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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope

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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Turn on the lights for Earth Hour

I'm boycotting Earth Hour. In fact, between 8:00 pm and 9:00 pm on Saturday March 29, I'm turning on every light and appliance in my house so that it shines out as an act of defiance in the face of the latest loony act from the green movement.

Earth Hour started last year in Sydney, Australia, and according to the organizers' website :

Created to take a stand against the greatest threat our planet has ever faced, Earth Hour uses the simple action of turning off the lights for one hour to deliver a powerful message about the need for action on global warming.

On March 31 2007, for one hour, Sydney made a powerful statement about the greatest contributor to global warming – coal-fired electricity – by turning off its lights. Over 2.2 million Sydney residents and over 2,100 businesses switched off, leading to a 10.2% energy reduction across the city. What began as one city taking a stand against global warming caught the attention of the world.

In 2008, 24 global cities will participate in Earth Hour at 8pm on March 29. Earth Hour is the highlight of a major campaign to encourage businesses, communities and individuals to take the simple steps needed to cut their emissions on an ongoing basis. It is about simple changes that will collectively make a difference – from businesses turning off their lights when their offices are empty, to households turning off appliances rather than leaving them on standby.

Well, pardon my language, but that's bullshit. Earth Hour is not about simple changes that will collectively make a difference. I agree with Jason at Catallaxy:
Let’s face it, Earth Hour is fundamentally about Romanticist aesthetics - the thought of being able to see the stars because all artificial lights are turned off and the idea of a retreat to an idyllic past that never existed when cavemen and cavewomen sang kumbaya around a fire. It’s not about efficient energy use (which can be achieved simply by paying attention to your electricity bills and turning off unnecessary switches, something that has always been driled into my frugal self from a young age) or carbon dioxide reduction.
Australian blogger Tim Blair reports:
The advice on candles in the Earth Hour supplement may not be as green as you claim. Every standard-sized candle, when burnt completely, releases 15 grams of carbon dioxide whether it is beeswax, soy or paraffin-based. The lady depicted is burning 28 candles, creating more than four times the CO2 supplied by coal power to light one old-fashioned 100-watt bulb for an hour.

and this:

The whole stunt requires people to turn off efficiently made and distributed energy - electricity - and replace it with alternatives - candles and gas barbecues - that have to be transported by oil-burning ships, trucks and cars to the point where they are to be set fire to in the open air without any means of capturing emissions. It’s insanity if the aim is to reduce CO2.
Right on cue, the schools are gearing up the youngsters to hector their parents:
Schools and offices of the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board are invited to participate in Earth Hour on Friday, March 28 by turning off non-emergency lights for one hour. This simple action is one that helps make a difference and sends a powerful message about caring for the planet.

In my humble opinion, activities like Earth Hour are less about reducing energy use and more about making consumerism look uncool so that the hip alternative is seen to be an anti-capitalist communitarian political agenda of the kind put forward by the Green Party or the NDP. Here in Ontario, frightening the populace into reducing their electricity consumption has the added benefit of postponing the day of reckoning for years of inept management of the electricity generating system in the province.

So, join me on March 29 and power up the house at 8:00 pm. Your increased carbon emissions might just help warm up this unusually cold winter that doesn't seem to be ending any time soon.

RELATED: Check out Peter Foster's commentary in the Mar. 26 Financial Post: Earth Hour's soft fascism . An excerpt:

The cause, masterminded by the World Wildlife Fund, WWF, is allegedly to raise awareness of climate change. But what needs raising is not so much awareness as knowledge. People are woefully ignorant both about the uncertainties of climate-change science and the implications of climate-change politics. However, the WWF has no interest in discussing or debating the issue. According to them, we should "stop talking and start acting." Check your brains at the door.

Far from being a harmless gesture of support for the environment, Earth Hour is symbolic of a spreading soft fascism, aided by well-meaning individuals and well-meaning and/or cynical and/ or scared corporations. Indeed, what is truly astonishing, and disturbing, about this turn-out-the-lights exercise is how many businesses and corporations have signed on to it. According to the WWF Canada, they haven't had one "no" from any company they've approached.


WWF Canada, supported by -- among others -- the Toronto Star, Virgin Mobile, the City of Toronto, Toronto Hydro and Canwest's Global TV (Canwest owns this newspaper), is using Earth Hour as an opportunity to take its environmental indoctrination deeper into schools. It suggests that schools hold an event this Friday, and perhaps turn their gyms into cinemas, where they might show films such as -- you guessed it --An Inconvenient Truth!

I would suggest that the biggest current threat to our planet is not either climate change or the financial "crisis," but the mindless conformist tendency to support ideas such as Earth Hour, which are aimed at the levers of both electrical and political power.

If you love civilization, freedom and the use of reason, keep on all the lights you need on Saturday. Take Back the Night.


Anonymous said...

Indeed. The 29th is my laundry day, and the oven's dirty . . . a good time for the ol' self-clean =P

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I will join you. Everything about this makes me want to wretch. Not to mention that it's a great opportunity for burglars...

Clown Party of Canada said...

I seem to remember, I think on Small Dead Animals, last year that citizens of Ontario were to cut power consumption by using "energy friendly" light bulbs. This worked so well that the consumption decreased greatly. The problem was, the power companies lost profit. They then added about a $5.00 charge to make up for their financial loss, on every power bill. So much for an incentive for reducing power consumption.

Why do we have to pay more for using less?

Sounds like a tree-hugger scheme to me. I think if all the “global warming religious” people cut off their power, and then the rest of us can continue to use energy. [I never saw a parade of this new “religion” march in mass to city hall and throw their drivers licenses into the garbage and sell their cars/vans/trucks.]

My lights will be on for that hour also.

Mutton Chops said...

Don't forget to fart as often as you can in that hour.

x2para said...

the greatest threat our planet has ever faced?? huh??

have these borderline retards ever heard of asteroids or gamma ray bursts? Didn't know CO2 had that much power, silly me

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Those 'energy friendly' bulbs are dangerous too. They can cause your fixtures to melt and they contain harmful chemicals.

I'll be keeping all my lights on during Earth hour. And none of them will be the swirly kind.

Soccermom said...

It might even be worth digging out my Christmas light display and firing that up for Earth Hour.

JR said...

Fine post, Eric. I'm with you.

Mary said...

This is about the dummest thing I've heard of in awhile. I even thought it may be an Urban Legend and thus looked it up on Snopes. Alas, it is not.

My first thought was, like others, turn every bloody light on. That said, in addition, I may do laundry with HOT water, vacuum, belch and drink many beers in disposable bottles. AND I may NOT recycle those bottles, rebel that I am!

Mike said...

I will also be turning on all my lights. To hell with these fascist global warming hoax-mongers. CO2 is not a pollutant. Even you who "disagree" with this event are still brainwashed into thinking carbon dioxide is pollution. Think, people! Trees and plants need Co2 to live. The more we reduce CO2 the more we'll contribute to killing the plant life that is necessary to our very survival.
I say if you really want to reduce CO2, then stop breathing because that's what the global elite want you to do to achieve their holy grail of zero emissions. They want a mass population reduction.

Anonymous said...

The vast majority of electricity in Canada is produced using methods that emit no or basically no carbon dioxide.( More than half of electricity comes from hydroelectric plants, which do not emit carbon dioxide. Nuclear plants are also quite popular. These emit basically no carbon dioxide.)Source:

Joanne (True Blue) said...

They want a mass population reduction.

Right. That's why they're pushing those poisonous light bulbs.

Anonymous said...

Count me in! I might even fire up the old gas generator and use it to power up a couple of flood lights in the yard.

-- Shadow --

El-Visitador said...

All lights / equipment will be ON tonight from 8 to 9.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to come across people who also think glbal warming is a bunch of garbage. I assure you all that i left all my lights on and cooked my supper during earth hour using my stove top, oven, and electric grill while doing laundry (both clothes and bedsheets), with my computer on and my sterio blarring in the background. ps. does anyone else want freak out whenever they hear a long drawn out conversation about how the unusually warm day is probably the cause of global warming? I certainly do!!!

Anonymous said...

I will celebrate Earth Hour exactly the same way I did last year,,
By turning on every light in and outside of my house.
Then I will sit on my well lit front deck and laugh at my idiot neighbours as they pat each other on the back for being good little brainwashed sheep.. Bahhh Bahhhh...

chris said...

I agree totally ... this hippy shit is just making life in the western world more pointlessly miserable than it has to be ..... in addition to turning on every light in the apartment that day, I am planning on running all the water taps fullblast, the dishwasher empty for 24 hours continuously and going down to the river with bags full of 6-pack containers to throw at unsuspecting ducks along with a couple litres of 5W30 oil to dump in the water.

yodee said...

i;m with you. this whole thing is bullshit. i will turn everything on on the 28th (or is it the 29th?)... even my empty microwave and oven!

Anonymous said...


I'm Australian and when this popped up last year I wanted to vomit. I can't believe its gone global now. This symbolises all the stupidity of the modern green movement - the lack of intelligence, the hypocrisy and the self-righteousness. I would be in full support of a movement that I thought would actually help the issues at hand, but this is just a conveniant way for people to 'feel good' or 'do something' without actually doing anything. If they want to reduce their 'carbon footprint' (or whatever environmental sins are called these days), then its simple. Stop being such a consumer! But that is far too hard; because they would have to actually change their lives.

Its basically the equivalent of an Architect building a enormous mansion and then saying 'but we used environmentally friendly insulation products', rather than building something modest that uses far less materials.

I will be turning on all my lights for Earth Hour.

Anonymous said...

I'm in Melbourne, and it's giving me the GREATEST pleasure to sit in my extremely illuminated house!! EVERY light is on. The television is on, the radio is on, the computer is on.

I find the whole issue ridiculous, and it now has the flavour of a religious 'rant' about it. AS IF the bloody earth needs saving. I hate to tell everyone, but the earth has been going through her cycles now for BILLIONS of years. WITHOUT our help. Incredible isn't it?? How the hell did she ever survive this long without us I wanna know!!!! ;)

Anonymous said...

the night is the time when people are supposed to sleep. keep that in mind. since the invention of the light bulb, people's sleep clocks become so messed up they think it's all ok. people like you and all those who commented before me do.

carbon dioxide doesn't hurt. too much CO2 does. all this happened because us humans became too many and too inventive in using carbon-based products. trying to lessen the carbon you make in little ways won't harm you or the environment.

you say the plants won't be able to breathe someday if we lessen Co2 too much. but what about the time when WE can't breathe because the air is all CO2 and no more oxygen? think. think hard.

besides, there are not enough plants around to keep up with all the carbon dioxide we are making. this is a known fact. we already killed them, for more carbon to use in your carbon-based lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

To the second post above mine:
Ahem. I believe it's not the earth that needs saving but more like ourselves. If the whole arctic melts (and mind you, it is melting) and sea level rises it's the people living in coastal areas who will die/be stranded. If there's a typhoon or drought due to climate change it's the people who will suffer, and if we run out of resources due to our greediness it's the people who will have nothing to eat, no energy source, nothing left for the next generation. It's not that the earth cannot survive without us, but this whole thing is actually happening because of us! Trust me, the earth will do just fine when the whole human population has been wiped out:)

I do think that Earth Hour can be excessively commercialized sometimes and I do condemn people who think they have done a marvelous job by switching off light for merely 1 hour, but if this thing initiates some people to switch to less consumerist lifestyle then I guess it's good enough.

Anonymous said...

"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash." Diogenes of Sinope

REASON says we need to cut CO2. Earth Hour is symbolic that some people are prepared to get off their fat butts and do something, even if it's a small thing.

Stop whining and do something, before science provides its own leash.

Anonymous said...

Earth Hour = utter bollocks

It's just another hoop that the super-consumer super rich get their trained sheeple to jump through.