Earth Hour. I don’t get it

vote earth

This year, Earth Hour has been transformed into the world’s first global election, between Earth and global warming.

And the voting booths are where and who is recording the votes?

For the first time in history, people of all ages, nationalities, race and background have the opportunity to use their light switch as their vote – Switching off your lights is a vote for Earth, or leaving them on is a vote for global warming.

Well then, Earth will certainly lose, as far more lights will remain on than be turned off. Thus they’ve set up an “election” they can not win. Gosh, that’s inspiring.

The whole thing just seems kludgy and not well thought out. There’s no call to arms, no course of continuing action for participants to take, just a feel-good turn off the lights for an hour and think that’ll somehow stop global warming.

Besides, the implicit message is we need to turn off our lights. Ah no, I like electricity. We need renewable power, smart grids, and (of course) more energy conservation, rather than well-meaning but unfocused and ineffective semi-protests.


  1. What most people fail to realize is that not all power is generated on demand. In my area most of the power is from water turbine or nuclear power. These things generate power at a certain rate, regardless of the status of your light switch. In reality these two combined power most of my area plus surrounding areas after 7pm. So shutting off your lights at 8:30 just means extra power being dumped by the utilities, since they only have the capacity to store a certain amount of the excess energy, based on average usage. A spike in demand or non-demand means wasted potential. People participating in this are sitting in the dark, in multiple facets.

    Personally, I told people about this around my work place. I told them if they really want to make a difference, turn off their lights, drive to the local store and buy some CF lights, and replace a majority of those lights before turning them on again. That way they’re “taking part” (since shopping will take them most of the hour), and when they turn the light back on it will be using less energy than before.

    And before some gets holly about “wasting perfectly good light bulbs”, you’ll note I said “most”. If you have 8 lights in your vanity in the bathroom, replace 6 with cf. Then you have two “instant on” bulbs (and 6 replacements in stock) and over all will be using less energy when you’re using the bathroom. Best of both worlds…

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