A sudden drop in electrical load enmass followed an hour later by a sudden spike in electrical load cannot be good.

  3. This is not true for Ontario, it made a big difference to electric generating, they had to nearly shut down the hydro plants to cope with the lack of demand. The atomic and fossil fuel plants take time (I read at least 3 hours) to substantially change the output of those plants buy the hydro plants are as simple as closing a valve. I remember that in the UK, when coronation St was big there was a huge spike in water and power demand after it finished, half the country put the kettle on and had a wee! the trouble is these things are trendy and not real so are not thought out.
    I was trying to find out the exact meaning of “Catlinesque” but was unable to, I get its contextual meaning but cannot find it in a dictionary, any clues?
    REPLY: Do a search in WUWT for “Catlin Expedition”. The goal of Earth Hour is CO2 reduction via electric power reduction. Note their focus on “climate” in verbiage. Hydro doesn’t make CO2 anyway. – Anthony
    UPDATE:
    Since you think it made a big difference in Ontario, let’s watch the real time Ontario demand website this year to see if that is true:
    http://www.ieso.ca/imoweb/siteShared/demand_price.asp?sid=ic
    – Anthony

  4. We have visitors in town. Our plan is to turn on every electric device in the house and let the cars idle–that’s what we think of this craziness. I’m all for rational conservation but, we will not bow down to the irrational, economicaly suicidal green radicals.

  5. Of course, that’s what the smart meter program is all about.
    The government will be able to shut your power off at any
    time. This will show you what a big difference killing all
    power can do and, who’s in charge.

  6. If everyone did turn off all their power use for an hour, when they all turned it back on at the end of the hour would it not look like a dead short to the sub-stations? That would flip the station off line, pushing back onto the supply which would in turn go off-line, with no where to send the power the nuclear stations auto-shutdown; this is what happened a couple of years ago in the feeder loop through Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Ontario. A dead-short on a main line took out the whole game. It took a day to get power back and a week and a half to bring most of the generation back on line (nuclear tool two and half weeks).
    It would be interesting if the Earth Hour stunt shut down CA for a couple of weeks and the greens could not keep their blogs up to date or send their press releases.

  7. A better approach might be to just turn off power in all of Norway for, say, a week every year. We could start in summertime, and then each year move to week more and more into winther.
    Why?
    It would perhaps make everyone appreciate more what we have, instead of taking it for granted. We are all taking too much for granted, every day. And it makes us forget what / who we have to thank for it…..

  8. Chris Edwards (08:57:05) :
    “This is not true for Ontario, it made a big difference to electric generating, they had to nearly shut down the hydro plants to cope with the lack of demand. ”
    Any verifiable stats, or just media hype? A chicken/egg scenario: hydro power reduced in sympathy?

  9. Are we to do away with books and medicine next? The invention of the electric lightbulb was a great boon to humanity. Do these people advocate a return to darkness?
    Bye the bye: are they going to shut off the lights in the high crime areas?

  10. Here in Finland they say the 2009 event had a significant effect on power consumption, but that’s not really the point.
    Turning off the lights is demonstrating that people care about their planet and are ready to accept some changes in order to protect it..

  11. The biggest energy users in a home are not the lights; they are motors and heaters– refrigerator motors, refrigerator mullion heaters, water pumps, air conditioners, furnace blowers, electric stoves, microwaves, hair dryers, water heaters, etc. The prize for the biggest loads right at 8:00 PM probably goes to dishwashers and clothes dryers.
    It’s not just homes per se causing the peak either; when all of you get home at 6:00 and start flushing toilets all of the sewage lift stations are going to be kicking on too. All of the street lights are kicking on. Store Marquees are lighting up.
    I turn on extra lights every year during earth hour just to protest the silliness of it all!

  12. Sure, it will make a difference – smug levels will shoot up, while people burn candles and use battery-powered lights, etc., all in an effort to relieve themselves of their “carbon guilt”.
    We don’t believe in the “carbon footprint” theology, but even if we did, ours would be spectacularly low already. So, we won’t be participating in a faux event, which accomplishes nothing, all in a vain attempt to tackle a faux problem.

  13. 27 03 2010
    Andrew30 (09:04:54) :
    “…happened a couple of years ago in the feeder loop through Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Ontario.”
    Correct, I remember that (Cleveland) – I think tree maintenance and improper balancing was part of the problem. The tender Greens without power for any length of time? – the thought just made my day!

  14. A local bar is having a “Power Hour”. turning on all the lights and offering a free drink to anyone who turns up (pardon the pun) with an appliance that can be plugged into an electrical output. It seems some people are seeing power hour as an opportunity to protest.

  15. Well meaning lefties ought to cut their heat in winter and especially cut the air in summer. That is if they wanted to make a difference themselves. But the disconnect is they have been led to believe its the evil oil and that all these cuts in emissions have are victimless crimes when they need to consume less its always somebody else who has to cut and them who has to cut their thermostat.

  16. “On Earth Hour hundreds of millions of people around the world will come together to call for action on climate change by doing something quite simple—turning off their lights for one hour. ”
    ….because you’re a PEASANT and deserve to sit shivering in the dark.

  17. I am sooooo tired of this “green” environmentalism that is long on hype and short on rational thinking.A one hour twinkie exercise is a total waste of cheap emotionalism.
    If they really cared that much about power consumption,they they should strongly support groups such as the Dark Sky association and other groups trying to persuade buyers in choosing alternative home designs,that really use far less heating and cooling than the standard.
    WHEN will people finally stop wanting energy hogging homes (with massive over use of windows and lack of sloping roofs to keep direct sun out of the windows) and look for those that deliberately use passive solar heating and even berm 3 sides of a house that makes for the ultimate and yet cheaper insulation.
    We are far smarter than this greenie bullcrap and hopefully people the world over get serious about their home designs and stop using street lights and businesses lights in cities that are nearly ghostowns during the night.Why not shut the freaking lights off outdoors at night when almost everybody is at home sleeping?
    Gosh I could go on into a rant,but why bother since hardly anybody is truly that interested in greater efficiency of power consumption anyway.
    I am tired of the greenie talk,but when will they ever take the walk?

  18. Because I’m so sick and tired of stupid, eco-greenie halfwits telling me what to do or what not to do, I make a concerted effort to go against the grain, as it’s the only way I can actively protest about the sheer stupidity of it all. So on “meat free Mondays” it’s a roast with all the trimmings, and “earth hour” is the time to turn every conceivable thing on, just for the hell of it, and sod the expense. If these people want to live in the dark, huddle round a candle, dress in hair shirts and eat lentils, they can get on with it – I want no part of it. Maybe they should ALL up sticks, and find a deserted island and start a commune somewhere, and they can all go and live in their self-imposed “Nirvana” and the rest of us can continue to live our lives, making good use of all the electricity we are blessed with, unmolested.

  19. Hmmmmmmmm……by the response here at WUWT it occurred to me that it would be very amusing if electricity demand INCREASED for “earth hour”! Now, that would REALLY make my day.

  20. Ian W (08:51:21) :
    Ian, you are exactly right. A vast number of greens love this stuff as long as it’s just a little symbolic gesture. It’s like dropping a few bucks in the Sunday offering. A tiny penance.
    Yet you will still find them enjoying all the trappings of civilization (like say, heat, on a -10C evening in winter) .

  21. A truly brave army of ‘Green’ (i.e. the majority in Iran) have used overload induced blackouts as a form of civil protest:
    “Following President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s dubious reelection, Iran has seen the largest mass demonstrations since the 1979 revolution. Although demonstrators have fought off tear gas and batons on the streets, they’re also responding with more innocuous weapons at home: toasters and blow dryers. On July 7, as Ahmadinejad gave his first televised speech after the election, defiant Iranians collectively plugged in their household appliances in an attempt to cause electrical blackouts and prevent the president’s message from being heard inside people’s homes. Students behind the tactic plotted through Twitter (surprise!) to coordinate the electrical protest and share the bright news with each other as lights went out in various Iranians towns.”
    http://www.newsweek.com/id/208861
    I believe that this is difficult for the power companies to deal with, as when stations trip out, it takes a reasonable amount of effort to bring them back online.

  22. Moderators please be so kind and flag this to Anthony
    Dear Anhony: I went yesterday to a conference by Prof. Antonio Pou of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) called “Climate Change?” (“¿Cambio Climático?”) and to my surprise he talked, among other things, about the results of your surfacestations project, showing a slide of a station near and air conditioner, about the “circulating emails”, the hockey stick fabrication, he even recommended Andrew Montford’s The Hockey Stick Illusion book.
    It was worth the wait of nearly forty years.
    I got to know you thru http://antonuriarte.blogspot.com/ since 25 august 2008.
    Please take care for your family, yourself, and envoy life, you deserve it.
    Thank you very much.
    Responder: Muchas gracias por las amables palabras y buenas intenciones. – Anthony

  23. We lose power for several hours, several times a year when thunderstorm season blows thru. I couldn’t care less about some political “Awareness ” stunt.

  24. Once again, time for the annual silliness.
    Watch the video from your local news outlet’s late news. It’ll show a couple outdoor lighting displays shut off while all around them the lights remain illuminated.
    I won’t be suckered into anyone else’s guilt trip.

  25. @Bill
    “It’s not just homes per se causing the peak either; when all of you get home at 6:00 and start flushing toilets all of the sewage lift stations are going to be kicking on too.”
    Huh! Don’t people go to the restroom/bathroom/washroom/toilet-whatever during working hours? I’d like to see some statistics on that.

  26. RockyRoad :@ (08:52:57) : wrote:
    “I believe if EVERYBODY turned off ALL their lights at the same time, it could cause havoc to the electrical grid. A sudden drop in electrical load enmass followed an hour later by a sudden spike in electrical load cannot be good.”
    Indeed, shouldn’t the voltage rise uncontrollably & blow everyone elses lights out ?
    While energy companies used to anticipate demand based on the intervals and the end of big TV events such as Superbowl and those long gone Miss World contests, I wonder how much of a surge they’re preparing for at the end of Earth Hour – when everyone’s gasping for a cuppa at the same time.
    These events, if they have any effect, just introduce perturbations that if anything increase power generation.
    Isn’t this whole thing about perception though ? (or post modern reality as it were – where objective reality doesn’t get a look in).

  27. I heard a WWF shill on local radio this morning. She acknowledged that earth hour won’t make any difference to the grid, but that the idea is to “send a message to governments that they should take climate change seriously, and blah, blah, blah…Zzz zzzz”. That’s rich, since local governments seem to be buying in to this nonsense and switching off lights in government (i.e. taxpayer owned) buildings tonight – perhaps more so than the taxpaying public themselves.

  28. A few years ago, after leaving all my lights on on Earth Day, my house was vandalized! Balloons full of latex paint. I was able to hose/scrub it off. I knew which kids did it, but had no proof. Then when my campaign sign disappeared last election, I got another, and rubbed poison ivy all over it. The neighbor’s kid, and the kid down the street, both got a good case! Getting even was fun!
    Lights will be on again this evening!

  29. Facts are indeed stubborn things; even if many blissfully ignorant greenies ignore them.
    Having said the above, let me stipulate that I’m on the same page, WRT Anthony’s comment about supporting energy efficiency and conservation:
    I switched over to CF bulbs for most indoor uses years ago; my house is very well insulated; and I’m ready to make the jump to LED lights when the price comes down a bit. . .

  30. “Mikael Lönnroth (09:14:07) :
    […]
    Turning off the lights is demonstrating that people care about their planet and are ready to accept some changes in order to protect it..”
    If people are so willing to go without electricity -you say they show how ready they are to accept some changes, i.e. receive orders- then why is the AGW/CO2 crowd hell bent on subsidizing “green” energy? Wouldn’t it be much easier to switch off more lights -if that makes such a big difference; just order it- instead of producing MORE electricity?
    Why not just submit to orders?

  31. I think the point is to make people aware. By publishing this article you may be helping their cause.
    REPLY: Perhaps, but my little mention is but a drop in the bucket compared to their ad campaigns. – Anthony

  32. WOOHOO! … Earth Hour Again!
    I’m so excited! My house looks so pretty all brightly lit and sparkly during Earth Hours!
    I’m bringing out the BIG lights this year!
    Let the games begin…!

  33. Methow Ken (09:59:51) : wrote:
    “I switched over to CF bulbs for most indoor uses years ago; my house is very well insulated; and I’m ready to make the jump to LED lights when the price comes down a bit. . .

    Well, i’m afraid my old house doesn’t lend itself well to insulation – 2ft thick stone walls living in the loft space.
    So while everyone else is being taken in by this short term warming blip I’m having to burn coal all the harder to stave off the next ice age.

  34. Don E (10:03:39) :
    I think the point is to make people aware.

    Yes Don, and I am now aware, thanks to WUWT! If it weren’t for Anthony and WUWT, I probably would have missed this joyous occasion and my house would have remained dim and non-festive, but, because I have now been made “aware”, I can continue with my Earth Day protest and light my property brightly in defiance of this eco-terroristic nonsensical garbage!

  35. If these folks really wanted to try and make a difference they would shut off their main breaker for an hour. Lighting, on average, is about 15% of consumption for residential.
    But… BUT… then food might go bad in the fridge and they’d have to reset all their clocks that went blinky on 12:00. We can’t do that!!!
    /sarcoff

  36. Most people don’t realise how the electricity supply works. They think wind farms are “green”, not realising that all wind farms have to be backed up 24/7 by operating conventional power stations and thus they don’t save any CO2 emissions.

  37. D. Antonio su español es excelente..
    Sorry for “Anhony” instead of “Anthony” and “envoy” instead of “enjoy”.

  38. Earth Hour is a self serving pretentious jolly for a bunch of dicks. It is about control over the human rather than the planet. If there are any extra terrestials about tonight they will be landing on my property, I will take the hour as an opportunity to be the brightest light on the planet.

  39. Hey does anyone live near Gore in Memphis, TN (I think that’s where he lives right?)
    Al Gores average utility bill? Two thousand dollars.
    Pictures of his house with the lights on during earth hour? Priceless!

  40. I’m celebratin Human Achievement Hour by turning on all my lights and upping the temperaturre in the house.

  41. Anthony (reply) (10:03:39) :
    > REPLY: Perhaps, but my little mention is but a drop in the bucket compared to their ad campaigns. – Anthony
    Hmm. If it weren’t for WUWT, I don’t know if I would realize today is Earth Hour Day. I’ll probably see news coverage tonight on TV. I guess I just don’t get the right magazines and stuff.
    My employer is planning Earth Day activities, I’ve asked for some wall space to display the Climategate timeline from http://joannenova.com.au/2010/01/finally-the-new-revised-and-edited-climategate-timeline/ (A B&W version only cost me US$8.25 to print, Kinko’s will charge some $12.50.)

  42. There is too much excessive outdoor lighting. It ruins the night sky and it’s a waste of energy. I think Earth Hour is a good thing. Less lighting wont change the climate, but let by all means people believe it for the sake of fixing a problem that I care more about: light pollution.

  43. @Stephen Brown (10:13:58)
    A better site (pointed out by John R. Walker (10:13:01)) is:-
    http://www.bmreports.com/bsp/bsp_home.htm
    If you pick “Generation by fuel type (table)” at the left side, figures for the last 5 minutes / 30 minutes / 24 hrs come up, usefully broken down into fuel types, so you can see how Big Wind is doing (quite well at the moment – over 2% for 2,700 turbines, compared to 0.8% of total on average through three months December / January / February).
    The “Generation by fuel type (graph)” is also good. As well as the graph you can click on “Current / Historic” lower right of graph and download a spreadsheet in csv format of the last three months’ figures. You will have to identify which column is which fuel, however. Use the table as a guide, using the latest figures.
    This is information the Government doesn’t want you to see as it proves beyond doubt how useless wind turbines are, especially in cold weather.

  44. All lights will be going on Plus a griddle that uses about 10A Cooker uses about 30A Microwave about 10A. I’ll have to see if there’s anything else.
    That’s about 12kwh so about £1.58. It’s worth it.
    DaveE.

  45. Mikael Lönnroth (09:14:07) :
    “Turning off the lights is demonstrating that people care about their planet and are ready to accept some changes in order to protect it…..”
    Protect against what…..thats the question.
    Sounds like “healing” to me.

  46. Steinar Midtskogen (10:43:46) :
    Yes, but Utility companies make a lot of money off those street lights. It’s more like a subsidy paid by the local residents. At 2am, there is little reason or good that the things perform. Waste.
    Another silly waste is Daylight Saving Time.
    If Greens really were concerned about conserving energy, they’d be doing something about both problems.
    Instead, we get a pitiful feel-good hour and climate hoax.

  47. Tonight is ‘Earth Hour’ a propaganda ploy organized by the WWF, World Wildlife Fund, to promote the global warming hysteria.
    “2. When is the next Earth Hour?
    “Earth Hour will take place on Saturday, March 27th at 8:30 p.m. local time. [for one hour]
    “3. What is in store for Earth Hour 2010?
    “On Saturday, March 27th 2010 at 8:30 p.m. hundreds of millions of people around the world will turn off their lights for one hour, symbolically calling for action on climate change. In the United States, WWF is looking for continued support from the hundreds of local governments, communities and business, as well as the tens of millions of Americans who voted with their light switch during Earth Hour 09.”
    We can all vote, too, with our light switch!
    Let YOUR light SHINE at 8:30
    Pass the word…

  48. @Robert of Ottawa (10:33:12) :
    I’m celebratin Human Achievement Hour by turning on all my lights and upping the temperaturre in the house.
    Count me in — I’ll be turning on the lights this evening!

  49. I plan to observe earth hour by turning off my lights on my way to the airport, where I will get onto a plane to head to the east coast.
    Of course, my wife will turn them back on when she gets back from dropping me off.

  50. Earth Hour is the cost of a yearly indulgence for the green religion. But most won’t repent and actually follow their religion. Hypocrites all.
    I live off grid but will use some of my reserve power to turn on the lights during Human Achievement hour. Better yet I’ll fire up the whole house generator for that hour and top off my batteries.

  51. I am surprised that no one has suggested that we turn off everything for the hour BEFORE earth hour, then turn it all back on at the beginning of earth hour.
    This would make the difference all the more obvious (on the chart). Why, I might even shut down this computer in such an honorable quest. Sorry Anthony, fewer hits in the hour before EH.

  52. My vote for Quote of the Week, from Leon Brozyna:
    “I won’t be suckered into anyone else’s guilt trip”.
    At the time of submission, it’s still an hour and a half before “Earth Hour” hits me. I might even turn on the TV.
    Cheers,
    Neil

  53. I wonder how many greenies will be huddled around their computers, checking out all the web stuff about Earth Hour as it happens, in a stunning act of hypocrisy.

  54. Last year for Earth Day I put up a poster of the Korea night shot, and have kept it on my office door (at the university) all year because I think it makes a great point.
    I forget who penned the caption — maybe someone here knows, they should be credited — but in any case I think it’s a devastating way to articulate the point:
    EARTH HOUR
    Guess which Korea is free and which is a Stalinist dictatorship. Guess which Korea eats and which one starves. Electricity is good. Choose freedom, and build more power plants.

  55. Anthony,
    I recall you blogged several weeks ago about your letter to a newspaper bemoaning the use of the word “denier” as it pertains to the views of AGW shared by you and others. From memory, I also recall a general conversation about name calling, ad hominem, etc.
    And yet here you all are using phrases like “eco-greenie halfwits”. And yet you stand consipicuously moot. Would you just like to come out and admit you lack the objectivity to be called a scientist, and that this is not a “science” blog?
    With regards to Earth Hour: are you really trying to convince everyone that this even is designed to save the world? Clearly it is a symbolic gesture, meant to remind people of the importance of global awareness, energy consumption and maybe even – gasp – recessed LEDs.

  56. I have my timer set to remind me when it’s 8:30, so I can turn on every light in the house as a protest. Maybe I’ll hang up some of the Christmas lights again too.

  57. Anthony, thanks for posting this. I had a lot of fun with this last year, and expect to have some more fun with this year’s Earth Hour silliness. (Btw, I like the hat. How did you know I have one exactly like that? )
    I posted the California power consumption graph from Saturday March 13th for a comparison to tonight’s great Earth Hour power blip. http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/earth-hour-2010-busted-again.html Nothing new here, really, as the same smooth power decline occurred after 8:00 p.m., same as last year.
    If Earth Hour is successful, we should expect to see a dip similar to that of 6:00 a.m. on March 13, roughly sunrise, when many millions of street lights and security lights turn off automatically across the state. The dip is approximately 200 MegaWatts. (smaller but similar dips occurred on the graphs on this post above, at approximately 6:30 a.m.)
    Note that the power grid handles those dips with grace and no problems, (and does so daily), so it will take a mighty effort on the part of the greenies to actually cause a problem.
    This to the commenter above on turning out streetlights at night because they waste energy: they stay on as a crime deterrent. Private security lights stay on as a reasonable and prudent measure to ensure few accidents occur to guests or residents or other authorized persons. Lawsuits are legion against a property owner who failed to adequately light his premises, and an accident occurred as a result. Those lights are staying on, too.

  58. Mikael Lönnroth (09:14:07) :
    Here in Finland they say the 2009 event had a significant effect on power consumption, but that’s not really the point.
    Turning off the lights is demonstrating that people care about their planet and are ready to accept some changes in order to protect it..

    Well then, set an example. Turn off your electricity on alternate months, for the whole month, that is. Show you care.

  59. My part for Earth Hour:
    take a extra long shower so I can feel clean again after reading some of the comments from trolls

  60. “Hu Duck Xing (10:48:55) :
    And now I’m sorry I took down all the outdoor Christmas lighting! Next year, I’ll wait.”
    Lol…ya, I’ve left mine up just for this event….for years now…even
    before Earth Cower….snicker…

  61. In addition to firing up every appliance and light, I’m lighting a very large pile of wood and brush, some of which is still green and should smoke nicely, and my kids will enjoy toasting marshmallows and tossing more wood atop the pile.
    In addition to using more electricity, I’ll be adding TONS of CO2 to the atmosphere. So take THAT planet-worshippers!

  62. Don B (08:52:00) said :
    “I hope the polar bears don’t celebrate Earth Hour by eating the Catlin expedition.”
    Yumm… tastes like seal!
    🙂

  63. Visceral Rebellion (12:43:17) :
    In addition to firing up every appliance and light, I’m lighting a very large pile of wood and brush, some of which is still green and should smoke nicely, and my kids will enjoy toasting marshmallows and tossing more wood atop the pile.

    These types of responses are just as silly as Earth hour. Come on people.

  64. “Steinar Midtskogen (10:43:46) :
    There is too much excessive outdoor lighting.”
    True, we need Victorian levels of darkness. Then rape, muggings and killings will rise to old historic levels again but higher incidents of death due to traffic accidents.
    We don’t have enough lighting is what you meant.

  65. To: sunsettommy (09:37:14)
    I agree. Enjoyed your focussed rant, cos this site is so good we must keep rants focussed, yes? A lot can be done, and ought to be, via energy efficiency. And not because of CO2 as such, but it just makes sence given finite resources, over population etc.

  66. It’s now 8:35 pm. GMT, and all my lights are on; just to show that I care… about all the brainless garbage pumped at me by the greenies and our politicians.
    At least I can see to read my library book: Robert Service’s biography of Lenin. This was the first biography to have access to the ‘raw data’ after the fall of the Soviet Union. I have discovered that the childhood head-banger, er, intellectual, er, manipulative sociopath, er, obsessive, really cared… about getting his own way at whatever cost to others. But he was careful to get others to do the assassination, and the bank robberies, and defrauding rich widows, and…
    His successors, green or red, are not much better. But they care.

  67. Mikael Lönnroth wrote: “Here in Finland they say the 2009 event had a significant effect on power consumption, but that’s not really the point.”
    No it didn’t. It amounted to a whopping 1% reduction in electricity usage according to the Finngrid statistics.

  68. Jeff Alberts (13:16:50) :
    These types of responses are just as silly as Earth hour. Come on people.

    That pile needs burning–what’s silly about that? I’ve just saved it for tonight, like others have left up the Christmas lights.
    And as an added bonus, my kids will enjoy the food and trying to ID constellations.

  69. Human Achievement Hour is a great way for me to celebrate the fact that I will not be sleeping in a dark teepee tonight, eating food that was cooked over burning buffalo dung, and struggling every day merely to survive to the next day, like the previous residents of this area did.
    Then again, I live on a quiet cul-de-sac in a fairly upscale neighborhood, and don’t recall ever seeing lights off in my immediate vicinity, so preaching to the choir I will still have all my lights on. This year I’m thinking of idling the car for the whole hour just because I can.

  70. I feel guilty now about my lack of knowledge (of earth hour) and somewhat childish temptation to turn on even more lights than normal. But we all have had so much BS from the warministas that i guess frustrations boil over sometimes?
    I Do try to save energy when I can: the task is to use technology and common sense to move toward sustainability without killing our economies, so “earth hour” gestures could do some good, if only they didn’t rev up the lunatic fringe who want to push us back to the Dark Ages. (They would help the planet more by having no children (population growth is the real problem)….maybe we could start a voluntary scheme for them to sign up to…)

  71. kwik (10:57:16) :
    Mikael Lönnroth (09:14:07) :
    “Turning off the lights is demonstrating that people care about their planet and are ready to accept some changes in order to protect it…..”
    Protect against what…..thats the question.
    Sounds like “healing” to me.

    ———————————————————–
    Directed at Mikael.
    In the interest of being fair and balanced: The planet doesn’t care about us, so what’s the point of getting all exercised about human impact on the planet (which is vanishingly minuscule by the way) .

  72. Anthony is for energy efficiency and conservation.
    What Earth Hour celebrates is the opposite. The UK is ahead of the US (if that is the right word) in wind turbines, and they have enough experience to know that they produce at about 25% of rated capacity. Also, when electricity is needed the most, when temperatures are very cold, the wind doesn’t blow much.
    The result is a need for backup electrical generation-duplication at increased costs.
    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/03/cold-wind-doth-blow.html

  73. I don’t get it. Earth Hour seems to be an excuse to send out lots of OB units, charter lots of helicopters and light planes burn fuel so people can kick back in front of their 50″ plasmas and feel ‘green’. Perhaps the dishwashers, tumble dryers weren’t used during that hour, so it’s ok.
    It’s all very puzzling. New builds in the UK and worse in some parts of Australia seem to have covenants or regulations about hanging out washing because it looks ‘messy’. Yet that means using free energy from our atomic clothes dryer the sun, and if shirts are out on hangers, less ironing.
    Perhaps in the interests of noveau greenness, we should ban dishwashers, tumble dryers, hair dryers, electric toothbrushes, shavers etc and see how our urban(e) environmentalists manage without these labour saving essentials.
    I keep thinking a neat way to demonstrate the sanity and wisdom of our climate cheerleaders like Gore, Strong and now the duelling James Cameron would be to parachute them into the WWF’s new wilderness preservation. Give them 3 months worth of supplies, watch what happens. If they build a low energy utopia, perhaps we can learn something. If not, well, no great loss.

  74. Most greenies need to be told what to do. If it needs to be 2 hours next time, so be it. If the word got out that the SUV has to go, then they would do it (as soon as the lease ends, or the H2SO4 claims get irritating.
    My kid walked past the screen (before I read the pro/con comments) showing N Korea and said “what is Earth Hour?” I taught them well.
    I celebrate Earth Hour every year by eating Aspertame/Flouride / HFCS sandwiches for 1 hour and gazing at the sunset as it lights up the chem trails (health and weather permitting).
    No need to fret, this insanity will pass.

  75. I think it’s best to just ignore it, and saving the anger for something more worthwhile.
    Sure, have a party, but no need to turn on every light. Let them be the eco-greeny kiddies, while we’re the adults, carrying on with life as usual.

  76. The truth about energy efficiency,
    The Efficiency Paradox (Peter Huber, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, MIT)
    The Virtue Of Waste (Peter Huber, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, MIT)
    Energy efficiency merely makes energy cheaper and thus we use more of it in the long run. The irony is that if you really want to curtail energy use you need to make it less efficient or simply more expensive, which is what cap and trade or a carbon tax would do.

  77. We had our own Earth Hour…. er, 50 hours, last week courtesy of Cyclone Ului. Our power, lights, phone came on more than 2 days later, most people on after 7 days, some I understand are still without power. Neighbours lent us a generator to keep our fridge and freezer going, and we had lots of BBQs, so we were luckier than most. It certainly brought home how much we depend on electricity. I see on the news this morning it made less than 3% difference in Brisbane. Fools!

  78. One thing’s for certain: no one in Kentucky or West Virginia will be participating.
    Nor will I.

  79. I’ll be too busy watching a movie… but the lights in my family room will be off while we’re watching it, does that count for anything ? Maybe I can get a carbon credit for that or something ?

  80. So I’m curious…
    Do you think all of the WalMart’s et al will be observing “earth hour” at 8:30 pm (right in the middle of their peak customer shopping time ?
    Hardy har har.

  81. We celebrate Earth Hour here every day — except we have to celebrate at differing times, depending when the generators need an oil change.
    Today, we celebrated it between 0937 and 1055.
    And then again between 1830 and 1948.

  82. For all of you who have missed the opportunity to switch off your non-essential lights during Earth Hour, there’s still Earth Day (April 22) and Earth Week (the week around April 22):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Day
    And there’s still Bike-To-Work-Day, UN World Environment Day, UN World Population Day, Zero Emissions Day, Car Free Day, Ecological Debt Day (a.k.a Earth Overshoot Day), International Day Of Climate Action and Green Office Week. To name some of them.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_environmental_dates
    I wonder what happened to Carbon Footprint Day.

  83. Turning off the lights is demonstrating that people care about their planet and are ready to accept some changes in order to protect it..
    Phooey. If people limited their consumption every damned hour, every day, then that would be demonstrating a willingness to accept change. Turning off your lights for an hour is moral grandstanding, a competitive game of ‘holier than thou.’

  84. Ya, that Ontario link is interesting. What would cause that spike between 8PM and 9PM? Did everyone first turn on all of their lights and then turned them all off to make the whole experience more dramatic?

  85. I’ll run my downstairs heat pump on heat, the upstairs unit on cool, make sure the pool pump is running, rev up the washer and the dryer, throw some brownies into the oven, and boil some water on the stove. Then I’ll turn out my lights.

  86. My wife and I are on opposite sides of this divide.
    (I am an electrical power systems engineer and have some knowledge of the forces at play here. I will just say that I think the entire Earth Hour exercise is sophomoric.)
    So, at 8:30, I turned on every light in the house to make my feelings visible. My wife huffed and stomped around calling me every name in the progressive playbook as she was turning on the dishwasher and then went upstairs and to spend 30 minutes with her hairdryer.

  87. California is the greenest state? Well maybe, if green is a political hue, if you want to think so.
    But as for the color green, Oregon is far greener than brownish CA. In spring you can drive down a country road in western Oregon and count at least 1,000 shades of green. The retinas reel at the verdure.

  88. Do people realise that the whole thing is meant as a symbolic gesture? Trying to work out the actual energy savings (or otherwise) entirely misses the point. I’m not sure why symbolism suddenly has a bad name.
    The world wide gesture also demonstrates some marvelous human qualities quite aside from the issue it’s about. However misguided you think the cause, leavening your opprobrium with some reflection on the goodness of the human spirit that lies behind this event – irrespective of AGW – would be a mature and generous act.
    Contempt is easy and obvious. Endless contempt is tawdry.

  89. I had completely forgotten about this farce! I just did my usual Saturday night thing, had a feed, some beer and watched a bit of TV with the missus. We don’t use a lot of power anyway, amounts to about AU$150 per quater which, according to my power bill, produces a whopping 0.77 tonnes of CO2 from 721.8kWh’s.
    We’re all gunna die!!!!!

  90. “barry (19:09:11) :
    Do people realise that the whole thing is meant as a symbolic gesture? Trying to work out the actual energy savings (or otherwise) entirely misses the point. I’m not sure why symbolism suddenly has a bad name.”
    Since it comes from the WWF?

  91. Damn! You people are bitter! Sounds to me like both camps just want to be arrogant and find a reason to look down on other people. Turning on every light in your house to protest? You go, champ. Sounds kind of stupid to me. I don’t care about global warming or climate change or whatever the current buzz phrase happens to be. It’s about fiscal responsibility. One hour makes no difference unless you begin to realize there are appliances and lights you leave on that just waste energy. That was my goal from the start. So hate me and whine about my empty gestures or, oh my God, write a blog in protest. Yeah, that’ll have impact, too.

  92. This is Ontario’s electical usage for 6-7 pm, 7-8pm, 8-9pm and 9-10 pm in MWh
    16439 16705 16657 16724
    seeing that today is a Saturday and fewer people are coming home from work at 5 or 6, dinner is usually earlier, around 6. The increased usage before 8? Preparations for earth hour black out parties?
    Why isn’t earth hour at least as low as dinner hour, 6 to 7 pm?
    Notice the increase in the 9 to 10 pm hour. After black out party celebrations?
    Barry, nobody is picking fun at a symbolic gesture. Nobody knows this is a symbolic gesture. We are looking at the results and it costs energy; it does not save it.

  93. “barry (19:09:11) : ”
    But Barry the CO2 is still being emitted by the power stations because the power, not being consumed during Earth Hour, is still being generated. This gesture symbolises ignorance in the poeple who don’t understand where their power comes from, how it is generated (And how you just simply cannot turn it off at the source for an hour) and delivered.

  94. If I was spying on Al Gores mansion at 8:30pm, here is what I might observe..
    At 8:30 he starts moving around to switch off lights. It takes a while to get that big frame moving.
    At 9:30 he has managed to switch off HALF the lights of the huge mansion. Has had no time to get to the pool area or the patio, nor time to get to the basement to turn off the central heating. Time to start switching back on.
    At 10:30 he is back to his 32″ computer monitors. Being a concerned citizen and feeling a little guilty that one hr wasn’t enough to switch everything off, he calls the Times to say what a great success Earth Hour was and that from next year it should be extended to 2 hrs.

  95. I recall “the big blackout’ in the 60’s.
    A town resident hereabouts recalls hearing shots fired and the sound of running feet….civilization is a thin veneer.

  96. Re: barry (Mar 27 19:09),

    However misguided you think the cause, leavening your opprobrium with some reflection on the goodness of the human spirit that lies behind this event – irrespective of AGW – would be a mature and generous act.

    Turn it up Bazza. Nothing of the sort lies behind this event.
    If, leading up to Earth Hour, wealthy nations had installed base power grids to some impoverished African villages, and the power was turned on whilst the rest of us turned off, THAT would show the goodness of the human spirit.
    You’re right about the “symbolic” gesture. Not a single CO2 molecule was stopped from entering the atmosphere. Just like the various carbon taxes, trading schemes etc not a tenth of a degree of warmth will be removed from the earth energy budget but it will cost an arm and a leg. All the less to be able to help the impoverished of this world.
    They can stick their symbolism up where the sun don’t shine.

  97. The Ontario graph doesn’t seem to show the real time use, just the projected use.
    The California graph, although not a step decrease does show the decrease starting at 8 pm instead of the predicted 9 pm, so people were turning off, however the actual use was much higher than projected, so I call it a tie.

  98. Here is a wonderful short article by Ross McKitrick regards Earth Hour.
    via Donna Laframboise nofrakkingconsensus

    “The whole mentality around Earth Hour demonizes electricity. I cannot do that, instead I celebrate it and all that it has provided for humanity…. It invites people to become sanctimonious do-gooders by turning off trivial appliances for a trivial amount of time, in service of some ill-understood abstract concept of “the Earth,” all the while hypocritically retaining the real benefits of electricity.
    …….
    I don’t want to go back to nature. Haiti just went back to nature. For humans, living in “Nature” meant a short life span marked by violence, disease and ignorance. People who work to end poverty and disease are fighting against nature. I hope they leave their lights on.
    ……
    …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 is something to be ashamed of.
    Ross McKitrick

    Full article in pdf (single page) here

  99. Did people actually just sit in the dark for earth hour? or did they move around using battery-fueled torches, thus contributing far more to CO2 generation than they would burning one or two electric lamps? Or did they burn candles that produce far more CO2 for the emission of far less light than even an incandescent electric bulb – oh. and where do they think the wax came from to make the candle (assuming it wasn’t very expensive bee’s wax)? – that dreadful ‘ fossil fuel’, oil. I suggest that if these people are real they try to get by with no use of electricity – including batteries – and burning no fossil-sourced fuel – for a week.It may remove that rosy glow of smugness.

  100. paullm (09:37:30) :
    Hmmmmmmmm……by the response here at WUWT it occurred to me that it would be very amusing if electricity demand INCREASED for “earth hour”! Now, that would REALLY make my day.

    Calgary, AB, Canada – 2009 earth hour…. we actually used more energy. The temperature dropped as per our chaotic (ok unpredictable) weather, but more importantly a hockey game was on. I’m a hockey fan, so I can relate. I am all for saving energy, if it in fact saves me money.
    If you think that is interesting, try reading this article about how a televised hockey game is somehow exempt from Earth Hour in AGW friendly British Columbia:
    http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Earth+Hour+affect+essential+Canucks+game/2726181/story.html

  101. Anthony, here are the East Coast of Australia results for Earth Hour:
    http://www.aemo.com.au/data/price_demand.html
    For each states Graph got to the section labelled CURRENT DISPATCH INTERVAL PRICE AND DEMAND GRAPHS and click on each in turn. Note there were no big dips in power usage (green line in each) and in both Victoria and SA there were large spikes in usage at about 11pm.
    In the country that invented it, it was a big failure despite their claims to the contrary.

  102. Another exciting and meaningful reduction in electricity use … Earth Hour is shown by the red rectangle, thick red line is electricity usage …

    REPLY: Yep, and I just finished a new post saying the same thing. – Anthony

  103. Sydney has a “massive” drop in power that made it to the front page of the Herald … a 6 % drop … from what looks like mostly public structures.
    Perhaps the public is starting to wake up to the AGW scam ?

  104. Willis Eschenbach (22:56:45) : edit

    Another exciting and meaningful reduction in electricity use … Earth Hour is shown by the red rectangle, thick red line is electricity usage …
    REPLY: Yep, and I just finished a new post saying the same thing. – Anthony

    Of course you did … way kul. Congrats on the forty million, and best wishes for many more.

  105. I did my part. One of the 100 watt floodlights for our backyard burned out sometime between 8:30 and 9.
    I also managed to get through the time leading up to “Earth Hour” without giving the kids in the commercials the finger this year, although there was the one time when I did blurt out “The polar bears don’t give a crap, you little commies”.
    All in all, “Earth Hour” went well for me this year.

  106. What would be better would be to b;ow the power lines to Gore’s palace, it would take time to restore power, maybe days if enough utility poles were down, that would save more power than Norway. Earth hour is pointless and unhelpfull, normal people who pay for their own power use it wisely so all this green shit is just that.

  107. I did an analysis of the first Earth Hour in Sydney. Enough people responded as to have a noticeable effect. However, the effect was counterproductive. There was a significant spike in electricity use in the hour before 8:30 as everybody, it seems, got their cooking and air conditioning done, then a significant drop in the hour itself. Total electricity consumption change was insignificant, in the 0-2% range, but here’s the thing: the spike in use the hour before 8:30 was large enough to produce a daily peak in electricity use in Sydney that day. Networks, of course, are not configured to average use, but to peak use. By creating a daily peak, Earth Hour is stressing the network and, other things being equal, bringing forward the day when new investment in generation and transmission has to occur. Peaky use of electricity is not environmentally friendly. Earth Hour fails by actually achieving the exact opposite of helping the environment. There isn’t a way Earth Hour makes sense – at least to anybody who cares about helping the environment.

  108. You americans are really like big-headed morons. THE EARTH HOUR EVENT IS NOT SUPPOSED RESULT IN ANY DROP OF ENERGY CONSUPTION! It’s more like a publicity stunt to wake up people to care about our nature and climate. Please don’t make yourselves look like idiots debating against this event. It reminds millions of people to care about our nature.
    And to be honest I don’t personally take part in any eco-stunts or act for the nature and that’s not because global warming isn’t “a real deal” but because I don’t care cause it does not affect me (yet) ( And yes: I’m stupid like other regular people but not as stupid as you who debate over whether the Earth Hour event actually saves power.)
    PS. Go to school and get some education (or better pray for God for some intelligence…) not only because of this article and its comments but some other things you americans have so proudly said and done.
    A Guy from Finland.

  109. The best use of Earth hour would be to turn off all television transmitters for the full hour. The world would be a better place.

  110. I like 05:35:41!
    It’s like the brick in the toilet thing to save water. Too many bricks and the sewer system doesn’t work correctly anymore to wash the poop downstream!
    At 8:30pm on 3/27/2010 I was sitting next my campfire with 29 other folks after a beautiful day of paddling. We burned some nicely split oak logs in celebration.

  111. I’m happy to say that during Earth Hour I celebrated the human achievements that have given us the lifestyle that we can enjoy. I had all the lights in the house on, I was listening to music and working on the computer. My daughter was watching a DVD and we were using the dishwasher to wash our dishes. Earlier in the evening my wife and I drove to a local restaurant where we dined on food that was brought to our little corner of the world from much further than 100 miles away
    Until they turn the power off at the source for that hour I will continue to use the power that human ingenuity has supplied for our daily use.
    I also plan to continue to expel CO2 and methane for the rest of my life and long after I am dead.

  112. Well thought out, but not very effective, since people are aware of the AGW scam. Some may even recall the line from the ’70s tune “Shiver in the dark”.
    Rather than be brainwashed into flocking to the sheepfold of the eco-tyrants, they chose liberty.

  113. Yes, Americans can be dumb, 52% are simply fooled but us english ,perhaps started the stupidity when after 6 years of fighting socialists we voted in a socialist government, who now have wrecked the place. Speaking of manipulative fascists we come to earth hour, just plain stupid/see who are the sheeple thing. I just ignored it and had a laugh at the sheep!
    If you really want to help earth stop buying from India and China (stop for a month or so and then they will go skint)

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