What did you do for Earth Hour? The (yawn) reality

The Toronto city skyline at 8:27 pm during Earth Hour, March 26, 2011.

The Toronto city skyline at 8:27 pm during Earth Hour, March 26, 2011. Image: Lucas Oleniuk/TORONTO STAR

Here’s a collection of thoughts, quotes, and of course the result of our WUWT poll on “what did you do for Earth Hour?

First, my own experience: Being keenly aware of it days ahead, even I forgot about it at the appointed time, having been distracted by normal family happenings, so I didn’t remember to turn on all my outdoor lights until 8:50PM. Given other news reports, it seems the novelty has worn off, and many many simply either forgot about it or don’t care.

Pointless symbolism isn’t what it used to be I suppose.

Here’s the newsbytes describing the (non)event worldwide (Thanks to Tom Nelson for many of them):

Toronto only sees 5 per cent power drop for Earth Hour

Is Toronto in the dark when it comes to Earth Hour?

Millions of people from 134 countries — from Delhi, India to Heidelberg, Germany — switched off their lights and televisions for the fifth annual Earth Hour on Saturday night to show their support for action on climate change.

But Toronto only saw a 5 per cent power drop during the event — half of the reduction achieved during Earth Hour in 2010.

The year before that, the city had a 15 per cent drop in megawatts being used.

“Honestly we still think it’s successful, we think it’s a great program,” said Jennifer Link, a spokeswoman for Toronto Hydro, who added that cool temperatures likely had many people using more heat than this time last year.

Earth Hour fans ‘disappointed’ to see so many lights still on

In Toronto, energy use fell by 115 megawatts between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., a drop of about 5 per cent, said Jennifer Link, a spokeswoman for Toronto Hydro.

Last year, the city’s Earth Hour efforts saved 296 megawatts; in 2009, it was 454 megawatts.

Meanwhile, Nova Scotia Power reported saving 10 megawatts of power, a significant drop from last year’s 18 megawatts.

Toledo pays little attention to Earth Hour

‎Locally, the Toledo Zoo participated in the event. Facebook responses included “this is so silly”, “there is no way I can close early to participate” “C’mon, on a freezing cold Saturday night?” and “I enjoyed the hour”.

h/t to reader Brad R for this one below:

“Utility provider Enmax reported no noticeable drop in power consumption between 8: 30 p.m. and 9: 30 p.m. Saturday, when residents were asked to participate in Earth Hour by shutting off all nonessential power.”

How Was Your Earth Hour? ~ Philippines

As we drove along Ortigas Avenue, I was freakishly disappointed. Why? Because lights were on and it was Earth Hour.

Inside the car, I thought I wanted to blame the relatively-poor marketing the Earth Hour guys had on this year (You haven’t really noticed the Earth Hour 2011 ads as well right? You know they were there but the campaign wasn’t convincing enough).

My Experience of Earth Hour | My Mind, Thoughts and Feelings

Unfortunately, where I was, it was only us who participated in this event.

My parents slept early and I was left with my two grandchildren, age 6 and 7. I had to explain to them what this was all about.

Being just kids, they were restless. They kept on asking me how long will this last and why was it our neighbors did not do the same thing. I told them that it will only last for one hour and they should be proud to be a part of this worldwide event, to take a stand against climate change.

While we were waiting for the hour to pass, I decided to say the rosary and let them join me.

…Kids have this way of asking questions that any mature person would not dare to ask.

Five minutes after the hour had passed, we turned on the lights. They kids were happy.

The Earth Hour has passed. In retrospect, I questioned myself if I can still go beyond.

Tonight, LAX pylons will go green — and then dark — to mark Earth Hour – chicagotribune.com

Earth Hour will come early to Los Angeles International Airport. The ring of 15 100-foot-tall towers near the airport’s entrance will light up a solid green at 7:30 p.m. — an hour before Earth Hour — and remain illuminated for 60 minutes. Then the lights will go out from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., an airport news release says.

[Yeah that’s just what I want from Earth Hour, screwing around with the electricity at one of the worlds busiest airports]

World switches off light as ‘Earth Hour’ begins 

“We did hesitate a bit (about calling for Earth Hour in Japan) because there are many without electricity in disaster-hit areas,” said Naoyuki Yamagishi, climate change programme leader for WWF in Japan.

Leo Burnett Chicago Kicks Off the Next Generation of Earth Hour, Activates Global Social Media Campaign Reaching 128 Countries | NEWS.GNOM.ES

“Our goal for Earth Hour 2011 is to reach new, unprecedented heights of social engagement to fuel the single largest act of global participation the world has ever seen,” said Carey Isom, Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy at Arc Worldwide/Leo Burnett Worldwide. “As a HumanKind communications company dedicated to putting a brand’s purpose at the center of everything we do, we are honored to bring awareness and activation to this very special cause.”

Earth Hour is the largest mass participation event in human history and was organized by WWF—an election between Earth and global warming, organized the largest mass participation event in human history.Created by Leo Burnett Sydney in 2007 and carried on by Leo Burnett Chicago, Earth Hour was the first time people of all nationalities, race, ace, gender and religion were able to vote on the future of our planet as one global democracy. Now, just five years later, more than one billion people turned off their lights in celebration of Earth Hour.

[Hmm, more like a billion people don’t HAVE electricity:

1.6 billion people — a quarter of humanity — live without electricity:

Breaking that down further:

Number of people living without electricity
Region Millions without electricity
South Asia 706
Sub-Saharan Africa 547
East Asia 224
Other 101

Source: globalissues.org Poverty Facts and Stats]

Dubai, Sharjah Earth Hour saves 249000KW

Yeah but, how much more CO2 did they release organizing the celebration, getting people there, and putting that guy up in the helicopter/airplane/hotair balloon/whatever to get the shot?

To celebrate the worthy cause and encourage participation by residents and businesses in Earth Hour, Dewa, in partnership with Emirates Wildlife Society (EWS) in association with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Emaar and other government departments and local schools and universities and NGOs and private sectors and residents, marked the event with a traditional Arabic heritage village at Emaar’s Burj Plaza in the Downtown district adjacent to the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa.

Over 20 Arabian tents filled with arts and crafts, traditional cooking stations, El Arish hospitality, educational exhibitions, music and many local gifts and souvenirs were enjoyed by over 6,000 people who took part in the fun festivities and Earth Hour celebrations. A family occasion, children were also catered to with their own arts and crafts tents, face-painting, delightful entertainment and a conservation exhibition to educate and inspire their young minds.

Council’s ‘lights out’ weekend branded tokenism (From Oxford Mail) 

THIS weekend Oxford City Council will turn off all “non-essential” lights in a bid to tackle global warming.

But Green campaigners say it begs the question: why are lights burning in the first place if they are not needed?

Especially as the authority employs a climate change officer at a cost of £44,000 a year.

Celebrate good times, climate realists: THIS is what winning looks like

Two three-minute official Earth Hour videos are below.  The 2010 video is all about the global warming hoax.  The 2011 video fails to even mention global warming. 

Make no mistake: this is what winning looks like.  Of course, most alarmists are never going to come right out and admit that on The Most Important Issue of All Time, they were wrong and we were right.  What they’re going to do is just gradually quit talking about it.


YouTube – Earth Hour 2011 Official video 

This Earth Hour 2011: 8.30pm, Saturday 26 March, celebrate your action for the planet with the people of world, and add more to your Earth Hour.

YouTube – Earth Hour 2010 Official video

Earth Hour 2010 is set to be the best yet

What Makes Earth Hour Fun? | Real Science 

They know the lights will be back on in less than an hour. If they tried Earth Month instead, that would be the end of the global warming religion.

Here is the results of the WUWT poll, as of noon PST, March 27th:

It seems wildly popular to turn on lights, or ignore the whole idea, rather than turn them off, doesn’t it?

However, in one country, North Korea, Earth hour was once again a stunning success:

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/nvskorea.jpg?w=300Night-time satellite photo of North and South Korea. Note the single light for “Dear Leader”. Image from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program 



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Spain, about 1,7% drop during 20 minutes. (It was 0,6% in 2010)


Had a nice CO2 emitting fire going in both woodburners, while watching the big screen with surround sound and having an icy beverage from my huge refrigerator. Life is good.


Here in the Netherlands they called it a success when 29000 people turned off their lights.. the other 16 million could not be bothered with it.


I watched the Footy, and celebrated my good fortune that I have a long life expectancy and all the other benefits of coal and oil.
My fool Greenie Brother (who I love dearly) forgot Earth hour, so he decided to do it Sunday night. I nearly died laughing, I mean, isn’t that like forgetting Christmas to these Religious whackos?
I also suggested on Facebook and elsewhere that if you felt you needed to support Earth Hour, you should leave the lights off forever, or drown in your own hypocrisy!

What did I do? I verified that someone mentioned http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/03/27/earth-hour-in-north-korea-a-stunning-success/ on the announcement post, looked as some of the other comments, and didn’t even bother to mention to my wife it was Earth Hour.

Ken in Beaverton, OR

Ooops! I guess I missed it. It was dark and cold so I turned up the thermostat, turned on a few more lights and watched a movie. I even saw that my earth loving neighbor had on his porch light. So much for saving the planet.

Vince Causey

I put a load into the dryer at 8:30 and set the timer for sixty minutes, switched on all the lights and opened the curtains. Every little helps.

Most of Germany seems to have simply ignored it. Certainly where I live, no one bothered that I could see.


Darn, was busy arranging my sock draw, forgot to turn the lights out.


I live in the developing world – for work reasons – and we celebrated 17 mandatory earth hours today.

Lesson learned? More hype, shorter period. Next year…… Earth Minute.

A Lovell

Ha ha, I forgot too.
Did anyone drive past Al Gore’s house this year?


I had do deal with some of life’s little realities: laundry, bath time, a full dishwasher, an electric oven in need of (self) cleaning, a hockey game on the HDTV, and email in need of answering. Isn’t it interesting that all were engaged at around earth hour. ;-> I certainly wasn’t in the mood to light several dozen CO2/CO emitting fire-hazard candles for show. A quick look around the neighbourhood showed that few of my neighbours were interested in this silliness either.


I’ll be completely honest… I forgot about it!


[snip -inappropriate]


The WWF brainwashing failed.


Compared to previous Earth Hours here in NZ. I noticed the majority of people in the neighbourhood kept their lights on this time. A few years ago I was one of the very few people who still had the lights on.


Leo Burnett said, Earth Hour is the largest mass participation event in human history …
Not. I’d guess that a LOT more people have a morning bowel movement between about 6:30 to 7:30 AM every day than ever dreamed of shutting some lights off. ☺
Think about this. Millions of people all sitting down at once … some grand mass- participation narrative about something. Just not sure about what … kinda like Earth Hour except we all know which one feels better. So let’s have BM hour every day. ☺☺☺
(Yeah yeah. This post is sleazy and scatological. Like Earth Hour…snip away if you wish. All in jest.)


I went out to eat with the lights on in the house (to keep burglars away) and a load of laundry and the dishwasher running. Oh, and the computer was on.

Al Gored

I was going to do something but to conserve energy I didn’t.

Here in the university city of Uppsala, Sweden (just north of Stockholm) nobody really cared. Here is the Sunday morning edition of the local newspaper UNT complaining that the Town Theatre (stadsteatern) had its lights on when it had promised to turn them off during Earth Hour.
Their “patrolling reporter” was not a happy bunny 😉
I went patrolling too. Out of 144 apartments in my block only one had candles buring during Earth Hour, the rest had their lights blazing away merrily. My balcony had coloured christmas lights twinkling away happily too 🙂
Another “rebel” in the next block had just white xmas balcony lights on. But I later noticed a party inside. Heathen!


In other words Earth Hour is a complete fizzer that ordinary people have seen through yet the media make out it’s a huge success. Why are they such liars?

Propaganda and it’s followers. What a joke. I do my best all fricking year to conserve and the ring in nose types click off a few lamps for an hour and THINK it is enough. Stupid is as stupid does. I turned on all the light i could, Ran my electric heater, Plugged in my car and turned on every computer i have and watched a movie on the projector in protest. Stupid WWF hot air. Worse than Gore. Next year i am going to get a bigger heater and more 100 Watt light bulbs.

Brad R

Calgary, Alberta, Canada – “no noticeable drop”:
Calgarians choose to ignore Earth Hour -again
“Utility provider Enmax reported no noticeable drop in power consumption between 8: 30 p.m. and 9: 30 p.m. Saturday, when residents were asked to participate in Earth Hour by shutting off all nonessential power.”

Bob Barker

I did what I said I would do…….nothing. But I also forgot about it, too. Fortunately, if you plan to do nothing and then forget, you’re still covered:<)

“They know the lights will be back on in less than an hour. If they tried Earth Month instead, that would be the end of the global warming religion.”
YEP !!!!!
Would love to see them do it !!

chris y

We turned on all the lights, cranked up the A/C and dehumidifiers, baked some goodies in the oven, and celebrated human achievement hour. Nearby St. Petersburg, FL celebrated Earth hour today with the running of the Indycar St. Petersburg Grand Prix car race.

Don E

Darn, I forgot all about it. I had planned to turn on more lights even though that also would be a silly gesture. That’s probably why I forgot.


I had a bit of an battle with my other half. I grew up in a house without electricity and hate being in the gloom. She has Scottish blood and hates waste of any kind. We had lights going on and off all evening. Same as most nights really except more lights involved.
I reckon if any of these green wacko’s spent a couple of harsh winters in a remote Scotttish farmhouse without the benefit of electricity and the internal combustion engine then a permanent state of “earth hour” would be their worst nightmare (it’s certainly mine).

D Bonson

I didn’t change my normal routine. And from what I could see, neither did most of the houses and units near where I live.


Here in British Columbia we have a load of 9 gigawatts, the utility said there was a reduction of 117 mw’s, be still my heart. Now I am a retired power system operator from that utility and I know it is pretty much impossible to separate that little change in load from the noise. I smell politics.

Russ Hatch

Clothes washer running, one sock in the dryer, drying, one dish in the dishwasher, All lights on including the 4 banks of 8ft ones in the garage, Two tv’s, two computers, Nscale train set and all the interior and exterior lights on. Took almost an hour to shut things down after Earth Hour.


I actually participated. Although I did turn off every light and appliance in my house (I went one further and just killed the main breaker. Much easier) I did NOT sit in the dark and cold and worry about the earth. Rather, I sat under a blanket on the sofa with my wife. We discussed energy and electricity use, as well as more broadly our own personal resource usage. Our discussion was actually quite interesting. We concluded that we could probably reduce our resource usage slightly with little disturbance to our personal lives.
I don’t understand the hatred here for Earth Hour. I am an avid supporter of this website. I am a skeptic. Not only with regards to climate change, but all things. I am skeptical of our political leaders motives, skeptical of the oil companies, skeptical of the green washing, skeptical of modern medicine, skeptical of spiritual healers, and so on. I am even skeptical of the skeptics that post here. I expect their information and thoughts to pass the rigor that we expect the ‘warmists’ to follow. I am skeptical of most things I hear until I have had the opportunity to dig and validate them.
There is one thing that puzzles me though. An event which can’t possibly impact anyone but oneself such as Earth Hour is causing such a stir with everyone. I mean, how can turning off my own breaker on my house possibly impact those of you that choose not to? Why is it that everyone is so against this? It seems people here are more up in arms about a voluntary symbolic gesture known as Earth Hour than they are about things that actually impact their lives daily in a negative way.
I find all of this especially odd because Mr Watts himself has even said he has done things to reduce his resource usage: His solar panels as one example. Do those of you ridiculing Earth Hour also ridicule Mr Watts pursuit of solar power? How about his putting lights on timers? Insulating his house more? He even has an electric car!!! Do you ridicule those who elect to take transit to work rather than drive their car? Does it bother you that people participate in symbolic gestures for things besides ‘global climate warming change anomalies’?
I have some other pointed questions. Does it irritate you when you see a cross on someones rear view mirror? How about the little fish on the back of someone’s car? What about someone wearing a turban? Or perhaps a wedding ring. Those people are simply participating in a symbolic gesture to show that they care in some particular idea or concept. Do you ridicule them and their ideas? These aren’t things that can be right or wrong. They are simply ideas and beliefs that people can have and, as such, aren’t open for ridicule. Unless of course, each of us wants to open up ourselves to ridicule over every little thing. Why don’t we spend our effort and attention on things that matter instead.
Of course, much of my post is tongue in cheek, but I hope it gets the point across. There are things we should get up in arms about. There are also things that quite frankly don’t matter. Earth Hour is one of those things that doesn’t matter. It is the equivalent of people who pray before going to bed. We don’t get all cranky about that.
Now how about we get back to science and climate rather than poking fun of symbolic gestures that have little to nothing in the way of consequence.

Al Gore's Holy Hologram

hahaha like the way they say people in India were turning off the lights for Earth Hour. Having lived in India and have family there, Indian city blocks suffer blackouts for miles quite often and life becomes very difficult for them when it does. Without air conditioning homes turn into saunas. Without fridge food goes bad and attracts insects very quickly. Mosquitos spread malaria quicker in the dark as they are not confused by light and are guided directly to warm blooded mammals. Etc.


I watched 3 deer graze in my front yard…with the help of my yard lights


“the authority employs a climate change officer at a cost of £44,000 a year. ”
Dear oh dear.
Should be given a proper job like street sweeping.

mike s

Well I did turn my lights off at 8:00 PM and immediately I almost got in an accident! That was the end of Earth Hour for me.

Doug Proctor

The drop in reductions in Toronto’s power usage over the last three years (15% to 10% to 5%) is interesting and alarming at the same time. (Assuming this figure is true.)
Clearly there are a lot of warmists if those that “show up” at Earth Hour cause a noticeably drop in power usage in as large a city as Toronto. Not all those who believe act, yet in back in 2009 there was a 15% drop in power usage. Iif all who believed had acted, what would the drop have been? Plus, the 15% or 5% by itself is misleading as an indicator of the numbers of true believers. Much of the city’s power usage cannot be turned off – the subway, office heating, etc. The discretionary power usage, I would have thought, couldn’t have been 30% of the total. To have 15% (10 or 5) total drop, the percentage of the discretionary must have three times larger. (Here’s where I wonder about the truth of the statistic. If there is only 25% discretionary power usage, either a 5% drop is 20% ACTING; 15% is not 60% of the population turning things off, it is a foolish number. You can’t get 60% to do anything that is personally inconvenient.)
The drop in support of Earth Hour has a probable large component of a “donor fatigue”, in which those who are concerned enough to act become tired of doing so. They still believe as fervently but want someone else to do the do. In the case of climate change, the Toronto warmists may think, rightly, that government is responsible to act according to their wishes and only the government can cause significant good. The warmists obeying the Earth Hour summon in ’09 and .10 have raised consciousness (as liberals like to say); that was their job and they has done it.
All of that is interesting. What is alarming is that despite the events of Climategate etc. since 2009, that population responsible for the reduction of 5% of total and 15%? of discretionary power consumption are still very large and rabid enough to turn off their junk.
There are a lot of CAGW believers out there. There is a lot of momentum to be dealt with before nonsense can be changed into sense.

I’m getting very confused. My intention was to ignore earth hour, but I forgot to find out when it was going on so that I could ignore.
The big problem is all these different time zones, so in future, please could you give times as GMT, so that I can be sure to ignore it at the right time!


They should have called it Eaarth Hour. That way, people would remember it more easily. 😉


Being your basic cheapskate, I conserve electricity when and where I can. I think this sort of stuff is truly stupid.

F. Ross

Spent the hour looking for a satellite image of North Korea, but really couldn’t see much of anything once I got it.

Common Sense

We turned on all of our lights and celebrated the great human invention – electricity – and thought about all of the people in the world without it.
What a selfish, elitist thing to celebrate.


Then how about if I try it again, slower……..
Does anyone else think turning off the lights for one hour is totally inappropriate and insensitive when people in Japan are freezing and going hungry because they have no power?


nc, what? How can you think that BC Hydro be playing politics? No… you must be dreaming. /sarc off


wait, what…there was an earth hour?

Eyes Wide Open

Talk about a death spiral . . . . . . .

Matt G

Can’t we have a Earth year and see how these people so concerned can experience no electricity during this time. Don’t think they would fare too well especially during Winter, but I would expect a population boom to follows society’s behaviour of the third world.
Nice to make people aware of such a horrible and nasty compound that CO2 is and how it doesn’t benefit humans because we will all die from it. (sarc/off)
Seriously though, I’m against such pointless agenda driven event and shame that all the public don’t see it’s actual benefits and won’t cause humans serious problems via climate, based on observed scientific evidence. Though will cause humans problems implementing polices trying to cater for a non problem.

Howard B

We had to go out last night to a wine tasting. I too left the lights on (turned more on in fact before leaving). I even switched on the xmas lights before heading out, but here in Calgary where it’s been snowing for the last week that might have just been interpreted as being festive.
Oddly enough, at the wine tasting we were interrupted by an annoying sound around 9:00. The fire alarm in the building started clanging. After the fire dept arrived they found a fire from an overturned space heater in a daycare within the strip mall. Thank goodness for electricity which powered the smoke detector, alarm, and phones to contact the fire dept.


Here I went and totally forgot about it .. again. As penance I shall turn on a light bulb and stare at it in a moment of silent contemplation wishing for the day when everyone in the whole world can have light, heat, cool, food, decent shelter & sanitation.
There I feel much better now.
Of course you are going to need a lot of energy and efficiency to achieve that but maybe now we can start the third world thorium reactor drive. LiFTRs to the rescue. But if all those 3rd world countries become energy independent then how will we ever control and exploit them?