Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Earth Hour

I'm sorry, but I really don't have much respect for gimmicks like the upcoming Earth Hour, where we're all supposed to turn off our lights at 8 pm on March 29th. Yes, I know they mean well, and it won't do any harm. It won't do any good, either -- and that's the problem, because the people who participate somehow think it will.

Maybe it raises awareness, I don't know. But we didn't all become a big happy family after Hands Across America. If you aren't getting the message on global warming by now, you have ideological reasons for doing so.

The energy/GHG savings will, of course, be essentially nil. If every person on the planet participated, it'd be about 0.01%. Seeing as they only have about 40K people signed up so far, the savings will be on the order of 0.0000001%.

It emphasizes the wrong thing -- that the solution to climate change requires we regress to some pre-technology state. We don't need no light, we need better lights. We don't need to use less energy--energy makes us affluent, healthy, and happy--we need to use it more efficiency and from cleaner sources. Focus on that.

I'd rather everyone kept the lights on and spent an hour reading a good primer on global warming and its mitigation. Or wrote a letter to their Congressman advocating against new coal-fired power plants.


Geodizzle said...

I agree. We don't have this stupid 'earth hour' in England. It doesn't even seem that hard to achieve, anyway. You could be out of the house for the duration of this dark hour. People turn their lights off when they leave the house anyway (well, they should... there's no reason to leave them on), so I don't see what this achieves.

I am hearing more and more about these hybrid cars that are meant to be very engergy efficient though, so that's something...

Victoria said...

Yes, but as you mentioned, it WILL raise awareness.

I think that's the point.

Participating in an earth hour might make a person who is usually apathetic - feel they are part of a community, and feel good about the real changes they could make as a consequence.

(the very meaningful changes you spoke of - all great points, by the way).

Anonymous said...

okay i guess in some ways your right,
but when sydney turned their lights off for one hour, they saved enough energy to power FOURTY NINE THOUSAND cars.
in just one hour.
it does make a difference,,,
kind of like if you exercise 1 hour you live 2 more hours.
the same rule applies.

its better than doing nothing at all in my opinion.