Posts Tagged ‘Earth Hour’

Another meaningless Earth hour to ignore today

March 29, 2014

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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Earth hour is a morally bankrupt, self-indulgent, “feel-good” gesture

March 22, 2013

I have experienced the rigours of real blackouts and brownouts many times in my life.

I have seen what it was like in Kobe after the 1995 earthquake when no power was available.

The availability of electricity for the bulk of the world’s population has been by far the most important factor in the development of humans in recent times and possibly ranks with the discovery of fire and the wheel as the most important advances ever made.

A self-indulgent, “feel-good” gesture such as Earth Hour is not just meaningless and futile – it is the stridently self-righteous action of  a morally bankrupt group which from a position of relative comfort and abundance would deny the aspirations of millions to improve their lot. It is a gesture which scorns the efforts of those who would try and provide the benefits that cheap and readily available electricity brings.

I doubt whether many in the northern latitudes who will indulge in this silliness tomorrow by turning off some of their lights will actually turn off any heating during this bitterly cold March. I shall not respond in kind by the equally arrogant gesture of  turning on all the lights in my house.

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.

And during Earth Hour tomorrow it will be business as usual for me. I shall not be turning off any lights and I shall not be turning off the heating in my house. 

Earthhour is not for me – It is a tale told by idiots..

March 31, 2012

I shall not be trying to switch off today. But I shall not either be trying to maximise my electricity consumption in some futile gesture to protest against the even more idiotic gesture that is Earthhour. I shall be as normal as possible.

The hype around Earthhour on 31st March each year is not just irritating – it demonstrates for me the intellectual bankruptcy that is now enveloping the environmentalists and conservationists and the eco-fascists. It is a tale told by idiots and full of sound and fury and signifying – nothing.

If it was a just a meaningless gesture it would not be as bad as it is. It actually denies all that humankind has achieved and promotes a view of what the future should be which not only do I  not share but is one which celebrates the lack of electricity. It condemns humankind to return to a bleak world of hunger and death and misery. That may be a future which the lack of electricity could cause but it is not a future I would choose or glorify.

This post by Ross McKitrick is pretty close to how I see things:

Earth Hour: A Dissent

by Ross McKitrick

Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics, Univer...

Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics, University of Guelph, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics, University of Guelph, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 2009 I was asked by a journalist for my thoughts on the importance of Earth Hour.

Here is my response.

I abhor Earth Hour. Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century. Every material social advance in the 20th century depended on the proliferation of inexpensive and reliable electricity.

Giving women the freedom to work outside the home depended on the availability of electrical appliances that free up time from domestic chores. Getting children out of menial labour and into schools depended on the same thing, as well as the ability to provide safe indoor lighting for reading.

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