The futility of “Earth Hour” @earthhour

satellite image of the korean penninsula at night, showing city lighting

The winner for Earth Hour every year since 2003  – North Korea. Odds favor them to be the winner again this year.

“Earth Hour” starts tonight. Yawn.

Every year at Christmas, many newspapers reprint “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus“, this excellent essay by Ross McKittrick should be repeated on every blog on every observance of Earth Hour. Copy, paste, and share it widely. Better yet, turn on all your lights to celebrate, as Ross says below.

The whole mentality around Earth Hour demonizes electricity. I cannot do that, instead I celebrate it and all that it has provided for humanity. – Ross McKitrick

Earth Hour: A Dissent

by Ross McKitrick

Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics, Univer...

Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics, University of Guelph, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Image via Wikipedia

In 2009 I was asked by a journalist for my thoughts on the importance of Earth Hour.

Here is my response.

I abhor Earth Hour. Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century. Every material social advance in the 20th century depended on the proliferation of inexpensive and reliable electricity.

Giving women the freedom to work outside the home depended on the availability of electrical appliances that free up time from domestic chores. Getting children out of menial labour and into schools depended on the same thing, as well as the ability to provide safe indoor lighting for reading.

Development and provision of modern health care without electricity is absolutely impossible. The expansion of our food supply, and the promotion of hygiene and nutrition, depended on being able to irrigate fields, cook and refrigerate foods, and have a steady indoor supply of hot water.

Many of the world’s poor suffer brutal environmental conditions in their own homes because of the necessity of cooking over indoor fires that burn twigs and dung. This causes local deforestation and the proliferation of smoke- and parasite-related lung diseases.

Anyone who wants to see local conditions improve in the third world should realize the importance of access to cheap electricity from fossil-fuel based power generating stations. After all, that’s how the west developed.

The whole mentality around Earth Hour demonizes electricity. I cannot do that, instead I celebrate it and all that it has provided for humanity.

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.

People who see virtue in doing without electricity should shut off their fridge, stove, microwave, computer, water heater, lights, TV and all other appliances for a month, not an hour. And pop down to the cardiac unit at the hospital and shut the power off there too.

I don’t want to go back to nature. Travel to a zone hit by earthquakes, floods and hurricanes to see what it’s like to go back to nature. For humans, living in “nature” meant a short life span marked by violence, disease and ignorance. People who work for the end of poverty and relief from disease are fighting against nature. I hope they leave their lights on.

Here in Ontario, 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 with all its tradeoffs is something to be ashamed of.

Ross McKitrick

Professor of Economics

University of Guelph

Just add to the inanity of the stunt by WWF, note the header from their website this year:

Apparently, you should turn off your lights, but encourage computer use by putting the picture above on your Facebook page…sorta cancels out, doesn’t [it]?

The real reason behind WWF’s “Earth Hour”? Cold. Hard. Cash. Note the big red donate button to extract funds from the easily duped.

158 thoughts on “The futility of “Earth Hour” @earthhour

  1. Excellent essay! I agree wholeheartedly, and I thank God every day for the blessings He allows me to have and use, among which electricity is at the top. While I suffer few power outages, each one reminds me of the world our ancestors willingly left behind. Thanks, Dr. McKitrick!

    • Just more dot-org virtue-signalling by entitled elites, signifying nothing. Dr. McKitrick nailed it.

      • Here is an equally moronic tract I got today:

        Together we are the force for science.

        Show the world that you support fact-based policymaking, STEM education, public engagement in science and other important issues. With your help, we will continue to be powerful advocates for science and the resulting discoveries that improve lives every day.

        Become a member of AAAS for as little as $40.

        Join today and receive a free “I Am a Force for Science” T-shirt, which AAAS members and staff will be wearing when we join you and thousands of others in marching in support of science on April 22.
        Join by April 8 to ensure you receive a free “I Am a Force for Science” T-shirt before the March for Science on April 22.

        AAAS membership includes 51 issues of Science, members-only discounts and access to free certificate-level career development courses.

        Be part of the force for science.

        Join AAAS today

        Learn More

        This limited-time offer ends April 22, 2017.

        Offer valid from March 9, 2017, to April 22, 2017, for new individual members only. There is a limit of one short-sleeved T-shirt per membership order. Please allow two weeks for domestic delivery and up to four weeks for international delivery. As a nonprofit, AAAS cannot fulfill any size exchanges due to additional postage cost. The AAAS short-sleeved T-shirt is provided as is without any guarantees or warranty and cannot be exchanged or returned. In association with the product, AAAS makes no warranties of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

        ” fact-based policymaking ” , my AAAS !

        Maybe someone with US legal training can consider whether this “non profit” is complying with the requirement of being non political.

      • We have a 3 to 8 hour power outage about once a year. The first thing we do is refrain from opening the refrigerator or freezer until power comes back on. It always reminds me of how inconvenient it is. My dad told me of when he was a young lad back in the early 1920s, he had a job delivering ice to homes for their “cooling” box. No one had electric refrigeration as yet – everyone would hate to have to live like that again.

      • My grandparents’ generation continued to refer to refrigerators as “ice boxes”.

        My parents were familiar with ice boxes in their youths, before WWII, but adopted the new, more technically correct terminology. Still see some here in the country, adapted for other uses.

      • Greg:

        That STEM reference is directly from the S. 442 NASA reauthorization bill and funding documents.

        “SEC. 824. Education and outreach.
        (a) Sense of Congress.—It is the sense of Congress that—
        (1) United States competitiveness in the 21st century requires engaging the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (referred to in this section as “STEM”) talent in all States;

        You should write back and inquire how the senders plan to support STEM. See how far they insert foot, ankle, calf and knee.

      • Patrick MJD March 25, 2017 at 4:51 pm

        Propane fridges are fairly common among off the grid types in the US today.

      • pyeatte, I remember ice boxes (with actual ice blocks delivered daily!) from cabin we rented at a camp we went to every summer. The cabin had electricity, but no refrigerator (guess the owners didn’t want to put out for the expense), and the “bathroom” was a “room” just big enough for a toilet that had been added on beside the kitchen when they were required to replace the outhouse. We were kids – what did we know? – but I wouldn’t want to go back again.

        Viva electricity!

        (And my grandparents called their refrigerator the “icebox” too.)

      • “Chimp March 25, 2017 at 5:25 pm”

        This was a mains gas fired fridge, attached just like a cooker with a bayonet fitting, can’t recall if it was before or after natural gas though.

    • Today on the news discussing “Earth Hour” it was noted that the Internet uses as much electrical power as all of CANADA – maybe we should shut down all the cell phones. iPads, laptops and all computers for say three months …

      Can you say “withdrawal symptoms?”

    • For humans, living in “nature” meant a short life span marked by violence, disease and ignorance. Basic Hobbes. People who work for the end of poverty and relief from disease are fighting against nature. I am working as a component of nature and believe that no one can choose to live in it fully, or against it, but just with it. We are naturally emotional people, hence the reactionary duality that hampers intelligent compromises as we blaze forth as a species. Motive power can be steam.
      Political hot air as motive power?

      Climate change is natural. We can’t fight it – should not – at all, unless stupidity leads us to do it?

      I dunno.

  2. How about everyone holding their breath for short periods of time during that hour, instead of sitting in darkness (literally and figuratively) ? OK, someone calculate the savings of CO2 emissions from all 5 billion humans holding their breath for a collective 30 minutes, versus the loss of emissions due to non-consumption of fossil fuel power plants. Remember, just because 30% of their current level output isn’t used doesn’t mean that a power plant can reduce their emissions (or fuel usage) by 30%. In addition, think of all the calories that are lost in the process and calculate the goodly effects on heart attacks, etc. I mean, if we’re being silly , let’s be honest-to-God silly.

    • It’s worse than we thought – there are 7.5 billion folks (plus or minus) on the Earth today.

      • Big deal. Just over half of those are children and
        the remaining chunk, the adults, are about 50:50
        male and female. 7.5 billion is not all that much. It
        could be accomodated in about half a billion 4 storey,
        36sqm dwellings in a mere 100sq kilometers of
        surface area or about 20% of the island of Madagascar.

        That would be the whole population. It really isn’t all
        that big. The non-thoughtful would, and do, find it
        scary and are overwhelmed by it.

        Whether or not the increase in weight would unbalance
        and sink the island is moot. 36sq m is about a two car
        garage. One of these garages would hold 2 adults and
        their 2.5 children … no pets allowed.

        Food and water supply along with sewage would take
        some engineering, but if each tower held a windmill to
        provide the power (snort 🙂 if shouldn’t be insurmountable.

        It’s all about maintaining one’s sense of proportion.

    • If everyone who believes Earth Hour is a good (or even sane) idea held their breath for the whole hour, it wouldn’t be silly at all. It would be – as the old joke has it – a good start.

    • If 5 billion humans held their breath for 30 minutes, this would completely achieve the objectives of the anti-human groups such as WWF.

  3. 10 hours from now the WWF wants us to be concerned for the planet … From their website: “Around the globe, millions of people, businesses, and landmarks set aside an hour to host events, switch off their lights, and make noise for climate change action. ”

    Saving the puppies. One donation at a time.
    For me? I’m saving 3 dolphins by turning off my garage light for 2 hours.

  4. Dear Professor McKitrick
    Congratulations on your Earth Hour article. My email address is, and I am pleased that we are allies. My below article was kindly published on 23 March 2017 by Australia’s David Evans in “The Wentworh Report”
    Michael Darby

    No! to Earth Hour
    Two hundred and one years ago in 1816 a 28 years old Englishman named Francis Ronalds first constructed a working electric telegraph. This gentleman, who at the age of 82 became Sir Francis Ronalds, may deserve the title of the first electrical engineer.
    Electrical engineers and their close allies the electricians are members of a splendid worldwide band of great contributors to the modern era, still mostly men but with a welcome burgeoning number of women, the people who turn on the lights for the world. I reckon the easiest way to measure the happiness and prosperity of nations is by the Electricians Index. More electricians equals more prosperity and more happiness. Australia is high on the Electricians Index; North Korea is near the bottom.
    Also close to the bottom of the Electricians Index is Myanmar, mostly known as Burma. In 2013 Myanmar had a population of 53 million with total electricity consumption according to the International Energy Agency of less than nine million megawatt hours. In the same year Australia with a population of 23 million enjoyed total electricity consumption according to Australian Energy Statistics of 254 million megawatt hours. That is one sixth of a megawatt hour per head per year in Myanmar and eleven megawatt hours per head per year in Australia. To put it another way, each Australian has the benefit of sixty-six times as much electricity as a resident of Myanmar.
    The Asia Biomass Energy Office reports that 97% of energy used in the Myanmar residential sector is produced by biomass, which means that almost everyone cooks with wood, contributing to the observed decrease in forests. The same organisation reports that 74.7% of electricity is generated by hydro and 20.5% by gas. That is a total of 95.2% which means that oil and coal are insignificant in electricity generation. That should make the opponents of coal and oil very happy indeed.
    But here is something truly amazing. The Worldwide Fund for Nature Australia is a registered charity with the ABN number 57001594074. WWF Australia and has a cute little panda as a logo. WWF Australia is currently conducting an advertising campaign aimed at stopping drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight. And what is WWF Australia doing in Myanmar? A genuine charity would be working to help the Burmese get access to energy so they can keep their food fresh and educate their children and extend their lifespans and stop cutting down forests to cook their food. Not WWF Australia. WWF activists are in Myanmar now, organising the Burmese participation in Earth Hour. WWF is trying to convince the Burmese that they each don’t deserve even the one sixty-sixth fraction of the electricity which we Australians enjoy.
    The naked hypocrisy of WWF and its anti-energy allies is on display. These people do not really hate coal. These people do not really hate oil. What they hate is all energy, which means they hate human progress and they hate humanity. WWF Australia is a fake charity which extracts money under false pretences from gullible Australians, and uses that money to depress living standards and harm the environment in one of the poorest countries in the world.
    What Myanmar needs is fewer saboteurs and more electricians.

    Wentworth Report readers are untitled to be unimpressed by plans being made for so called “Earth Hour” on Saturday 25 March. Thousands of misled people across Australia will be lighting candles instead of flicking light switches and some of them will accidentally start fires and threaten the lives of their loved ones.
    Dangerous organisations, some like WWF Australia pretending to be charities, are trying to convince Australians that electricity is a bad thing and should be switched off for an hour. “Switch off to the future” is the theme.
    The proponents of Earth Hour want us to have a future like North Korea, which when viewed at night from space shows barely a glimmer in contrast to all the happy glow of prosperity visible from South Korea and increasingly from China.
    The proponents of Earth Hour are out to control the minds of our children. This is not a game. Earth Hour is a deadly serious plan intended to recruit innocent youngsters to the wicked cause of bringing down the modern era and dragging us back at least two centuries. Without coal and without electricity modern medicine is impossible and human lifespans will be halved.
    Perhaps worst of all, the proponents of Earth Hour are determined to crush the hopes of the poor and disadvantaged of the world, who unanimously yearn for the inexpensive energy which most of us in Australia take for granted. Until recently almost all Australians could depend upon reliable baseload power. Sadly, the saboteurs are making the decisions in South Australia and Victoria is not far behind.
    Do not let the saboteurs get away with it. Not for an hour, not even or a minute. So if your six year old or your ten year old comes home with the intention of turning off the family’s power on Saturday, draw a line in the sand and rescue your child from recruitment into the evil ranks of the appalling enemies of civilisation. Make no mistake, they have declared war on the modern era and they are determined to recruit your children as child foot soldiers in that war.
    When Earth Hour strikes, I’ll proudly have all my lights turned on. Join me.

    • My solution if my sprog had been brainwashed with this crap would have been to pull all of the fuses out of the consumer unit and keep them out for a month. A whole month without electricity would teach a much more profound lesson than turning the lights off for an hour.

      • or plumbing
        and toilet paper.
        I grew up in a house full of women with constantly empty rollers.
        I recall going from head to head aboard Navy ships seeking one with toilet paper.
        I also recall airport pay toilets – open the door and no paper!
        Now, I always keep a month’s worth of TP at hand!

      • Then they would fully understand the necessity of cheap, reliable electricity to the developing world and its impact on their potable water and sewage infrastructures.
        As for toilet paper, hoarding is something you might consider…

      • czechlist and Pop Piasa – I also remember the time the Johnny Carson Show made a ‘joke’ about toilet paper being in short supply. EVERYONE who heard the show rushed out to get as much as they could and then it was REALLY in short supply. Johnny apologized and explained the joke but it was too late. A lot of folks learned – again – about the convenience of cheap TP.

    • back in 09 and up to 2012 my friend who had a candlemaking business got HUGE orders from Melbourne cafes and other places for candles for earth hr
      curiously as times passed she hardly gets any sales for it at all now;-)
      people have woken up a tad.

  5. A day to remember the dark ages and enjoy the comforts of the industrial and technological age in which we luckily reside.

    • Fossil-fuelled transportation cleaned up the cities.
      It got rid of the mountains—over two storeys high— of
      equine excrement and the lakes of equine urine which
      built up because it was produced faster than it could be
      carted away.

      imagine the stench. All buildings had a boot scraper
      at the door. Flies moved in whole air forces at a time,
      not mere squadrons, and they were all big blowflies.
      And the rats! Zillions of them. Warm horse dung made
      comfy dwellings, easily dug out, for the rodents.

      It was fossil fuels which made it possible to clean up
      the cities. It is industrial scale electricity generation
      which drives the sewage pumps preventing us from
      drowning in human excrement, enabling us to keep
      them clean.

      Fossil fuels and electricity are our saviours.

  6. Here in Canada, where there is still snow on the ground, switching off your lights for an hour generally results in increased CO2 output. Your lighting system is an integral part of your home heating system, particularly if, like most people, you are still using incandescent bulbs. If you switch off your lights, your oil- or gas-fired central heating furnace will crank up a notch to compensate, thereby producing more CO2, unless you have simultaneously turned your thermostat down, which you probably haven’t.

    If the electricity for your lighting was generated by nuclear, hydro or wind, the net result is that switching off your lights for an hour increases the total CO2 output. Not that it matters to me, we don’t have enough CO2, but presumably it matters to Earth Hour types. Still, they will achieve the warm rosy glow that comes with doing their bit to save the planet, and that’s what counts. Harsh reality can take a hike as far as they are concerned.

    • Strikes me that “Earth Hour” is just another apparatus for the indoctrination of the MSM disciples.
      They seem to worship this planet more than its creator.

  7. People who see virtue in doing without electricity should shut off their fridge, stove, microwave, computer, water heater, lights, TV and all other appliances for a month, not an hour. And pop down to the cardiac unit at the hospital and shut the power off there too.

    Bingo! I’m living my life like usual at this time of the year – Lights on, TV on, Radio on, Computer on, Refrigerator on, Washer/Dryer on, Furnace on. And on and on… 😉

    • On a rural Illinois electric co-op we are forced to deal with the loss of power at with most inconvenient timing and the episodes are always longer than an hour in duration. I think I already did my duty for this year.

      • Our co-op (Washington State) has not been down more than 4 hours in 25 years. When a vehicle takes a pole out or a tree takes the lines down the fix usually takes 2 – 3 hours. [Hint: keep bottles of water/ice in the spare places of your fridge-&-freezers.]
        We have a 100% electric house and do need wood as an emergency in the winter.

      • My farm in southwest Wisconsin loses power at least once a month. We are hilly and wooded, and get summer T storms and winter ice storms. We have a wood stove, keep kerosine lamps, and the neighbor has a backup diesel generator for the milking parlor. Don’t need Earth Day.

      • Re ristvan
        March 25, 2017 at 12:57 pm

        I just realised the other day that a pressure kerosene light is a “hybrid” – kerosene for fuel, manpower for the air pressure

      • We have outages more often and longer than that, but never long enough to threaten frozen foods.

        Gas heat, cheap hydroelectricity, wood and diesel generator if needed, which it hasn’t been.

        But I’m gone in the winter to the Southern Hemisphere.

      • As someone said elsewhere, South Australia doesn’t need to worry about Earth Hour….they are already well in credit! Victoria to follow and I’m really angry about it.

    • No thanks. Sadly, I lost power for five days after a recent wind storm. All the food in the refrigerator had to be thrown out even though it was so cold that we had to let water drip to keep the pipes from freezing. No amount of clothing and blankets could keep us warm.

  8. If I had the resources, I would celebrate Earth Hour by firing up the diesel generator and powering a battery of ex-WWII air defence search lights.

    • Too bad it’s not good weather for hot air ballooning. That would be a good activity for Earth hour.

      • The extremely socialist government of Canberra are so into the virtue signalling thing that they hosted a balloon festival. Can you imagine how much propane that wastes for absolutely no benefit at all?

  9. Bravo Professor McKitrick and Michael Darby. I’ve copied this on to teacher colleagues in the hope that they will use it if occasion offers itself to repudiate the cruel stupidity of the WWF. How on Earth anyone who works in Myanmar can seek to promote this gibberish of an idea in a desperately poor country is beyond belief.

  10. More posturing / nuttery / gestures from the KlimateKashKultKrowd who are only in this, -no, really- to $aveThePlanet™.

  11. I’m all for celebrating electricity during Earth hour. But how about celebrating also photosynthesis? In my case it will mean illumination of the grandest trees in the garden next year.

  12. Bravo! Ole!!
    Ross McKitrick is hereby awarded ‘both ears and the tail’ for the most succinct slaying of the ‘earth hour’ bull!

    Yes – this gets passed on to many others….

  13. Anthony, I know that in your busy schedule this may not be high on your list of priorities, but may I make a suggestion? I followed the request at the top of this article and copied the link and posted it on twitter, but the extract that that produces talks about Christmas and doesn’t really put across the point of the post. Could I suggest that the first few lines of any post at wuwt is framed with the knowledge that in its abbreviated form, that is what will appear when linked to on twitter etc. Best wishes. and happy Earthhour.

  14. Excellent post which raises an important point: there should be a worldwide electricity or energy day celebration! Too many (lucky) people take electricity and all the amenities that comes with it for granted.

  15. Posted with links and attributions at my place. Thanks for the reminder! I’ll make sure to leave a few extra lights on this evening in honor of common sense and modernity.

  16. Be sure to turn on a few electrical appliances as well for the hour, since the utility usually report to the press what the actual load on the local grid was for the hour and usually how much demand fell as a result of everyone turning off the lights. Which of course implies success or failure of the protest against modernity. If demand actually went up, then I think the message would get out that these types of non sensical feel well campaigns are bogus and will become a relic of the past. I will be baking dinner with my oven on high at earth hour, as well as the electric heat will pre warm the house for the entire night. Along with every light on visible to the community to show that I am celebrating modernity.

    • What the utilities should report is the wasted energy of dropping loads and raising them. The steadier the load, the more efficient the power production.

  17. I hope you don’t cremate your dinner and get heat stroke Ron, but more power to your elbow (so to speak).0

  18. Are they going to turn off the lights illuminating the Eiffel Tower again? This seems to me to be the height of hypocrisy. After all, it’s not essential that the Tower be lit up at all (emergency beacons excepted). So instead of turn off the lights for one hour per year, how about turning it off the the other 8,759 hours. Then, instead of saving 0.011% of the power used, we can save 100%.

    City of Lights indeed.

  19. Yep I can see a bunch of green Whinnies setting in the candle light with their Iphones thinking how much greater they are then us ?? ;>)

    • I hope that they have turned off their iphones too !! Oh, wait, now will they be able to tweet each other about not using electricity if they do that ?

    • You notice that they chose a time of year when not much power is being used for heating or aircon? Probably not luck. There’s a reason American students don’t riot in the winter – it freezes up the TV cameras.

      Imagine if people tried to do Earth Hour by turning off their heating in mid-winter. They might work out why it’s such a stupid idea.

  20. I agree with the idea of have an energy-related ‘Earth Hour’ in that we should celebrate our progress as humans sharing this beautiful planet.

    The symbolic turning off of lights for an hour, and talking about access to energy is helpful for raising awareness that some people do not have access to modern energy and are the poorer for it. That awareness is good for children to develop. Real progress is shared progress.

    Nothing about ‘Earth Hour’ saves the Earth. The Earth does not need saving, does not need mankind and does not care. The Earth is an natural formation upon which we depend. Saving humanity from our own stupidity means not fouling our own nest, literally. We understand that.

    Part of saving humanity from our own stupidity is raising awareness that there are meaningless symbolic or pointless genuflections, forms of ‘virtue signaling’. The idea is that signaling one’s virtuous acts is a salve for the guilty hearts of those who accept the critique that being comfortable comes at the expense of the ‘Earth’.

    The Earth doesn’t have ‘expenses’. It also doesn’t have income. Loud, aggressive fund-raising by certain organisations does create income for them and expenses for the public. Observe how the ‘output’ of this expense consists largely of ‘feeling better about the damage you have done to the Earth.’ That is nothing more than an indulgence paid to a a self-appointed representative of a false god. Guilt money. Don’t participate.

    To be effective in sharing the progress we have made, Earth Hour should celebrate those initiatives that lift people living in a state of energy poverty to a state of adequacy, not indulge our fantasies that we could live in energy poverty ourselves. We can’t, and we won’t, for as long as we can prevent it.

    Spend Earth Hour doing something practical for those in need. Plan together to bring light into their dark world. A good example was the Terrawatt Prize sponsored by National Geographic which gave cash prizes to projects that brought light and or power to areas that were not likely to be connected to the grid in the next ten years. The number affected had to be fifty homes at a minimum. Wonderful ideas were submitted and many continue without winning because they were viable without subsidy. All it took was to be challenged to do something good. That is a good use of an hour devoted to the upliftment of our fellows.

  21. I look forward to Earth Day every year just to read Prof. McKitrick’s timeless essay once more.

    I would add one more humanity changing benefit that electricity has brought us. Only since we learned how to harness the chlor-alkali process through electrolysis have human beings had safe drinking water at the turn of a knob. We don’t even imagine how much power goes into keeping nasty bugs out of the tap.

    I think I’ll go turn on some lights!

  22. My mother, born 1905, Oklahoma Territory, replied to an advertisement for the “Whole Earth Catalog” with these words:

    “I lived like this when I was a child. I have no desire to return to it”

  23. I had the unfortunate experience of having my natural gas turned off for 9 days in December this year. Luckily my heat is oil or I would have been in big trouble. I could not cook or bake or heat water or dry clothes for that time. It was a real inconvenience. I used a hot plate to cook and managed just fine. To not have electricity for that long stretch of time would be disastrous. Most of the elites in this area have put in uninterruptible gas powered generators. They don’t worry.

  24. Nice. Greenies demonise people. Without people the world would be a better place. Really?

    The first link is busted. Google search “Ross mckitrick electricity” for some link serendipity.

  25. The Earth Hour meme is simply a manifestation of virtue signalling.

    Virtue Signalling –
    the action or practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one’s good character or the apparent moral correctness of one’s position on a particular issue.

    Ross’s McKitrick’s explanation above vividly shows the moral bankruptcy of the Earth Hour idea. What is lacking on the Left is critical thought on the issue of energy use and its sources in today’s modern world.

  26. I lived in a village in southern Mexico for six months. No electricity, no indoor pluming. Used a well built indoor wood stove built out of mud. I was allot of work for my wife!

    • Carrying water from wells is the main activity of women in the undeveloped, ie unelectrified, world.

  27. That satellite photo verifies that the Seoul-Incheon area is nearly one half Korea’s wealth.

  28. I still celebrate earth hour sort of like happy hour. I crack open a brew and raise a toast to Maxwell, Tesla and all the other scientists and engineers who make cold beer (and lots of other neato stuff) possible.

  29. I always turn on every light in the house.

    Next year I want to hire searchlights and buy a few tanks of CO2 to release into the atmosphere.

    • Burn some tyres, some cans of old sump oil and a few aerosol cans, Pat.
      That should do the trick!

  30. Thank you for the reminder for this abominable forgettable ceremony. In an earlier post I noted that I would be turning on lights and lighting my RR lantern to liberate some CO2. In lieu of the RR lantern, I will be firing up my 2-mantle gasoline lantern. That will liberate not only CO2, but also some Thoron (Radon-220) to throw the Earth Hour types into conniptions.

  31. And those who do turn their lights off forget, or rather are ignorant of, the fact the power stations are still spinning and still burning fossil fuels.

  32. The math doesn’t seem to add up.

    Despite a mild winter which saw Ontarians conserve electricity, hydro rates are set to increase next month because we saved too much energy.

    It defies logic but that’s the reason given by the Ontario Energy Board for the 2.5 per cent increase announced on Thursday. And it seems no matter how much we save, more rate hikes are likely on the horizon according to one energy expert.

    “Conservation drives higher rates,” said electricity expert Tom Adams, who says the weather plays no role in the cost of hydro.

    “Cold winters, rates go up. Warm winters, rates go up.”

    But a spokesperson with the Ontario Energy Board, the group that sets the rate, says it has set costs that need to be covered.

    “This winter was milder than expected, we consumed less electricity and collected lower revenues than forcast. So this time we have to make up for the difference,” said Ceiran Bishop, manager for electricity rates and prices.


    • It also happened in Canberra in the last drought. The revenues from water consumption were lowered so much the company had to raise the rates.

    • Sounds a lot like the banks. Interest rates down so they upsell anything. Of course, in the banks’ case they don’t care if you need it or not.

      At least Hydro actually provides something, overpriced though it is.

  33. Once I tried turning on all my lights during Earth-Hour, mainly to irritate a neighbor. But there were so many of them that I had to give up after about 40. It suddenly struck me that I was also irritating myself.

  34. So, if I turn off my 10W LED bulb, while running my 2000W clothes dryer, someone will notice? (Other than me?)

    • I’ve been saving up all my most energy-intensive applications for this occasion, to include dish and clothes washer. Will also be sure to watch TV while recharging all electronic devices.

  35. I’ll just be happy with the big, smoky assed fire I kept smoldering along all day. Happy EARF DAY!!!!!!

  36. Ross mentions hospitals needing electricity for people with cardiac malfunctions.
    The heart of all ivivg creatures that have one depends also on a continuous supply of electricity. Nature designed the heart, not Man.
    This is another example of good coming from a continuous electricity supply.

  37. I did my part. I had all my lights on and invited neighbors to come have a drink with me provided they turned on their lights. Surprisingly, virtually my entire bloc ended up at my house.

  38. I love electricity, am extremely thankful for it and want it to stay. However, it “is” still a very valuable resource, and none of us should take it for granted by wasting it. Everything we have is a gift from God, and we shouldn’t be wasteful with anything we have been given.

    My grandfather had an excess of money but was also very conservative with it, and if a light wasn’t being used, it was to be turned off. We use electricity when we don’t need to, and unnecessary lighting is especially wasteful (especially unshielded lights that waste light and electricity lighting up the sky rather than the ground), not to mention it covers up the amazing night sky God created for us. Look at a light pollution map and see how many of us now have to travel for hours to see God’s incredible night sky. Light is necessary and good, but it can be even more effective if shielded and would create less light pollution at the same time.

    It is my hope that Earth Hour embraces our modern conveniences but encourages being good stewards with our resources. The better stewards we are, the more we can help those less fortunate. It is in this spirit that I enjoyed turning my lights out for Earth Hour. Plus, I really enjoyed just having candles lit. It was very peaceful. I will sleep well tonight. Goodnight everyone. 🙂

  39. Thank you for reminding me. I managed to get the coal fire lit and all the lights on by 2030 UK time. From the look of my immediate neighbourhood I was the only one who took any notice of the whole stupid stunt either positively or negatively. Methinks the gravy train has hit the buffers.

  40. Only one mention of Earth Hour in Norwegian media so far as I can see, and that’s just the routine message of guilt and sin. As a local commenter put it: This night was the change to summer time, where one hour was lost, so we used that for EA.

  41. This is nothing but a joke —— Why not then also cut back and conserve ALL energy ( much of it pure waste and useless)

    • Many people do that. Of course, with the added expense of useless sources like wind and solar, price is making people cut back. If it’s all renewableand actually affordable, I would guess people would just use more and more and more because there’s no reason to cut back. We can waste all we want then, if we can afford it. It’s so ecofriendly. (Yes, I am serious. Why conserve if it’s ecofriendly?) People will conserve when practical and not conserve when not. The rich will always waste, the poor will always involuntarily conserve. It’s the way human beings work and have since the dawn of time. You’re asking we rewrite human behavior, not change consumption patterns.

  42. In addition to the Earth Hour nonsense, I was noting the effect of government interference with progress. I recently changed some bulbs to LED. After years of half-yellow light from CFLs, I have to point my lamp at the ceiling to keep it from being overly bright. I also am trying an LED with a light-sensor so it turns on a night only. My flashlights are all LED and very, very bright. Had the government stayed out of this, we would not have been subjected to the disaster known as CFLs. LED’s most likely would have grown in usefulness and decreased in price more quickly, saving the need to treat a CFL light bulb as “hazardous waste” and scaring people about mercury content, etc (One of my CFLs exploded when I went to change it out to LED. I didn’t panic, though I did wonder if it was somehow getting even with me for swapping it out!) All the mess could have been avoided and a truly useful technology—LED—would have come in on it’s own. Stop trying to push progress in government designated directions and stop trying to save the earth. It’s just making more and more messes.

  43. Giving women the freedom to work outside the home depended on the availability of electrical appliances that free up time from domestic chores.

    There are those who will jump on a comma in order to dismiss what was in the rest of the sentence.
    From a US perspective, the left here will dismiss what he said simply because they’ll say that he was, somehow, implying that a woman’s place should be shackled to domestic chores.
    Mark my words.
    If this excellent post gains traction, that will be one of “points” brought up to dismiss it.
    Just as many would dismiss what was said by many of the greats in America’s past because they were or once were slave owners.

  44. Excellent point Gunga Din on lessening the burden of women doing manual mundane chores in the house due to electricity powered appliances that allows them to work more outside the home, which raises their standard of living for the entire family. Just think of the productivity gains that will occur both for women and children and family’s when affordable electricity is available for the entire planet. This alone should be a huge celebration for what humankind has accomplished with technology. Electricity has been, and will be the single largest development in the history of humankind for eternity to come. I can’t see anything more advanced than electricity ever being developed or being replaced by something that is ever any better.

    British Columbia (BC Hydro) reports it saved 24 Mw/hr during earth hour last night. At an average retail rate of about $90 Mw/h here, that was $2160 Cdn in savings over any other regular Saturday night on a population base of 4.75 million people. BCH further reports that was increased by 9 kilowatt hours over 2015, the last year it has records for. Or an .81 cent gain since 2015 Earth Hour.

  45. My only issue was with fossil-fuel generated electricity. We couldeasily lose that and still keep electricity.

  46. I was going to turn the lights of for an hour but seeing as SA turned all their lights off for several hours I thought they made up for it, so I left the fridge door open for an hour just to help.

  47. We should scrap not only Earth Hour with its hypocrisy but also Earth Day, which is even more asinine.Mind you, fewer and fewer people are paying any attention to either one, so it won’t be long before they’ll go the way of the dodo.

  48. And to add to McKitrick’s honest and down to Earth article, as a trained chemist burning candles which come from fossil fuels (unless they are beeswax candles) are less energy efficient and so much more polluting (carbon particles and carbon monoxide = incomplete combustion) than using the old light globes – light generated from electricity via burning coal where many emissions are removed prior to release of gases at the coal fired power plants.

    thank you Ross again for old times sake (meaning years ago now) for your dismantling of the CRU’s ‘(East Anglia) “damn lies and statistics’ to fool the IPCC and all the other gullible people that perceived (could be possible) temperature increases are in FACT TO do with CO2 – it took 2 honest, hardworking and generous Statisticians (you and the other Mc) to do this- while I’m at it – I’m a proud Mc too.

  49. “Earth Hour” is meaningless. If you really believe that the burning of fossil fuels is bad and your power grid includes fossil fuel burning plants then go out and turn off the main breaker to house and leave it off all of the time. It is your money that keeps the fossil companies in business. In addition to turning off the main breaker avoid making use of all goods and serviced that involve the use of fossil fuels. For most of Mankind’s existance Mankind has gotten along without the use of fossil fuels so you can do it too.

  50. A couple of points. I probably believe in Santa Clause more than global warming, he at least brings happiness and joy. Forgot about release from household chores, electricity has allowed so many more people to indulge in the hobbies and personal interests because of the release from the burden of manual labour. If i could figure out a way to have my furnace and air conditioning on at the same time I would to celebrate this mess.

  51. Earth Hour was more instructive to watch the media coverage and spin tactics than anything else. We turned on more lights and left them on all night.

  52. Although it takes a lot of time to set up four window-unit air conditioners on card-tables in my living room and set them to as low of a temp as they’ll go, then turn every light in the house on, Kick the stove on, open the fridge door, bump the furnace up, and start both cars with headlight beams on high and bricks on the accelerators… I think the hour-long walk I take every Earth hour actually does me a little good.

  53. Those of us living in the West of Johannesburg don’t have to try to exert ourselves. At least once a week (sometimes more often) the power to the area goes out for anything up to FOUR hours (but more usually 1 – 1.5). The City Power organisation of Johannesburg cannot provide a reason, other than ‘cable theft’ (for the copper). Personally, I put it down to the endemic corruption of the current ANC government, which allowed building after building in the area without sufficient thought to the power infrastructure, which is now seriously overloaded. See! There are power problems from directions other than’green’.

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