Saturday, March 29, 2008

For every light you turn off... (or how I spent my Earth Hour)

I don't know if you've heard about the latest fad called "Earth Hour". If you haven't, essentially it's a thing where regular people turn off all their lights for one hour of the year and pretend that they're granola-eating hippies.

I knew when I first heard about it that I didn't like it, and not just because Mayor O'Brien was supportive of it.

There is a Japanese saying: "Vision without action is a daydream; action without vision is a nightmare." As profound as this saying is, this Earth Hour event doesn't fit into either category. Earth Hour is more "action without action", and hence this post is deserving of the "yellowribbons" label (see "Support Motherhood and Apple Pie").

If you really cared about the environment, you'd make changes in your everyday habits (such as reducing your car use, eating less meat, living in a smaller and more energy-efficient home, etc.). Turning off your lights once a year at 8pm doesn't really mean very much if your TV, computers, and other appliances come right back on an hour later.

And if you really cared for the Earth, you'd give it more than just an hour.

I mean, shit: every night, most people do more than was accomplished in Earth Hour simply by turning off their lights and sleeping for six to eight hours!

Of course, as is reported in the Citizen, greenhouse gas emissions will probably not be reduced during Earth Hour, especially with many people burning candles. Even if they're more 'natural', candles put a lot more dirty shit into the air per unit of light than electric plants do. (Not that I care much for the GHG fad, either.)

So how did I spend my earth hour? Well, along these lines:

Poster that says For Every Animal You Don't Eat, I'm Going To Eat Three

While all the suburbanites were sitting in their living rooms signing kumbayah and eating marshmallows, I turned on every light in my house, including the one in the stove. In fact, keeping with the theme of the image above, I ate three animals too!

Interestingly, when I was done cooking my "three animals" (two eggs and some strips of bacon--I hadn't had bacon in years. So tasty!), I turned off the stove, and my arm automatically reached for the stove light switch. I had forgotten that I was keeping my lights all on for the hour.

I guess energy conservation is just one of those pesky habits that dies hard.

- RG>


Anonymous said...

I wrote you a nice comment but my browser ate it. So I will condense it down to:

* I agree that Earth Hour is pointless.

* The whole thing seemed to imply that personal consumption of energy was the main source of energy use.

* I am not sure but I don't think energy production is directly tied to consumption.

* I can see that small and less-challenging actions are needed before people can take bigger and more significant ones, but you can also be creative about what you do.

* I think sitting in a dark house for an hour will just make people remember how much they love electricity.

Stay grumpy! :)

Anonymous said...

errr... should have been:

"Stay grouchy!"

Always get that confused. oops.