Another meaningless Earth hour to ignore today

For the same reasons as last year, and all previous years, I shall not be turning down the heat or switching off any lights today.

Earth hour is a morally bankrupt, self-indulgent, “feel-good” gesture. It is a “cheap” and mean action. It does a disservice to humanity. It diverts attention from the real issues of development that face the world’s poor. And the availability of electric power is fundamentally necessary to this development.

Switching off power during Earth hour manifests a self-righteous and a morally bankrupt arrogance. I shall not though respond in kind by the equally arrogant gesture of  turning on all the lights in my house.

The numbers tell the tale:

The world per capita consumption of energy(in tons of oil equivalent – toe)  is about 1.85 toe in 2013 and varying from about 7 toe in the US to 0.2 in the least developed parts of the world. In Europe it is about 3.5 toe with India at about 0.5 toe and China at 0.6 toe.

World population will increase from 7 billion now and stabilise at about 10 billion by 2100. Assuming that most of the world can reach an average level of development commensurate with a total per capita energy consumption of around 3 toe, then total energy production (all sources) has to increase by a factor of 2.3 between now and 2100. There is no shortage of energy availability. Shale gas has removed even the perceived – but false – threat of that. Peak oil and peak gas have disappeared over the horizon. If the developing world is to develop, then this energy has to be consumed and will be produced.

Global warming is a mirage and Earth hour is meaningless.


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