March 30, 2008

"Earth Hour" Futility, Google Hypocrisy Revealed

**Update--Earth Hour Denver timelapse and video:


As you can tell, not much was turned off. About the only participants in Denver were the Hard Rock Cafe and the Denver Convention and Performing Arts Center:
The Hard Rock dimmed lights inside and out. It was joined by the Virgin Megastore and Lucky Strike Lanes, which turned off their huge neon signs. Meanwhile, the marquee of the nearby Paramount Theater shone bright.

The Paramount wasn't alone, as businesses up and down the mall, both big and small, kept lights blazing, operating in the dark when it came to Earth Hour.


However, nonessential lights were turned off in the City and County Building, the Wellington Webb Municipal Building and the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

And at the Northfield Stapleton shopping center, some restaurants planned to serve customers by candlelight.
. . .
Power savings in the Denver area were expected to be modest. Xcel Energy said that lighting accounts for about 7 percent of home energy use, so that savings from people turning off lights will be only a portion of 7 percent, depending on how many households participate.
That'll stave off climate change. But it's the gesture that counts, right?

As I read on another blog (and can't remember where), we each voluntarily perform "Earth Hour" every night--by going to bed and turning off the lights and electronics inside the house.

This pathetically empty symbolic gesture achieves nothing more than assuaging global warmenist guilt. If it were really that important, these measures would become mandatory. How long is it before "Earth Hour" observations become energy controls, with fines and punishment for profligate consumers (except the limousine liberals, of course)?

Wait. I shouldn't be giving them any ideas . . .
"We applaud the spirit of the idea, but our own analysis as well as that of others shows that making the Google homepage black will not reduce energy consumption. To the contrary, on flat-panel monitors (already estimated to be 75% of the market), displaying black may actually increase energy usage. Detailed results from a new study confirm this"--Google, on turning its screen black, which it is doing once again for "Earth Hour"

Earth Hour's site is currently running slowly, no doubt due to traffic:



Moonbattery highlights Google's hypocrisy and black-screen futility--the color change saves no energy, as Google itself admits:
Reducing climate change by saving energy is an important effort we should all join, and that's why we're very glad to see the innovative thinking going into a variety of solutions. One idea, suggested by the site called "Blackle" (which is not related to Google, by the way, though the site does use our custom search engine), is to reduce energy used by monitors by providing search with a black background. We applaud the spirit of the idea, but our own analysis as well as that of others shows that making the Google homepage black will not reduce energy consumption. To the contrary, on flat-panel monitors (already estimated to be 75% of the market), displaying black may actually increase energy usage. Detailed results from a new study confirm this.
The Drunkablog has a fun bunch of links to Tim Blair (from down under, who is tracking the event around the world), who is combatting "Earth Hour" moonbattery with the "Hour of Power", and a roundup of local MSM cheerleading coverage.

Ed Morrissey has much more on Google's hypocrisy at Hot Air.

Earth Hour's "Ten Things to do in the Dark" (annotated):
Host a Green Party

Get your friends together for an Earth Hour eco-party. Fire up the flashlights and battery lanterns, serve organic food, avoid the disposable utensils, use natural décor (like flowers and hanging plants) and have a friend provide acoustic music. Talk to your guests about how you’re each reducing your environmental footprint and share ideas and solutions for saving more energy, money and carbon dioxide.
--Yes, have all of your friends DRIVE to your EH eco-party. Be sure to have them charge those batteries ahead of time--you are using rechargeables, aren't you?

Give Yourself an Energy Makeover

Use Earth Hour to make your home more energy efficient: Replace your old light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs; install power strips (so you can turn computers and electronics on and off more easily); and change your air conditioner filters. Or go one step farther and install one new energy-efficient item, like an EnergyStar qualified DVD player. And on Monday, call your local utility and sign up for green power—like wind, hydro or solar.
--Replace incandescents with CFLs--and don't worry about all that harmful mercury. Make sure to find the most expensive alternative source of energy--you are committed, aren't you?

Go Green with Your Kids

Earth Hour is a perfect time to talk to your kids about the environment and why we need to protect our planet from the dangers of climate change. Check out books on the environment from the library and read by flashlight, or head into the yard and have a night picnic. Or how about a night of board games? There are even Earth Hour kids’ activities you can download at www.earthhour.org.
--Indoctrinate the future polluters Educate your kids, and make sure they properly fear climate change. Al Gore says so.

Do a Recyclables Scavenger Hunt

Get your flashlights and scour your cabinets and shelves for cans, bottles and cardboard (like cereal boxes) that you don't normally recycle. Make a list of all the non-recyclable containers you’re using now (like plastic shopping bags and butter tubs), and figure out ways to reduce your consumption of items that end up in landfills. One easy tip: get reusable grocery bags...and reuse them!
--Recycle, recycle, recycle--make it your mantra! Find more expensive, organic alternatives for all of your consumption. Or ELSE.

Green That Workspace!

Working the night shift? Even if you can’t turn off all the lights at work, look around and see what you can unplug, turn down or use less of (like consuming less paper by printing double-sided). Every day millions of computer screens and speakers are left on overnight—shut ‘em off! And talk to your coworkers about what they can do to help make a difference too.
--Conduct surveillance on your wastrel colleagues and report them immediately! You can also afford to strain your eyes by turning off all those annoying lights.

Involve Your Local Leaders

If your city or town isn't already hosting an Earth Hour event, ask your local government to set up a community "green" discussion in a public building from 8 to 9 p.m. on March 29. Help organize attendance by reaching out to local environmental and community groups, and come prepared to ask your leaders what they’re doing to make your city greener.
--Enforce your views on your neighbors by insisting local government bend to your every demand. Make sure to eliminate all dissent. Shame those who dare to ask questions.

Clean Up Your Neighborhood

Grab a flashlight and take a long walk through your neighborhood, picking up trash and recyclables as you go. It's a great chance to do some stargazing too!
--Make sure to do it in the dark, so that picking up trash can turn into a game of "name that trash!"

Unplug and Chill Out

Most of our daily activities—like watching TV, shopping online and texting friends—require loads of electricity, but do we really need to do so much stuff all the time? Take one hour for yourself to just chill...turn off the screens, put down the handheld devices and just take some "you" time to reflect, read or talk to your family. After all, why do more when you can do less?
--Yes, read in the dark. It's easy if you try. Or better yet, sleep. Recreate the conditions of bedtime, when you normally turn off all the lights/appliances/electronics . . . um, yeah, basically do what you do EVERY night. That'll make it EXTRA symbolic.

Take Your Temperature

Your thermostat and your refrigerator are responsible for a huge portion of your carbon footprint. If you lower your thermostat by just 2 degrees and set your fridge to 37° F. and the freezer at 0° F., you'll make a big difference.
--Doable. It is Spring or Fall around the globe, and so you won't exactly freeze or swelter.

Make a Pledge for the Planet

Earth Hour shouldn't end at 9:01 pm—it's a chance to take a first step toward lowering your overall impact on the environment. So use part of that hour to make a personal pledge to do more—recycle, drive less often, remember to turn off or unplug electronics, and beyond. The only way we're going to stabilize our climate is if we make real changes in our everyday lives. That change begins with Earth Hour, and ends with a healthy planet.
--Rather than waste your time on symbolic gestures that accomplish nothing but make you feel really, really good about yourself, make a plan to actually conserve in a meaningful, sustainable way. We don't actually want you to return to the Stone Age, now, do we?

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