I can hardly wait until we celebrate Earth Hour tonight…(not)

Tonight between 8pm and 9pm in every local zone, people all around the planet will “celebrate” Earth Hour.  Or so the effort’s organizer, the World Wildlife Fund, hopes.  The idea is that for this one hour period, everyone should turn off all of their lights to conserve energy.  All of this to remind people of the effect of energy consumption on “global warming” or as the movement now calls it “climate change.”  I contend they have had to adopt this new term because reality seems to argue against “warming,” particularly when record snowfalls and extreme cold weather have been experienced this winter, and unseasonably cool temperatures are being experienced in many areas this spring. Today it is supposed to be 15 degrees (F) below normal in NYC for example.

I have written before that I find the arguments in favor of the notion that mankind has caused global warming to be lacking in credibility.  And the chief proponents of action to correct global warming are both hypocritical in their own personal efforts to minimize consumption of energy and seem to be enriching themselves simply by being out front in the cause. 

Yes, those who participate in tonight’s illumination deprivation will not consume that one hour’s worth of electricity and the fuels needed to produce that energy will not have been consumed.  But I am hard pressed to believe that this one hour of symbolism will appreciably change anyone’s ongoing habits of energy consumption. 

Do I think people should conserve energy?  Yes, absolutely.  But not for the same reasons as those of the event organizers.  For me, energy conservation is an economic consideration first and an environmental one a distant second.  Energy, whether in the form of electricity, or the fuels we consume when driving or operating equipment, is expensive on some relative basis.  So, to waste it, is to literally waste money.  

And waste in any form, energy, food, water, money, even time, seems to be, at its core, self-indulgent.  And that is a heart attitude that should be avoided.

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4 Responses to I can hardly wait until we celebrate Earth Hour tonight…(not)

  1. notinparis says:

    Well, I’m on totally the other side of the fence from you regarding the relevance to the environment: I believe that climate change IS here and that we should do absolutely everything we can, and not just for the economic benefits.

    Still, I’ve got to say that Earth Hour does seem a little dumb to me in that one hour will hardly make any difference at all. Nevertheless, if it increases awareness, then it’s a good thing in my book.

  2. Shannon says:

    Notinparis I want you and others to know Chuckthomas is NOT alone in his thoughts.

    I just want to say that this earth hour stuff is all bull.

    Getting everyone to turn stuff off for one hour isn’t going to help the earth that much, in fact it may even cause MORE DAMAGE !!

    For example: Imagine an average family of 4 and their usual night. Perhaps this family walks to the local convenience store and rents a video to watch together every Sat night. They use a highly efficient microwave to nuke some leftovers and plop down in front of the TV for two hours with no other lights on because you can see the movie better that way.

    This week, this hypothetical family decides to “do the earth hour thing” with a few neighbors. They drive to the grocery store and purchase alot of meat and prepared foods like sweets/deserts, potato salad, and chips. They burn who knows how much propane to cook the factory-farmed meat they eat off paper or even Styrofoam plates. They use candles made from petroleum, or lamps powered by batteries or oil to light the party… And whatever doesn’t get eaten, will wind up in big plastic garbage bags to be taken to the dump.

    All this earth hour stuff is just another way for the average man to feel like he’s doing something good while making a mess.

    Actively choosing to turn down your thermostat a few degrees in the winter and up a few in the summer would save MUCH more energy than turning off all your electrical stuff for an hour each year.

    Actively choosing to REDUCE and REUSE would mean that the little that you do need to RECYCLE can be done in a cost effective manor.

    Actively choosing to compost your food scraps would not only save you money on fertilizer for your lawn each year, but would return the nutrients to the earth where they belong instead of trapping them in plastic bags buried under other garbage in a dump.

    Choose wisely in your day to day actions, and you’ll do so much more for the world than any STUNT like “Earth Hour”.

  3. notinparis says:

    That is a very good point, and unfortunately there will be people who will do that. I’m guessing you’re in America, though? Here in Britain, at least, we don’t tend to do things so big. Then again, Earth Hour has barely registered here. I don’t know anyone who did it.

    Earth Hour is a stunt, though, and we do need more than one hour to make things better. We all need to change.

  4. Chuck says:

    Thank you both for commenting.

    Fern, first of all, I would like to commend you for your response to Shannon. You seem very thoughtful and together, and I was very surprised to see from your blog that you are 15 years old. And, I also commend you for your concern for the future of the planet, even if I do think you have bought in a bit too much to the “global warming” hysteria. I took a look at your blog, especially under the “it’s hot in here page” and can see that this is a subject that you feel strongly about.

    I invite you to take a look at the video that I include in my post from earlier this month on the subject of global warming, or should I say my disbelief in it. I don’t expect that it will change your mind completely, but I think it only wise to at least consider the alternative positions that some scientists have to explain periodic, but not cataclysmic increases in temperatures.

    Also, please give a little consideration to the fact that the movement has changed the conversation wherein they used to say “global warming,” and now the prefered term is “climate change.” Could it be that the evidence of real ongoing warming is not as solid as it once was thought to be? I know that here in Texas last summer, we had something like the fouth or fifth coolest summer in history, and Texas is notorious for being hot in the summer!

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