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Guest zzmikezz

Earth Hour

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Anyone participating? I think it was in Thailand that they saved78 megawatts of power. That's a lot.I am.JimCYWG

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Well we did in Australia - but then we follow just about any stupid craze. Interestingly the TV stations that so heavily promoted the concept didn't shut down their broadcast. Just shows how hypocritical people can be when money is invoved.Never mind we showed them !But that begs the question " Showed what? and to whom? " Roger

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You don't "save megawatts". At most they may have saved 78 Megawatthours.If the average bulb is a 60W bulb (which sounds high, given the prevalence of TL tubes, halogen and low energy bulbs which are lower in Wattage), that means 1.3 million bulbs were turned off for one hour that would otherwise have been turned on.If there's an average of 10 bulbs in a home (not too high a number) that's just 130.000 homes taking part in a nation that has many millions.I'd call that an utter failure for the organisers :)

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Thank you, jwenting. Just imagine how much more impressive the story would have been if the savings had been expressed in picojoules.

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Or if they'd mentioned that the powerstations aren't going to slow down when people turn off their lights for a single hour on a single day.Now if all those people were to turn those lights off permanently, and sit in the dark every day of every year, it might make a difference.But I've this nagging feeling that that's not going to happen, and that the majority of people taking part in this farce actually decided to turn off the lights at home and spend the evening elsewhere, at a brightly lit restaurant, a well heated bar with a wintergarden, or a big screen movie theater.

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"....and that the majority of people taking part in this farce..."Events like "Earth Hour" still mean something to people. Isn't it better to not say anything at all? Or don't you know the meaning and intent of restraint? For what it's worth, I turned my lights off upstairs while my wife merrily kept hers on downstairs. And I think both of us were happy with our decisions and respected the other's. My wife didn't call my take on this nonsense and I didn't point a finger at her and shout "BIG POLLUTER"! I did spend that hour elsewhere--sitting on my deck staring into space and enjoying the 25C evening breeze here in the desert. A great way to waste time on your perceived farce. J

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In my part of the world, electric energy is generated by water power. Turn off a light bulb and the water continues to flow over the dam via the spillway rather than thru a turbine penstock.Addtionally, my house is heated by a combination of electric water heater, appliances, light bulbs that may be on and a natural gas fireplace that fires up when the 'frig, stove, lights and w/heater are not up to the job.Turn off the lights and my gas fireplace comes on with almost certainly more air pollution than that of a hydro dam. In fact, changing from incandescent to flourescent light bulbs will cause my "polluting" fireplace to burn longer.-------PS- I've invented a perpetual motion machine and I'm looking for investors !!!!Alex Reid CYYJPSS- Forgot to mention the contribution my computer makes to heating my home & avoiding pollution !

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JohnCi,If "a little" is good, why isn't "much more" vastly better? Why not do as jwenting suggested? Or is it that the real goal of Earth Hour is to allow the participants to feel good about themselves? There's nothing wrong with wanting to feel good about ourselves, but we shouldn't kid ourselves that anything is accomplished by an event like Earth Hour (other than indoctrination of kids), any more than printing a slogan on a tee shirt accomplishes anything.

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For those who recognize that Earth Hour is an entirely symbolic gesture and *not* a practical gesture, it is just fine. For those who take the gesture and apply it to their everyday life, doing a better job of conserving energy going forward, it is a good thing!But for those who think that Earth Hour itself does anything to reduce emissions from power plants, it's important that they understand that it does not. Coal, oil, and gas fired power plants do not slow down or reduce their burning for the variations in the electrical load over the course of one hour. Nuclear plants don't slow down. In fact, Earth Hour ends up creating MORE pollution per used megawatt, simply because the fractional reduction in used load results in a fractional increase in wasted production.If events like this can raise awareness *AND* get people to conserve energy in the long term, they have a place. But, if someone hangs their hat on participating in Earth Hour as their "good deed for the day" but then returns to their daily habits of lighting up their home like the Rockefeller Plaza Christmas tree, well, the event misses it's mark.-Greg

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I understand Mike, I don't feel Earth Hour accomplished any goal related to reducing energy, but perhaps it made some more aware or more willing to join their neighbors in something other than arguing over who's going to win the latest round of "Big Brother". The point I was trying to make to Jeroen and perhaps the forum in general is why insult those who gain something by calling it a farce? Why does every thread like this get hijacked into a broader discussion? We all know there's people here in the forums that are smarter than we are. But given in this world it seems you're more likely to die of a random bullet in the inner city than cancer, why can't a thread be opened like this without someone pointing out the negatives and making those who participate feel their effort is meaningless. Why does someone (usually the same person(s) have to suck the optimism from threads like this, even if it's false optimism? I'm not just talking about Earth Hour. The same baloney happened when some of us dared post here celebrating the Wright Brothers' flight.

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JohnCi,I wasn't trying to ridicule anyone. I remember the literally killer fogs in the NYC/NJ area as a kid, and I remember how coal powerplant pollution control cleared that problem up.But we can't conserve our way to a solution. (To what may no longer be a problem.) If useage of fossil fuels is growing by 10% per year (my guess) then a conservation-driven 20% reduction will only push the problem out by two years, if problem there be.I don't want my standard of living reduced for this kind of "solution" to this kind of "problem", and I will ask that people actually think about what is going on rather than simply emote about it.

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That's exactly my point.A lot of people think that they're making "a difference" by turning off their lights, they need to learn they don't.Replacing a single bulb with a low energy one does work, replacing them all and maybe thinking about whether you need all those bulbs in the first place does even more.And yes, I did that years ago, I've been running all low energy bulbs for over a decade now.

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It's a farce because it doesn't do what the inventors claim it does and they know it, which is to "save energy".If it makes people aware of the fact they can reduce their energy use (and thus save some money as well as reducing their nation's dependency on foreign oil and/or other energy sources) that's a far better result, but it's not what the inventors (claim to) state the goal is.It's indeed a feel-good thing for most people, and I don't think they'll do anything more for a year until the next time someone tells them to do something "for the environment" that doesn't do more than give them a reason to go out for dinner instead of watching tele.Far more damning, I seriously doubt whether Al Gore or the bosses of Greenpeace and similar mass market "environmentalist" groups turn off all the lights in all their homes and offices. The guys from the small groups may, they're often more zealous and less in it for the money and power.

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While you were turning your lights off, Algore was flying around in his private jet countering your efforts. ;-)

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"Algore was flying around in his private jet countering your efforts."Nah, as I mentioned in my email, the more immediate threat was my wife downstairs. Fortunately her beauty makes it easier to tolerate such indiscretions, whereas Al Gore looks like, uh well, Al Gore.JC

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Reminds me a couple years ago in Detroit at the Auto show they were making a big deal about electric cars.I heard a radio interview with Bob Lutz (a pilot and big time automaker).He asked the interviewer who thought electric cars were great and the future where he thought the electricity to power the electric car was coming from?-coal of course-one of the worst pollutants!He explained that burning gasoline was actually more environment friendly than the electric car-but of course that just whisked by the old logic meter....http://www.mediafire.com/imgbnc.php/1b5baf...b9f427f694g.jpgMy blog:http://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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Yup. I worked in energy research (though before that time) and such stories are all too common.Solar cells for example pollute more during their lifetime than the equivalent production capacity in oil fired powerstations.While the energy they produce doesn't directly release anything, their production (and the production of the raw materials, we took everything into account from the mining of silicon, the piping of the oil, to the soot released from a smokestack and the fuel burned by lorries and delivery vans) is so polluting and their lifespan so short that overall they're worse than burning oil.With electrical cars that comes into play but even worse are the line losses of the electricity between the powerstation and the place where you hook up that car.Those line losses can be as high as 50% or more depending on distance and weather conditions.

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We turned off the lights in my flat here in the Netherlands and I took a walk outside to see if there was any obvious participation - there wasn't. The thing that was most clear though was that (at least here) we could loose about 50% of the streetlamps without making much difference to road / pedestrian safety...In itself, one person going through all the motions (cycle to work/public transport/car-share, turn off (not stby) electrical stuff, low energy lightbulbs, brick in the toilet reservoir to reduce water volume etc etc) will make very little difference but if everyone does it it will, with a little time, undoubtedly have benefits for the environment and our long-term well-being as a species!Geoff

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All the major motor manufacturers were asked a while ago, to produce an engine alternative propulsion that didn't use oil.They ALL did it with great results but, the governments failed to institute legislation to ban all oil driven vehicles within a space of five years simply because of the amount of revenue they recieve, for selling oil.It's all about money.Global warming is talked about only.We have a saying here in the UK - "The lights are on but, theres no one at home".

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G7USL,What if the cost of a non-polluting car that did not use fossil fuels was one million pounds. Would you be in favor of it? If that price is too high, what is the highest price you would be willing to pay, and how does that price compare to the current prices of cars?Or don't you drive?

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This is more of a symbolic effort but a real-world solution would be better and more efficient night lighting solutions.Years ago I was an active backyard astronomer. Due to this, I became keenly aware of the concept of how much wasted light there is produced at night. The school across the street had exceedingly bright lights that stuck out from the sides. Due to the design, half the light from these went above the horizontal plane .... in other words, was wasted upwards! To me at the time, the issue was to combat this light with obstructions to keep my eyes dartk-adapted to pick up magnitude 11 galaxies in my telescope, for example, but it also made me think of how much power is wasted in this ineffiecient night-lighting that happens all night long. Even now the majority of night lighting is totally wasteful. FOr example, by improving street lighting, you can direct the light down onto the roads and keep the bright bulb area from getting into drivers' eyes. Due to their bulbous designs, most street lights have a good percentage of light going horizontally or even some degrees above the horizontal plane. This is wasted energy. It is throwing money and esources onto a fire and has zero purpose! If one thinks of it logically, it is clear just how rediculous the designs of the vast majority of night lighting are. If 100% of the light (light = power = money = wasted resources) doesn't hit the ground, it is bad designing.Of course part of me as the former backyard astronomer would love to see light poullution reduced just to bring back the night skies to more urban locations, I also see it as a huge waste of resources and money.From the astronomical point of view, here are a couple linkshttp://www.darksky.org/mc/page.dohttp://www.rasc.ca/light/I've read that it's esimated that 1 billion dollars is wasted each year in the US alone on inefficient night lighting!

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Earth Hour didn't accomplish anything for "saving" energy.....and never will. You see, much of the population that turned their lights out went to bed for an hour and many couples did what couples like to do best when in bed.......in the dark..........for an hour of peace. They spent their energy making more little energy users in the future. So, while forcing the population to be in the dark may save energy for an hour or so......in the long run it will only increase the population of energy users. Thus increasing the very problem it was designed to elliminate. Want to really save energy?.........Buy condoms.......or keep the lights ON.

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DK8290,Just think of the billions of dollars that could be saved if houses were reduced to one-room shacks. They would have 1/5th the floor space, and with everybody huddled together at night in a single bed, there would be no need for anything but wood stoves ...... Oops, I can't say would stoves, they would pollute the air ...But you get my drift. If we are to take conservation to its logical conclusion we end up with watermelon politics -- green on the outside, red on the inside.The capitalist freedom to consume inevitably is accompanied by the capitalist freedom to waste, and the only way to truly do away with waste is to do away with consumption and production.

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The problem with those vehicles is that they're highly impractical.Electric cars you need to plug in for 14 hours a day to give you a range of under 100 miles (can you imagine all the cables running across every sidewalk in the world? Copper thieves will have a field day, as will the lawyers sueing everyone because someone stumbled over a cable and hurt her knee). And the line losses between the powerstation and your home mean you're burning more fuel than had you used a gasoline powered engine.Hydrogen powered cars that need to fuel up every 40 miles and have such massive tanks that in a car the size of a Hummer there's room for a driver with maybe a small child."bio diesel" and ethanol that requires all the woods in the world to be cut down to supply just the US with enough corn and sugar cane to make all that fuel.And all those fuels are no better "for the environment" than gasoline either. The emissions may be of different composition and/or produced elsewhere, but they're still there.There is no viable alternative to the fossil fuel burning internal combustion engine.That's why those projects don't go anywhere, not some conspiracy.I have a hybrid on order myself. But not for the fuel savings (zero for me, as if I'd not bought it I'd have gone for a one model smaller model car using about the same amount of fuel).It's because of the massive tax incentive the government here put in place to encourage people to buy hybrids (and fuel efficient cars in general).50% reduction in road taxes,

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Just think of the billions of dollars that could be saved if houses were reduced to one-room shacks. They would have 1/5th the floor space, and with everybody huddled together at night in a single bed, there would be no need for anything but wood stoves----------------------I think it's a bit of a stretch from bringing up the fact that the vast majority of night lighting is extremely badly designed and what you just mentioned.If aircraft and automobiles were so badly designed (ie, hole in the fuel tank allowing half the fuel to leak out = half the night light going into the air uselessly) it would seem obvious to more people how badly things were designed.I really can't see why people would argue about the inefficiency of a design. Having logically thought out night lighting would not only save money and resources but reduce glare and improve safety for drivers and pedestrians. ----------------------------------The capitalist freedom to consume inevitably is accompanied by the capitalist freedom to waste, and the only way to truly do away with waste is to do away with consumption and production.----------------------------------Pointless waste is just not smart and I'm not advocating going and living in a cave to avoid using resources. I just find the statement above doesn't make any sense at all.

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