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:
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:
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:
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:
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