Saturday, March 31, 2012

I missed Earth Hour this year

And by missed, I mean did not participate.

The idea was tonight at 8:30 p.m. everyone was supposed to shut off all non-essential lights for one hour to draw attention to global warming and allow participants to ponder the issue while sitting uselessly in the dark.

What an awful way to promote environmentalism.

As my environmental-policy major girlfriend taught me, this sends the message that being good to the environment requires living without basic necessities like artificial light. The future of environmentally-friendly electricity will never take root by lowering the standard of living.

Instead, the future will require technological breakthroughs that will produce cheaper electricity that's good for the environment. Anything less is a doomed for failure. Let's turn on the lights and look for a real solution.


  1. There is also the issue of the gesture actually causing waste (in some cases) Power plants can't react to sudden ups and downs in energy consumption as quick as people would like to think.

    I hear North Korea celebrates earth hour. But they do it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  2. Every Earth Hour, I'm reminded of the start of Matt Ridley's talk about the worldwide improvement of the standard of living. One of the examples he gives is how much cheaper an hour of reading light is today than it was at any point in the last two hundred years.

    I am also reminded of another point he likes to make, which is that back-to-nature fuel is wood, and back-to-nature lightbulbs are candles made of animal fat. Luddism, aside from being bad for our standard of living, isn't even good for the environment.

  3. Well, if you were in certain part of India you will be forced to celebrate earth hour every day!!!!
    Even in urban area there are powercuts for hour.... like yesterday in Mysore(where I live).....

    1. Bhargav, when did you leave Tiptur?

      My understanding is in India, you check telephones for a dial tone before you dial.