Sunday 29 March 2009

The Earth Hour scam [update 3]

Since the most popular post over the weekend (by the power of Google) was a 2007 post on Sydney’s first Earth Hour, I’ve reposted it here for regular readers:

The Earth Hour scam
Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Earth Hour! The Shut-Your-City-Down-Hour. What a lot of self-aggrandising, warmist blather. Mark Steyn gets it right:

    Being on Eastern Time (US) rather than Eastern Time (Oz), I’m afraid I slept through the excitement of Sydney’s “Earth Hour” when, from the Lord Mayor to the lowliest rummy lying in the gutter belching incandescent meth fumes, the entire city turned out its lights for one whole hour in order to stop global warming. You can see a satellite picture of it here. No, wait, that’s North Korea by night. Now there’s a guy who’s really doing his bit to save the planet. . .
Shut down Sydney for an hour, and supposedly make a point about global warming? Yeah, they made a point all right: the point that gesture politics sucks arse. Bruce at Salmon Sheets looks at the "before and after" photo scams published in The Age (see pictures above) which purported to show the huge effect of the shut down -- presumably if the effect was so great, they wouldn't need to tart up their photos to fit the news? And in a second scam, as Andrew Yanderlou notes [hat tip Tim Blair],
    The chart [pictured right] demonstrates that during the "Earth Hour" itself, Sydney used around the same amount of electricity as it had the two nights of similar levels of electricity use at the same time.
    However, "Earth Hour" spectacularly caused a massive spike in electricity use in the two hours preceding the "Earth Hour" revealing the whole concept to be little more than a public relations scam and a contributor to global warming.
     Presumably this occurred as people brought forward the electricity using activities they had wanted to avoid during "Earth Hour."
So neither real, nor effective then. But on top of these two scams, there's an even bigger one that an uncharacteristically pointed Ed Hudgins highlights in his piece The New Cult of Darkness, which begins this way, a much deeper and more philosophical scam that is rapidly becoming all-pervasive: the idea that human life and human flourishing is un-natural, and something for which we must seek expiation from today's prevailing nature gods.
    Since early men ignited the first fires in caves, the unleashing of energy for light, heat, cooking and every human need has been the essence and symbol of what it is to be human. The Greeks saw Prometheus vanquishing the darkness with the gift of fire to men. The Romans kept an eternal flame burning in the Temple of Vesta. Our deepest thoughts and insights are described as sparks of fire in our minds. A symbol of death is a fading flame; Poet Dylan Thomas urged us to "rage, rage against the dying of the light."
    Thus a symbol of the deepest social darkness is seen in the recent extinguishing of the lights of cities across Australia and in other industrialized countries, not as a result of power failures or natural disasters, not as a conscious act of homage for the passing of some worthy soul, but to urge us all to limit energy consumption for fear of global warming.
    This is not the symbol of the death but, rather, of the suicide of a civilization. . .
It was only a symbolic shutting down of a city, but what it symbolises is much darker than those photo-shopped pictures of a great city with its lights out. Unlike other animals who adapt themselves to their environment, human survival demands that we adapt the earth to ourselves; brightly lit cities are the greatest and most exciting symbol of our civilising success, of the life-affirming success at the production of our habitat. Hanging our head in shame at that success, however symbolically, is not heroic. It's not life-affirming. It's not something to celebrate. As Hudgins concludes:
    The spectacle of a city skyline shining at night is the beauty of millions of individuals at their most human. Energy is not for conserving; it is for unleashing to serve us, to make our lives better, to allow us to realize our dreams and to reach for the stars, those bright lights that pierce the darkness of the night.
Too right.

UPDATE 1:  By the way, Al Gore didn’t join in the general “Earth Hour” hysteria at his house, reports Drew Johnson, president of Tennessee Center for Policy Research, who drove past at the appointed time to see what the Goracle was up to [hat tip Anthony Watts, who has more on the Bore’s snub].

UPDATE 2: Tim Blair makes fun of an Earth Hour noob, and another one, and adds a few links – including one of Sydney 2009 during and after Earth Hour.

UPDATE 3: Belated congratulations, by the way, to Dave Mann and Mr Dennis, who managed to slip photos of their well-illuminated residences into the Herald’s wretched gallery of Saturday night ludditery.

DaveMann MrDennis

And congratulations too to the Flannagans, who lit up their own place, and promise to upload links to everyone else who did.


Dave Mann said...

Hear hear PC!

The new cult of darkness is a disgusting psychological sickness which, frankly, scares the bejesus out of me because of its all-pervading penetration into the minds of the masses.

Earth Hour is nothing less than a total denial of humans' rights to development and progress..... a 'symbolic' denielbut a denial nevertheless.

Why was my pic the ONLY one to grace the NZ Herald's website with a dissenting voice?

Why the fuck didn't hoards of freethinking intelligent humans react against this utter madness?

Fuck... wake up!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jeffrey Perren said...

"Unlike other animals who adapt themselves to their environment, human survival demands that we adapt the earth to ourselves"

Animals do more to adapt the environment to themselves than the Greens would allow humans. I never heard a Green complain about a bear leaving a footprint in the forest.

Jeffrey Perren said...

By the way, Dave, take heart. Count the number of pro vs con Amazon reviews and comments associated with any anti-AGW book from the past 5 years and you will see there are a LOT of sensible, well-informed people in the world. They just don't get the same press, thanks to the Progressive media.

Julian said...

I happened to be working in the office on Saturday night - as I am want to do every year when it is Earth Hour.

Hence one of the tallest buildings in Auckland had one floor lit up in celebration of man's mind and achievement.


Owen McShane said...

I have only thing to say about Earth Hour.

"Let there be Light!"

Nick said...

I'm happy to say I turned some extra lights on to celebrate (among other things) the fact that since my ancestors harnessed fire I don't need to start the preparation of each meal by rubbing sticks together.

Mr Dennis said...

Dave, it's not just your photo showing a dissenting view, mine is up there too! They've quoted me as saying "we finally settled on NZ-made renewable hydro-electricity as the lowest emission, most eco-friendly way to light our house."

Unfortunately they cropped out about a thousand watts of outdoor lighting from the photo, but they've kept my big "60" logo made from lights. The full picture is on my blog.

beautox said...

Don't forget about the thousands of candles burnt by the greenie idiots. Don't they realize that candles release more CO2 per unit light than electric light?

Stevew said...

Two excellent photos! I must make more of an effort next year....

Madeleine said...

It was a bit of a hoot! We had lots of fun at Earth Hour, it was a shame it was over so quickly.