Don't Turn Off the Lights

Earth Hour This Saturday Is a Colossal Waste of Time and Energy.

Bjorn Lomborg

-No Lights to Turn Off-

On the evening of March 23, 1.3 billion people will go without light for the rest of the night—just like every other night of the year. With no access to electricity, darkness after sunset is a constant reality for these people.

See Copenhagen Consensus Center’s YouTube video  with a different message for Earth Hour.

Earth Hour teaches us that tackling global warming is easy. Yet, by switching off the lights, all we are doing is making it harder to see.

Electricity has been a boon for humanity. And the cozy candles that many participants will light, which seem so natural and environmentally friendly, are still fossil fuels—and almost 100 times less efficient than incandescent light bulbs.

Read the full commentary on Slate . Translations in 6 languages are distributed worldwide and available at Project Syndicate

-Electric Cars Have A Dirty Little Secret-

Is the electric car green? Not really.

It easily emits more CO2 than a gasoline car, because its production (especially the battery) is so energy-intensive.

Even in an optimistic scenario, the electric car barely differ from conventional cars as measured by their carbon emissions. Read the full op-ed in Wall Street Journal

-“Zero emissions” vehicles-

Bjorn Lomborg shows how electric cars are anything but “zero emission”. Electric cars are hugely carbon intensive to manufacture. Their driving distance is extremely short, so most consumers have not been interested in purchasing them (even with a generous tax credits of up to $7500). Lomborg joined Jenna Lee at Happening now to elaborate on the WSJ piece, see the interview on Fox News here

He also explained the environmental impacts of electric cars to Melissa Francis on FoxBusiness #

-Cost of Feel-Good Energy-

In 2012 Germans paid €20 billion for green energy that otherwise could have been produced for about €3 billion. The extra cost is because of green subsidies that will have almost no effect on Global Warming even a 100 years from now. If all that money was spent on energy research instead, Germany would actually help solve Global Warming.

Lomborg’s article is listed as “Most important this week” in “Der Spiegel” in Germany behind paywall

Snow Shut Down Congress

Lomborg was scheduled to testify for the US Congress on “How we need to think about global warming and what we need to do”, along with Dr. Judith Curry from Georgia Tech and Dr. William Chameides of Duke University — but ironically Congress was shut down because of a snowstorm that failed to materialize.

It was a bit puzzling for a Scandinavian native – we’re used to dealing with a lot of snow! The hearing has been re-scheduled for April 25, and in the meantime you can read his summary here

-Propping EU permits?-

The European Union should not approve a proposal to boost the price of carbon permits.

“The carbon price is low because we have had a big economic crisis so actually we are doing what the EU has promised to do, which is cutting the carbon emissions by 20 percent,” Lomborg said. “Wanting a higher carbon price is wanting to cut more than 20 percent. It is just pushing the policy goal which seems a little bit arbitrary at best.”

Read the full Reuters interview where Lomborg points to smarter solutions.

-Australian Climate Damage-

When it comes to property damage in Australia, the climate has not produced an “angry summer”, but clearly this point is a thorn in the side of the Australian Climate Commission you aren’t allowed to make that point.

A graph produced by two Australian commentators shows this is clearly not the case.  The graph uses peer-reviewed data that reflects changes in dwelling numbers and value, and an adjustment in the building code.

Follow Bjorn on Facebook and read this and other commentary.

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March 21, 2013 1:02 pm

MODs the first Youtube link doesn’t work

March 21, 2013 1:04 pm

Thanks, D.B.

March 21, 2013 1:08 pm

While they are at it, perhaps they will only use one sheet of toilet paper per sitting.

March 21, 2013 1:18 pm

The candles are perfectly green and non-fossil fuel if you make them from whale blubber 🙂

March 21, 2013 1:19 pm

The UK may be “celebtrating it’s own version of earth hour, or earth day or earth week. It turns out they don’t have a lot of natural gas storage capacity and they are running very low on supplies. Unfortunately, winters seems to want to hang on until at least the end of the month ane possible the middle of April. If they have any incadecents bulbs left, perhaps they can use them to warm their hands.

Dr Burns
March 21, 2013 1:25 pm
March 21, 2013 1:27 pm

I’m finding hardly any of the links working.

March 21, 2013 1:29 pm

Don’t forget Ross McKitrick’s excellent essay from 2009:
“Earth Hour celebrates ignorance, poverty and backwardness. By repudiating the greatest engine of liberation it becomes an hour devoted to anti-humanism. It encourages the sanctimonious gesture of turning off trivial appliances for a trivial amount of time, in deference to some ill-defined abstraction called “the Earth,” all the while hypocritically retaining the real benefits of continuous, reliable electricity.”

March 21, 2013 1:31 pm

Who would want a climate scientist or environut near them when the lights go out, it would be just an excuse for them to produce a hockey stick. I hope universities produce guidelines for students on how to stay safe once the lights go out.

March 21, 2013 1:43 pm

By now, the mods have probably already been alerted, but just in case … every one of the links has the close parenthesis tacked onto the link’s URL. Until the mods fix this, click on the link, then backspace over the close parenthesis and hit enter to view the link.
[Thanks, parentheses removed. — mod.]

March 21, 2013 1:44 pm

“Yet, by switching off the lights, all we are doing is making it harder to see.”
And by switching off our brains, all we are doing is making it harder to think for ourselves. But that’s exactly what the “consensus” crowd wants us to do. Consensus is good because it promotes conformity. Thinking is bad because it promotes skepticism. Skeptics must be ridiculed, shamed, and shunned until they conform to the consensus and support “the cause.” This is an old political strategy that is now being used in the name of science.

Gunga Din
March 21, 2013 1:46 pm

They just want us to turn off the lights to keep us in the dark.

March 21, 2013 2:00 pm

Dave says:
March 21, 2013 at 1:08 pm
While they are at it, perhaps they will only use one sheet of toilet paper per sitting.
Dave! The waste! At the very least, they should use both sides.

Myron Mesecke
March 21, 2013 2:08 pm

I will only turn off the lights if it looks like my wife is in the mood.

March 21, 2013 2:10 pm

I’ll turn up the heater, the forecast is a day below 0 C (that would be unprecedented for march 23rd in Holland)

nutso fasst
March 21, 2013 2:25 pm

The close parens have been removed from the text but not from the actual URLs. The links still don’t work by clicking on them.
[Reply: Thanks, parentheses removed. — mod.]

March 21, 2013 2:27 pm

For us it here, will be the Hour of Power, as usual. The purpose of Earth Hour is to keep us all in the dark for just a bit longer.

Tom J
March 21, 2013 2:36 pm

Dave on March 21, 2013 at 1:08 pm
While they are at it, perhaps they will only use one sheet of toilet paper per sitting.
May I kindly recommend that perhaps most of our climate alarmists, environmental rent seekers, lawmakers, and bureaucrats will actually have to use at least a whole roll of toilet paper for each one per each sitting.
On a slightly different topic I find it interesting that, as a society, we used to abhor censorship, police states, and the insidious practice of book burning, yet we are heading in that direction and if we are not careful we may very well find out that they are us. May I suggest that turning out all the lights on ‘Earth Day’ is, in the end, really not all that dissimilar from the same brand of darkness that is book burning.

March 21, 2013 2:38 pm

Do all the people who got hit by Sandy have to do this, or can they charge against the time that they were without power?

March 21, 2013 2:43 pm

I turn all my outside house lights on.
I have Enlightenment Hour 🙂

March 21, 2013 2:49 pm

Didn’t we just have one of these exercises in futility? I’ll probably be watching basketball with all the lights I need on.

March 21, 2013 3:09 pm

On the Earth First, flat earth, know nothing cult of light switch witches of east anglia university.
Down page to:
Importance of Power Factor in Distribution and Transmission Systems for Electricity.
When you turn off lights you raise the power factor and that uses more energy.
Fools need to spend 90 days without electricty and then make fool choices like this.

March 21, 2013 3:17 pm

Every time I hear a Republican talk about the burden the national debt places on our children, I cringe. We’re heading for an economic crisis that will make the ’80s pale, and long before our children reach maturity. Besides, we never pay off our national debt. And when I hear Bjorn Lomborg chastise the warmists for their little fantasy about electric cars, I cringe. He believes in the CO2 model for warming, and endorses that nonsense by nit picking it. Earth’s climate follows the Sun, and CO2 follows the warming or cooling! It’s time to turn out the lights on Dr. Lomborg.

March 21, 2013 3:24 pm

Smokey, smokes them out 🙂

March 21, 2013 3:28 pm

I thought that earth hour was the hour to make as much light as you can so alien life forms can see it. If you can’t see it from space, you didn’t try hard enough.

March 21, 2013 3:39 pm

No thanks. Because of the high costs, my lights & heat are already turned down as far as reasonably possible. My central heat is already off, even in mid-winter, except at nite.

March 21, 2013 3:42 pm

I will turn on EVERYTHING all night.

March 21, 2013 3:43 pm

t was a bit puzzling for a Scandinavian native – we’re used to dealing with a lot of snow!
Yeah, but you must not have ever seen DCers deal w/alittle snow….

March 21, 2013 3:50 pm

From the archives-a not so moldy oldie:
That is our future if the greenies have their way..

Barbara Skolaut
March 21, 2013 4:00 pm

This Saturday? March 23?
Guess it has been a year since I turned on all the lights in the house, baked something in the real oven (not microwave) even if I didn’t need to, turned on both TVs, and opened/closed the refrigerator & freezer doors for no particular reason. My, how time flies.
I expect Saturday will also be a good day to test-run my gasoline-powered generator, though I’ll have to do that during daylight.
Ahhh, the sacrifices I make for Gerbil Worming! ;-p

Lance Davis
March 21, 2013 4:01 pm

I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about CO2, but I think electric cars are the bomb. They are faster, smoother and quieter than IC powered cars and there are no (real) emissions (e.g. CO, NOX, SOX, HC), particularly at the local level. Sure, right now they are more expensive and have limited range, but that gets better every year. A colleague just got a new Tesla and that thing rocks (of course, it should for $100K).

March 21, 2013 4:06 pm

Earth Hour can also have a reverse effect.
Switching off the lights is a good way to teach kids what enviro loons, like Hansen, would love their future to look like.

Rhoda R
March 21, 2013 4:23 pm

Lance Davis: That you like electric cars is nice. Certainly you should have that choice — but do i have a choice about subsidizing your purchase? I don’t think so.

March 21, 2013 4:28 pm

“A colleague just got a new Tesla …”
Did you have to drive round to his house to see it or can it make it to yours?
(Sorry, couldn’t resist 🙂 )

March 21, 2013 4:36 pm

“but I think electric cars are the bomb”
I think that’s a bit unfair, the lithium might burn violently but does not explode like gasoline vapor. However, the idea that a $100k Tesla is good for the environment needs to addressed. Sure, part of the markup is the extra engineering and luxury cost which will help fund cheaper electric cars in the future. But the rest of the expense is due to higher production costs and those are mainly due to higher use of energy. Energy is money, and anytime you see a higher price for alternatives like electric cars, you can chalk it up to the extra energy needed to provide their inputs.
Go back to your colleague in about 5 years and find out how much money he “saves” driving his electric car. The battery capacity and efficiency will have gone down from merely bad to terrible.

March 21, 2013 4:41 pm

Since toilet paper manufacturers have now learned how to roll air inside the paper roll I guess economy might be necessary.
Wondering if Earth Hour is going to lead to another spike in fires due to candles being knocked over? Probably an offence to report such things.

March 21, 2013 5:04 pm

Paul, thanks for the link to Ross McKitrick’s excellent essay, which I reread each year about this time. Here’s the link again for those who may have missed it:
Here in Australia, blogger Tim Blair runs an Earth Hour competition each year for who can use the most energy at home – or anywhere else – during that hour. There are always awesome entries. People who own hotted-up cars have a distinct advantage.
Al Gore could win with daylight second if he entered, but for some reason he has forgone the opportunity so far.

March 21, 2013 5:08 pm

Earth Day again?
Hmmm… let me see… where is my anti-aircraft spotlight…

Steve in SC
March 21, 2013 5:21 pm

Time for The Don Meredeth version of “Turn Out The Lights – The Party’s Over”

March 21, 2013 5:26 pm

Neither here nor there, but it’s quite cool where I am.
I live just up the (Dixie) road from YYZ and remember watching a wee storm or two passing from north to south via BUF doppler. Talk about lights out.,d.b2U

March 21, 2013 5:27 pm

eric1skeptic says:
March 21, 2013 at 4:36 pm
Go back to your colleague in about 5 years and find out how much money he “saves” driving his electric car. The battery capacity and efficiency will have gone down from merely bad to terrible.
He probably won’t have it in 5 years – by that time he will have had it responsibly recycled* (using energy) and be driving the latest, even more eco friendly version (newly built using even more energy), also with an expected lifespan of 5 years or so.
And so the cycle will continue.

Chris Edwards
March 21, 2013 6:09 pm

OK I moved from the UK to Ontario, the power here is referred to as “hydro” I suspect quit a lot of locals dont know why !! so on earth hour do they turn down the generators that take days to spin down, of course not they turn down the hyrdro stations for an hour! says it all for me!

March 21, 2013 6:36 pm

Actually, a better day to celebrate would be March 29 – it will be the 72nd birthday of James Edward Hansen.
We should all burn one of those special 72-hour emergency survival candles in his honor.
So if you see a 3-day glow from my house, it’s just my shrine to that wondrous gas, CO2.

March 21, 2013 6:52 pm

Personally, I won’t be switching off any lights this weekend. I will be turning up the central heating though, since freezing tempratures and snow are forecast for many parts of the the U.K., including my region.

Steve O
March 21, 2013 6:58 pm

“…and almost 100 times less efficient than incandescent light bulbs.”
— The following comment is almost a complete waste of time, but I can’t stop myself and you seem committed to read on. Candles can be 1/100th as efficient as light bulbs, and light bulbs can be 100 times MORE efficient than candles, but candles can’t be 100 times less efficient than light bulbs. Mathematically that makes no sense.
I believe you were warned up front.

March 21, 2013 7:02 pm

All the lights will be on and I’ll crank up the heat with the windows open.
Yeah. I celebrate earth hour brightly!

March 21, 2013 7:36 pm

Our local shopping centre was giving out ‘earth hour’ bags which have CFL light bulbs in them.
two points:
– we’re not allowed to buy incandescent bulbs anyway
– isn’t the whole point of Earth Hour *not* to use your lights?
I will be studiously ignoring the environmental claptrap, just like 99,999% of all other inhabitants of Earth. I do not know of a single person who has ever participated in this rubbish.

March 21, 2013 7:45 pm

I’m going to bake some cookies…… Earth hour treats..:)

Lew Skannen
March 21, 2013 9:15 pm

I will take my V16 racing boat out to Dead Mans Point and turn off the lighthouse for an hour.
I just feel we should all do what we can…

March 21, 2013 10:02 pm

Hah! This year we’re not even going to break 40F for Earth Hour in upstate New York. Should I turn off my heat for an hour just to satisfy the narcissistic whims of some Climate Clowns like Mann? No thanks.

March 21, 2013 10:06 pm

@brc Sadly, I participated in this nonsense back in 2008. Thankfully, that was also the year where I finally saw how much garbage was behind the CAGW fear-mongering campaign. Anthony’s site has done a world of good for me, and hopefully for plenty of others.

george e. smith
March 21, 2013 10:28 pm

Well I’m betting that the most complete compliance with the Earth Hour of lights out, for the good of the planet, will be demonstrated by the enthusiastic environmental folks of the DPRK.
Those folks led the world every year; there simply is no competition.

March 21, 2013 11:23 pm

The Cyprus banking system is about to go under for want of €5 Billion. It may take the Eurozone with it, damage global trade, and cause a run on banks throught Europe. Oh, and may damage the US financial system as well.

-Cost of Feel-Good Energy-
In 2012 Germans paid €20 billion for green energy that otherwise could have been produced for about €3 billion.

€17 Billion dumped down a Green Rat Hole, while the financial system teeters on collapse due to being €5 Billion short. Gee, I wonder if that €17 Billion could have been better used somewhere else…
Oh, and since Cyprus has a few €Billion of Arab and Russian and Russian Mafia money in it, and they “settle scores”, and the EU Central Planners are planning to “shake them down” for a few €Billion it’s likely this will result in all sorts of “interesting accidents”. It also has Putin negotiating for the oil around Cyprus and maybe a base snuggled up to the UK bases. All in the middle of the Middle East Powder Keg.
But I’m sure windmills and feel-good-not-making-power solar in Germany was worth more than destablizing a tense place and starting Blood Feuds between the Old USSR and the EU…
Have the politicians of the West all gone “barking mad”? We’ve got a potential melt down of the Eurozone financial system, and a rekindle of the Cold War divides, seasoned with P.O.’s Arabs (where between Russia and the Arabs, they kind of control the central heat and gas for the EU…) all becuase the amount needed to keep the depositors in Cypriot banks “whole” and not take their savings accounts and checking accounts, is “too much” at less than squandered on green fantasies.
That is’t just wrong; that’s adlepated wrong.

James Bull
March 22, 2013 12:03 am

I just nearly had a tea, screen and keyboard moment with
Myron Mesecke says:
March 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm
I will only turn off the lights if it looks like my wife is in the mood.
And as for Earth hour I’ve missed all the previous ones so I think I’ll give this one a miss as well, I don’t want to spoil my winning streak do I.
James Bull

David Cage
March 22, 2013 12:19 am

What I find really annoying is that hybrid cars with say a ten mile range at 30mph on electric could contribute enormously to the environment of cities from the exhaust reduction benefits but. Instead we are spending huge amounts of money on a ridiculous and probably unachievable objective based on science that by any realistic standards is sub junk accuracy.

March 22, 2013 2:15 am

Don’t turn off the lights?
It seems that Britain is about to do just that. After all with all those wind generators and that planet warming at an incredible rate we don’t need all those nasty power stations so lets cut generating capacity by 10% for starters. The CEOs of power generating companies are warning that this might not be a good idea:comment image
Meanwhile, back in the real world the Met Office is issuing warnings for snow and blizzard conditions for Northern England and Scotland in particular plus lots more “drought” in the South West:
Mmnnn. I wonder if the politicians have got the right plan. We shall see, albeit with candles…

Steve C
March 22, 2013 2:26 am

The UK, for once, is ahead of the curve. Our forward-thinking Government is still insisting that all our older and less profitable power stations are to be closed down in a couple of years, thus initiating an indefinite series of randomly timed “Earth Hours”, “Earth Days” etc. all through the year.
Another snowy day here. I’m using energy while I’m allowed to. I wonder: how many people could warm their hands at a blazing Palace of Westminster?

March 22, 2013 3:30 am

The Denver area is looking at 6 – 12 inches of snow on Saturday. Some lights will go out on their own. Most will be replaced by snow blowers!

March 22, 2013 3:34 am

Now you know what it is like to live in most of Africa. They have an Earth Day 24/7/365 and mostly die as a result.
Stupid environmentalists!

March 22, 2013 4:21 am

Lomberg: “Earth Hour teaches us that tackling global warming is easy. Yet, by switching off the lights, all we are doing is making it harder to see.”
That’s a pretty good metaphore for climate alarmism and their response to criticism: close your eye’s ; fingers in ears and shout ” I can’t hear you” as loud as possible.
When we try to shine a light on malfaisance of climate scientists, they respond by trying to get everyone to turn off the lights.
Pretty symbolic.

March 22, 2013 4:33 am

“Snow Shut Down Congress
Lomborg was scheduled to testify for the US Congress on “How we need to think about global warming and what we need to do”, along with Dr. Judith Curry from Georgia Tech and Dr. William Chameides of Duke University — but ironically Congress was shut down because of a snowstorm that failed to materialize.”
Perhaps they could not stand the irony of having to discuss “global warming” during a snow storm. Much better wait until the middle of summer and let some fraud like Hansen come in and fiddle with the air-con.

March 22, 2013 4:39 am

Around 75% of Africans have no choice but to participate in Earth Hour – night after night, year after year. Tell them that co2 is a pollutant so they should continue without electricity as many don’t have expensive solar panels or windmills.

Some 24 percent of the population of sub-Saharan Africa has access to electricity versus 40 percent in other low income countries. Excluding South Africa, the entire installed generation capacity of sub-Saharan Africa is only 28 Gigawatts, equivalent to that of Argentina.,,contentMDK:21935594~pagePK:146736~piPK:146830~theSitePK:258644,00.html

March 22, 2013 4:42 am

Here is the correct url for my last comment.

Bruce Cobb
March 22, 2013 5:00 am

Well, it is a quasi-religious cult, so it’s all about symbolism and a type of religious emotionalism with them. Reality has nothing to do with it. Their goal all along has seemingly been to drag humanity back into the Dark Ages, and with their “Zero Hour” (“Earth Hour” being nothing but a lie, one of the many they tell), they get to do that in a very symbolic way.
It’s too bad Lomborg hasn’t bothered to further educate himself about climate. With cooling likely in the coming decades, the further damage to humanity, and especially the poor from Warmism could be catastrophic.

March 22, 2013 5:04 am

This will be an interesting place to study at the time of Earth Hour, for those of us in the UK and others interested in watching a power generation system as demand starts to approach reducing capacity.

Doug Huffman
March 22, 2013 5:10 am

Wow! Burning books to light the darkness! A powerful image.
About toilet paper, it is a precious commodity aboard a submarine on extended patrol. We discussed conservation efforts. A humorous favorite, that depended on effective hand hygiene, folded one sheet twice into a square with a common corner and pulled a 1/4-inch piece out of that common corner making a small hole in the center of the square, through which a finger is inserted …
This tale, like TMI-2, is dying of Too Much Information.

ferd berple
March 22, 2013 5:22 am

wsj link doesn’t appear to work. found this via google.

March 22, 2013 6:04 am

Last month we had a power outage. It lasted for almost 3 hours. It’s especially annoying because in my neighborhood all of the utilities are underground, so it was not a distribution problem. Most neighborhoods around me got power within 1/2 hour but we had to wait.
Living in a winter climate, it only takes a short time in February without power before you realize why you need power. The chill began slowly at first, but at a seemingly accelerating rate the house began to cool. And this is a heavily insulated house with all triple-glazed windows. The only thing that saved us from dropping too cold was that the entire basement floor is a heated slab. There was enough heat that even when the power came back the floor was noticeably warm. I realized that I couldn’t even turn the natural gas fireplace on, since it requires power to switch on the valve and pretty much has to have the circulation fan running to even heat anything.
We dug out an old battery-operated radio, which served to tell us that there was a power failure in my neighborhood. Yay. No HDTV, no discs to watch, only a half hour battery life on my laptop (I need to replace that battery!) and no internet even if I had power. Heck, even the cell towers in the vicinity were off for a while. Since my phone comes through the Cable system instead of the old-school phone lines, it had no power, and even if it had been live all my phones are cordless, so no power to the base.
Soon it became obvious. Pretty much everything we need to entertain ourselves or get any work done requires power. And failures in this area are rare enough that the lesson was relatively new. We had little problem with light, I have been something of a collector of white-LED flashlights, from tiny to large, and have a bag full of those hand-powered ones. So it was possible to see, but I’d sure hate to have that happen again.
There is NO POSSIBLE WAY I would voluntarily give up the magic of electricity, not even for an hour, not even it was for a cause that I didn’t think was ridiculous. To me electricity is the very symbol of our lifestyle, our civilization. To me, the desire to turn off the lights in a misguided attempt to celebrate the Earth or whatever they think they’re doing is a sign of mental illness, a desire to tear down everything we’ve built up. There are not enough caves in the world, so even living in caves is out. Take down our civilization and we’re reduced to living in teepees or igloos and becoming hunter-gatherers like the previous societies that occupied this land. That’s so not me.
So, as every year, I will celebrate Enlightenment Hour by ensuring that every light in this house is burning brightly for all to see. I will bake cookies so the oven is drawing power, and I’m pretty sure my laundry needs to be done. I won’t truly be satisfied unless the meter is spinning like a fan motor.
(PS. The generator I bought is capable of powering the furnace and a few other essentials for a day or so… more if I need to siphon gas from one of the cars… and I guarantee it’s a LOT less efficient than a generating station)

ferd berple
March 22, 2013 6:22 am

Jeff Glassman says:
March 21, 2013 at 3:17 pm
It’s time to turn out the lights on Dr. Lomborg.
Can’t agree. By speaking the AGW language Lomborg is much more likely to get AGW believers to listen.
From a believers point of view, Lomborg doesn’t challenge them to change their beliefs, rather to recognize that there are better solutions. This is a much easier sell than trying to change beliefs.
From a skeptical point of view, Lomborg may well be wrong about AGW. However, the message he is promoting isn’t that we should believe in AGW. Rather, that there are much more cost effective solutions to AGW than we are currently following.
This point of view makes perfect sense to me. Rather than try and raise the cost of fossil fuels so that everyone stops using them (which is impossible because there is no economically viable alternative – stopping fossil fuels is equivalent to economic ruin) the better solution is to find lower cost alternatives. Once there are lower cost alternatives, people automatically switch to save money, without the government having to pass laws to try and make people switch.
This point of view will not prove popular with the wealthy that collect subsidies and kickback a portion to lawmakers in the form of political contributions. Similarly, those lawmakers that rely on the kickbacks will fight any end to the subsidies, wrapping themselves in the cloth of “saving the earth”. Eventually, as electricity prices rise out of sight, the worm will turn.

March 22, 2013 7:07 am

What’s this authors bigotry about electric cars? They are not bought by greenies. Never have, never will. Educated nationalists bothered about their countries balance of payments, airline pilots, lawyers, architects and university Dons are the statistics in this market.
The Li cells are mostly (sooted) aluminium and copper sheet with a plastic separator. Which is the bulk of the cell. The fluid inside is chemically similar to coke and brandy with a lithium infusion. Either housed in a plastic bag or box. The price of these things at $1.12/WH to the man in the street is not that much more than their material value. Admittedly, the particular kind of cells chosen by the manufacturers are not the most long lasting but they are bounds ahead of the Li-Co garbage they use on your laptop and Boeing 787. Cars expect -30% range loss in a decade/100K miles.
Youtube shows owners driving their cars at 4.5 miles per KWH. My (UK) car costs six times more in fuel alone, plus, simple to service; few consumables. You can buy a Nissan Leaf <£18K, same price as an equivalent diesel and by driving 60K miles, the UK cost saving is not only recouped, it's paid for. As a second car driven on regular use, its an absolute no-brainer!
Lastly, turning off street lights for an hour will make no difference to the nations electric consumption because they take hours to run up just for the kettles to start when the adverts come on between Coronation Street! Would be nice if the skies were clear though: Telescope would be out ready.

March 22, 2013 10:43 am

Light represent life, hope and knowledge
… and we are supposed to turn it off …!

March 22, 2013 11:18 am

None of the fox links work.

March 22, 2013 11:42 am

Damn! Why did clean my self-cleaning oven last week! That draws tons of power. However, this Saturday, remaining Christmas lights outside will be on, as will the dishwasher, washer, dryer, and every appliance that we can bear to have running (our two vacuum cleaners for the duration might be a bit much). Cookies will be baked and the house cleaned using all the mod. cons. to celebrate the Earth Enlightenment Hour!
(Must protect fellow rate payers from possible payments to New York State of Quebec to take Ontario’s surplus energy from our massively inefficient grid.)

Chris R.
March 22, 2013 1:41 pm

To Mike:
You wrote: “Who would want a climate scientist or environut near them when the lights go out, it would be just an excuse for them to produce a hockey stick….”
Yes! But in the darkness, you can take the hockey stick away from them and bash them with it,
hopefully pounding some sense into their thick skull(s)!

March 22, 2013 2:00 pm

E.M.Smith says:
March 21, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Have the politicians of the West all gone “barking mad”?

It all starts to make sense, once you realise that we are ruled by psychopaths.
The politicians are another matter. They just do as they’re told.

Barbara Skolaut
March 22, 2013 6:55 pm

By the way, a few years ago a hurricane came through our area and we were without power for 5 days (and some neighborhoods were out for 2 weeks!). There had been heavy rains before, so when the rains and WIND from the (cat. 3? 2?) hurricane came through, trees went down all over the area. And this was in a fairly warm month.
The goddam greenies are welcome to live without power all they want; they can have my electricity when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.
(‘course, mine might not the hands that end up cold and dead. Just sayin’)

March 22, 2013 10:38 pm

I almost all LED’s because of the cost of power, but in honor of my plant friends I burn my paper docs due for the shredder on this day to liberate carbon into the atmosphere.

March 23, 2013 12:29 am

Here’s something from Viv Forbes – not sure its on his website yet [] so I’ll post it here:
Quote >>
Please Spread this around.
For Immediate Release
23rd March 2013
Energy Roulette Week
(The antithesis of Earth Hour)
A Reality Game for those Concerned about the Future for their Families
Media Statement by Viv Forbes
Chairman, The Carbon Sense Coalition.
Any quotes taken directly from this statement may be attributed to Mr Forbes
The Carbon Sense Coalition today called on electricity consumers to boycott
Earth Hour grandstanding by pampered people too silly to recognise the
realities and benefits of reliable electricity.
The Chairman of Carbon Sense, Mr Viv Forbes, is supporting an alternative
proposal that “Earth Hour” be replaced by “Energy Roulette Week”.
The Earth Hour people turn off a few lights on a balmy night for a romantic
hour in candle-light (incidentally generating twice as much CO2 as light
bulbs for the same amount of light.) This is unrealistic green tokenism.
The tokenism of Earth Hour is further illustrated by holding it on the
autumn equinox, a day half-way between the temperature extremes of
mid-summer and mid-winter. This is the day least likely to be uncomfortable
for the beautiful people who give up their electric lights, TV and
air-conditioners for just one hour, while they have a pleasant hour sipping
champagne (and releasing its carbon dioxide) on candle-lit balconies.
“Energy Roulette Week” is a reality game designed to illustrate what the
future holds if green governments continue to undermine 24/7 power
(generated by coal, gas, hydro or nuclear), by increasing our dependence on
fickle winds, the peek-a-boo-sun or smart-meter rationing.
“Energy Roulette Week” will give all players a real insight into what life
without reliable electricity would be like. The lack of power can be due to
insufficient generating capacity or merely the inability to pay the power
bill. The result is the same.
Everyone will be encouraged to play this game. It is only a game, but
because of its realism, most players will chicken out after the first “black
To maximise the learning potential of the game, “Energy Roulette Week” is
best started on the summer solstice (21st December) or the winter solstice
(21st June). Or if you are too weak for a real test, join the greens on a
balmy equinox.
To prepare for the game, take a well shuffled pack of cards and deal out 7
cards, face down, and place them in seven separate identical envelopes.
These are the rules for playing:
On the start day at 5:00 pm select one envelope and take out the card.
If it is a red card, just continue living as normal.
If it contains a black card (soon renamed by the kids as a “black-out
card”), go out to your power box and turn off all power and continue living
your life to the best of your ability. At 8:00 am next morning turn your
power back on.
If the card is the Joker, leave the power off until 12 noon the next day.
At 5:00 pm that evening take out another card, and continue this process
until all seven envelopes have been opened.
Because black-outs are usually unexpected, the rules do not permit premature
preparation of the evening meal, early showering or taping favourite TV
shows. And because those trying to cripple carbon energy oppose the
production of carbon dioxide, the rules also prohibit the use of kerosene,
bottled gas, candles, petrol generators or motor cars.
Hopefully you won’t get seven black cards!
If you had a real-life “black-card” day, it would be due to local load
shedding, or widespread problems with the generation network.
If you have real-life load-shedding, so does everybody else in the
neighbourhood; so the rules prohibit slipping next door for a cuppa on your
And if in real life it was due to insufficient generating capacity across
the whole city, the blackout would probably last for days, not hours, and
your experience would be magnified 100 fold. (So no visits to shops, no
food, no refrigeration, no petrol pumps or traffic lights, no public
transport, schools or hospitals, no security, no TV, no recharging iPods and
iPhones! Even worse would be to live at the bottom of a hill and there is no
power to pump the sewerage away, it may come gushing up out of your toilet.)
You may appeal: “But I can’t play – I have a family member on a life-support
device.” All the more reason for you to play, to ensure you always have a
charged battery back-up to keep your loved one alive. If not, they could end
up dead in the real energy roulette being imposed on us.
Of course this will never be a popular game because it is not pleasant being
without reliable electricity.
But there are thousands of people who are already playing the game in real
life, every day. They can no longer afford the cost of both green power and
food so they turn the power off; or the power companies turn it off for
them; or the wind drops or a cloud covers the sun, and green energy fails;
or its rapid fluctuations cause a collapse in the electricity grid. For them
it’s not just a few hours of inconvenience – it’s Perpetual Power Purgatory.
If this is what you want for your children and grand-children that’s OK. If
you don’t, start waving placards that say “Stop the War on Carbon – 24/7
reliable, economical power forever”.
The idea of Energy Roulette Week was inspired by a proposal from John
Ibbotson from Gulmarrad, Northern NSW and published in “The Daily Examiner”.
<<End of quotable quote

Old Ranga from Oz
March 23, 2013 2:10 am

8 o’clock has just struck here on the south coast of Oz, and I’ve celebrated by turning on all my outside lights plus all those inside that can be seen from the street. (Well, I’m not gonna run up power bills if there’s no public point to be made, am I?)
Does make me feel good to see ’em blazing away. Hi Big Al! Hi there, Our Tim!

March 23, 2013 4:34 am

If I followed this rubbish I would have to turn off the only lights that are on at the time of Earth Hour. That would be two 11w fluro’s. 22wats saved over 1 hour, on 1 day each year would save me how much at 47c kw/h? Stupid is not the word.

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