I don’t really believe in tokenism.
If the worlds cod stocks are running low then eating four fish fingers instead of five isn’t going to save them. Especially if you only do it on one day a year.
If world petrol supplies are in crisis then using a push bike for one hour a year isn’t going to do much.
So switching off non essential lights for one hour isn’t going to achieve anything. It’s a token gesture.
Why not go the whole hog?
What I would propose is that every country in the world sign up to this. And at a predetermined time, all power stations are shut down.
Of course we could throw in the entertainment factor and not forewarn the worlds population when this is going to happen. That would be fun.
I didn’t save any electricity on Saturday. At 8pm I just put my clocks forward by an hour and in an instant, my period of darkness was over.
Two birds with one stone as it were.
While I don’t necessarily agree that token gestures are completely worthless (this Earth Hour has sparked more debates on energy saving and global crises than anything else recently), I do like your logic behind your own very quick earth hour. Very good!
We turned it all off on Saturday night (not the freezer of course for it’s full of dead pigs) and I have to say it was enjoyable just sitting around chatting with no distractions. I agree that it’s not going to make much difference in the long run but it does get people thinking about how much power we waste. It’s not just about ‘saving the planet’ it’s about giving less of our money to those greedy bastard power companies.
Darren – But we have had eco-this and environmentally friendly that for ages now. Surely we must all be aware of the issues. There is enough debate going on already.
I’m not knocking Earth Hour – it’s a good[ish] idea.
Nelly – I do think it’s a case of preaching to the converted. I don’t waste electricity. It has nothing to do with the environment – I just don’t see the point in paying for electricity I needn’t use. Anyway, we get enough power cuts here in the mountains to be well used to living by candlelight! 😉
Of course, it wasn’t INTENDED to save power; most power generation facilities cannot simply be turned down in real time, and I’d assume that generation capacity for that hour stayed normal. It was very much symbolic.
Also, of course, it was a sneak preview of what the place will be like in a decade or so if the government doesn’t sort out its energy policy; right now this seems to consist of stubbornly refusing to build any sort of power plant but wind.
Actually, they did say that power consumption dropped by 1.5%.
Ah, but did fuel use in power plants drop? If not, then no energy has actually been saved (pumped-storage facility aside).
I agree Grandad, Earth Hour is just pointless tokenism. And there’s not a lot of point in us ordinary folk saving on electricity if the big businesses and shops are wasting it on such a scale. There are countless office blocks lit up at night like Christmas trees and shop windows blazing away at midnight just so passers-by can eye up that Gucci handbag.
BTW, didn’t we all save an hour’s electricity consumption (in fact everything consumption) by putting our clocks forward an hour??
Instead of shutting down for an hour, I decided to completely cut my neighbor’s power supply. So their “Earth Hour” will probably be more like an “Earth 72 Hours”, which is enough to cover me, the rest of the nighborhood, and maybe even you, Grandad! Al Gore better mention me and my valiant earth effort or I’ll be pretty damn pissed.
“it was a sneak preview of what the place will be like in a decade or so”
I remember back in high school we were told that if we didn’t do something about our wasting of energy that the world would be dark in a decade.
That was over 30 years ago.
I wonder how long an, “or so”, is!
I am really annoyed now! Why didn’t I think of cutting off the neighbourhood for a day or two?
I wonder if Al Gore switched off? 1 Al Gore hour = 3 Earth Hours.
And if I remember correctly, they told us back in the 70s that there would be no petrol left by 2000?
I didn’t take part! Why should I? I don’t waste electricity.
I am considered a light user. I’d almost say frugal. My ‘puter and the radio are my ‘all day’ musts. If need be I can live without them.
I saw the switch off at Sydney on Reuters and my immediate thought was the great big surge in use when all was switched back on round the globe. I wonder how many items just blew and were damaged?
“What I would propose is that every country in the world sign up to this. And at a predetermined time, all power stations are shut down.”
The idea is to darken cities at night. So your idea would not work as two thirds of the planet is in daylight at any one time.(I think.)
TT – Electricity powers more than lighting. Imagine the fun without traffic lights, computers, lifts [or ‘elevators’ as you call ’em]? It would be great craic. 😆
We were without power for 3 days in January due to a bad winter storm so I figure I already did my part! 🙂
Hmm, engineering pragmatism there (I do it myself). There are vast swathes of people who do need this kind of thing to raise their awareness of stuff, followed by regular reminders. Just think of public awareness as a system with a crap memory that needs regular prodding with something sharp, that helps me. Glib flashy things are really quite irritating, but sometimes needed.
The biggest joke was Gormless’s people saying that all non-essential lights would be turned off in government buildings. Why aren’t non-essential lights always turned off?
Non-essential light is government buildings …… they’d always be in darkness! 🙂
This is the same bloke who is convinced that by banning incandescent bulbs, we’ll save the planet!
You could just take a trip to North Korea. earth hours there last most of the day
Apparently power consumption in Oz dropped by 10% which was quite significant and lights on the bridge and the opera house were doused. I’m all for it as an awareness campaign and frankly, zillions of people are witless when it comes to their power consumption. I would like to see business embrace a ‘night light’ mentality instead of seeing city buildings emblazoned 24 / 7 and if you’re not ‘green’ just think of the cost savings, it’s a win win.