Friday, 4 April 2008

Did Earth Hour 2008 really work?

Well, Earth Hour 2008 came and went last weekend. I even wrote an article about it. Unfortunately, I was not able to participate in it as our 2 year old was caught the croup a few days previously and needed some attention.

How did it go for you? Even though I was not able to participate in it, it has made me more aware of the my usage of electricity. This also goes for the other resources such as water, gas and food. So Earth Hour wasn't just one hour for me, it is going to be an effort for me to apply it to my day-to-day living.

The one thing that got me beat is the amount of energy used to increased the profile of the event, to create the infrastructure to support the event and to celebrate the event.

Earth Hour's blog has figures quoting a reduction of 264MWatts in Toronto, Canada but it hosted huge public music/party for the event. It also has figures about Bangkok, Thailand saving 73.34MWatts.

I can't help but think that if we all just stayed at home and turned off the lights, it would have been an even more significant savings. A cynical person would think that many people got into the spirit of Earth Hour because it is the in-thing to do for the environment. Think about it, imagine the public music event in Toronto, what kind of infrastructure is necessary to support it, and the energy consumption of that infrastructure.

Am I just a bit too cynical about this type of events?

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2 comments:

Rachel @ Master Your Card said...

I know exactly what you mean! I do like saving energy as it means saving money but lik eyou, I am sure that promoting energy saving events surely takes more energy than is saved.

Aaron Stroud said...

That's a really good point. A lot of these trendy events and movements really consume more energy than they save. They also tend to be more symbolic than effective.

They also belittle the HUGEquality of life improvements electricity has made possible.

Turning the lights out is not going to fix any of the world's problems. Better stewardship and encouraging human ingenuity is a more effective strategy.