Saturday, March 26, 2011

It's that hour again...

Well, it's time for my fourth annual Earth Hour-bashing post. As I've said in past years, I don't like to celebrate events that consider it special to turn the lights off for an hour; it's something I do for many hours every night. Twenty-four hours for Earth Day is enough in my books.

Some self-promoting environmentalists are promoting a candlelight vigil on Parliament Hill. Of course, candles are a much less efficient way to convert energy into light than electric lights are, and paraffin candles, being pure hydrocarbon, produce considerably more CO2 emissions than whatever the hell was burned to power that light you turn off. I'll laugh if some people end up driving downtown to get to the vigil.

So then people use beeswax candles, which they claim are 'carbon neutral' because it's from honeybees instead of million-year-old dinosaur bones. Notwithstanding that honeybees are producing less and less each year, if you want to reduce your CO2 emissions, you'd toss the beeswax candle into the trash. Once it gets to the landfill, its carbon will be stored and sequestered, which is much better than releasing it into the air by burning.

Then there are those who turn off the lights but still watch TV in the dark, because they're so superficially environmentalist that they can't even peel their arses off the couch for an hour to spend some time with the kids. Or there's the people who use battery-powered flash lights or unplug their laptops--apparently oblivious to the fact that they're simply using the electricity (converted and stored less efficiently in batteries) merely at a different time. These ones are the worst because they don't even get the theoretical message the Earth Hourers are trying to spread with this overhyped event. Does Jim Watson really need yet another event to pack into his agenda?

Speaking of the hype, I wouldn't be surprised if the energy "saved" by people turning off their lights is less than all the energy that goes into producing all the advertisements, posters, candles, publicity events, and three-fucking-storey-tall banners (below), plus the hot air from those of us pointing out how inane it is to celebrate a holiday that lasts only one hour. People are so disconnected from reality that the greenwashers have them convinced that electricity is the only form of energy that counts toward CO2 emissions.

In previous years, Earth Hour has gone by so quickly I didn't even get a chance to turn on all my lights and appliances in protest. This year I've got plans outside the house in the evening, so instead of leaving my house dark as it normally would be when I'm not inside it, I'll have to leave my lights on all day to make sure they'll be on during Earth Hour.

I wouldn't want someone walking by to see a dark window and think I'm an Earth Hour sycophant.

- RG>

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