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.


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John M. Ware

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:

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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.

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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.

Patrick MJD

Back in the 70’s in the UK my parents had a gas fired fridge.


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.

EarthGround Media presents

Clothes dryers. Ranges. Generators…

Barbara Skolaut

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.)

Patrick MJD

“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.


My grandparents had a gas powered fridge in their mobile home.

Harry Passfield

WWF? More like WWtF!


Maybe I’m just showing my age, but WWF will always be about “professional” wrestling.

Wayne Delbeke

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?”

Maybe, but Canada uses less than 3% of the worlds power, so that is not saying much…


I’m switching on everything electrical in my house that’s either loud or bright for that hour.

EarthGround Media presents

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.

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.


Safe bet that 2.5 billion of us do not have enough electricity to turn it off.


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.

Steve Thatcher

And where would the lemurs live?



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.

Joe Crawford

Yep… Darwin at work.


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.

Tom Halla

There is an element of the environmental movement that wants people to freeze in the dark.


There is an element of the environmental movement that wants the extermination of humanity. And it is not a small element either.

AP, exactly! This leftist cause is an extension of the communist experiment.

Michael darby

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!

Pop Piasa

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…

NW sage

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.

Pop Piasa

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

Adam Gallon

The link “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus“, gets a “Page not found”.

John F. Hultquist

Sucker, don’t you know there isn’t a Santa Claus ??

Another Ian

Then there is that cartoon of a rosy cheeked Santa saying

“Before you make fun of someone who believes in me

Remember that there are adults that still believe in socialism”


So who brought my new, one-cup coffee maker????



Hope you used really hot water in that.

Santa probably brewed up some serious caffeine in it to keep him and the reindeer going.

Fossil fueled transportation improved life just a little bit, too.


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.

Roger Graves

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.

Pop Piasa

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.


Not really…power is what they worship and not the sort that keeps the lights on.

Gary Pearse

Can you hear the faint but growing beat:Trump, Trump, Trump….



Useless virtue signalling. We will turn more lights on to celebrate reliable grid electricity.

Pop Piasa

Good idea. That will help stabilize the grid as the eco-warriors reduce load. That way the plants won’t have to reduce output and waste energy.

John F. Hultquist

Chiefio had a post in 2012 you might like:

In the honor of the launch of The Church Of The Sacred Carbon, I will be conducting a sacred “Liberation Of The Carbon” ritual this Sunday. Several pounds of solid carbon will be placed on the altar. (Kingsford brand). It will be lit afire with the Sacred Flame of Purity and allowed to form a solid red glow.


Oxygen, hydrogen and a few other elements essential to life should be worshiped, too.


How about worshiping them in this form C2H6O?


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… 😉

Pop Piasa

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.

John F. Hultquist

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.

Another Ian

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.


If it was cold, why didn’t you put the food outside?

Richard Bell

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.

Pop Piasa

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?

Moderately Cross of East Anglia

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.

Michael darby

Thank you Moderately Cross of East Anglia. My email is Please correspond
Michael Darby


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

Jaakko Kateenkorva

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.

Not futility, but stupidity.

J Mac

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….

Bloke down the pub

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.

Earth Hour is an abomination. We have also covered it at CliScep with a republishing of McKitrick’s now classic piece:

Lars P.

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.

Lars P.

… (it does not raise it, but it leads to) 😉

J Mac


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.

Ron Williams

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.

Pop Piasa

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.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia

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

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.

Lorne Clinton

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 ?


Perfect EARTH HOAX time!


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.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Bishkek

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.


“I like visiting nature but I don’t want to live there” Classic.


They should call it North Korea Solidarity Hour !

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!

Henry IX

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”

John F. Hultquist

I replied above under ristvan @ 10:41; see note there. Here is the link, again.

Albert Brand

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.


I am celebrating with a big outdoors fire!


What a coincidence! So am I. Come on over. Beer’s on me!


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.

John F. Hultquist

That was good. We need some new Saints. The unheralded toiling gnomes and dwarves of our great industrial age. There is a magic in electricity, a get-down-on-your-knees roar in jet engine tech, a worshipable egalitarianism in the internet age. The real barbarians shun all this and would have us back in caves, under their green boot.

Gary Kerkin

Earth Hour? My lights are turned off for most of, if not more than, 16 hours every day!


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.

Big Al

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.

K. Kilty

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

Mike McMillan

Looks like the Korean fishing fleet off the coast makes up the other half.


The one white dot is where the very special piggies live.

I stopped caring about it, a long time ago.


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.

Pat Lane

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!


I would like to donate to an advocacy watch group on this day.

Neil Jordan

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.


If you’re wondering what this has to do with science, you’re certainly not alone. The answer, of course, is nothing. These issues are the primary concern of revisionist historians and social justice warriors, not empirically-minded scientists.

Why This Scientist Won’t be Attending the ‘Science March’

Patrick MJD

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.


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’s an electric bill catch-22. 😐


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.


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.