Saturday, 29 March 2008

Earth Hour is pathetic tokenism

Like a lot of environmental "direct action", Earth Hour is a pathetic waste of time and effort in terms of actual outcome (of course, the counter argument is that it's main aim is education and awareness, rather than actually achieving concrete results, but at some point good intentions have to actually start producing some tangible results). I've seen figures that about 10% of households have actually "committed" to observing Earth Hour. One can expect these households to turn off TV, lights and maybe air conditioners/heaters. I doubt that they'll turn off power at the main switch-box, so they won't reduce power consumption of fridges etc., and a large part of household power use is often off-peak heating of water which happens in the early hours, so it won't be affected. Overall, I'd guess these households will achieve a 50% reduction in power use for the Earth Hour, saving about 2.1% of their daily power use. This translates to a saving of 0.0057% of these household's annual power consumption, or around 0.00057% of all household's power use for the year! I hate to be cynical, but I somehow doubt that this will do much to slow global warming...

Copyright Enough Wealth 2007

7 comments:

Colin Campbell said...

With this kind of thinking, nobody would do anything and we would all end up going over the proverbial cliff. I think it is a worthwhile effort, even if it won't change the course of history without dramatic changes in individual behaviour and public policy.

Achieving a 90 percent reduction is not going to be achieved during Earth Hour, but it will get a lot of people, including my young kids thinking about it.

Hope you have your lights off.

enoughwealth@yahoo.com said...

With this kind of thinking, no-one would do any useless, token actions. Perhaps they could do effective, meaningful changes instead ;)

I studied global warming and the greenhouse effect back in the early 80's when it was just a bit of interesting theory in the environmental chemistry course. It was around that time that I quit my WWF membership because they morphed from being an NGO that was devoted to saving endangered species and jumped on board the anti-nuclear bandwagon of the rapidly growing Greenpeace movement. If the labour governments of the 70s and 80s hadn't killed off Australia's plans for nuclear power generation we would have grown our uranium exports more than coal, and we wouldn't now be one of the world's highest per-capita producers of greenhouse gases.

Anonymous said...

Fix the subtitle to your website. How can you expect people to take you seriously when you have a typo on every single page you write.

enoughwealth@yahoo.com said...

Typo fixed. Thanks.

Gary said...

The worst thing about Earth Hour is that it is counterproductive. There are people who think that by turning off their power for an hour once a year Global Warming will be avoided, Peak Oil will be postponed indefinitely, and fluffy pink bunnies will sing the Smurf song to rock their children to sleep. So they duly avoid watching telly for an hour once a year and then get up to drive their SUV to work the next day, thinking that they've "done enough".

Anonymous said...

In the headline. It's "aussie APOSTROPHE s."

That is how you make a possessive. Otherwise you have a plural and, coupled with the word "an" your sentence makes no sense.

What are you, retarded or something?

enoughwealth@yahoo.com said...

Thanks, but I know there should be an apostrophe - unfortunately, inserting one in this text string using blogger breaks the HTML. BTW your comment is somewhat impolite, although, as a Mensa member, I found it mildly amusing.