23 March 2009

Earth Hour This Saturday

Posted by Dan Satterfield

This coming Saturday at 8:30pm local time, millions of people will turn off their lights for an hour. It’s called Earth Hour. The idea is to get people thinking about our planet.

We waste a tremendous amount of energy everyday. If incandescent bulbs were outlawed tomorrow, you could shut down several coal fired power plants immediately! They will be phased out starting in 2014, and they already have been in my house. (Saved 25$ a month on my bill too.)

These old fashioned bulbs are really heat lamps, that put out light. If you live in a warm climate, then your air conditioner is having to cool your house several extra degrees because of them. Switching to CF bulbs, will save you even more money in the Summer, for just this reason.

No, even if a Billion people turn off their lights for an hour, it will not make a meaningful difference in the amount of Carbon in the atmosphere. It’s a totally symbolic action of course.

History shows that such symbolic events make a difference. Disagree? Look up the following on Wikipedia:

Boston Tea Party

The Bastille

Martin Luther (and King)

Rosa Parks

Take the hour, and go outside to look at the stars. You may very well see them a bit better than normal. Especially, if you get your neighbors to take part. For the first time in all of Human history, the vast majority of people, have never seen the night sky in all it’s glory. That is sad.

So, this Saturday, turn off the lights, look up, and think about how we can solve the problem we have gotten ourselves into. Think about the kind of world your Great Grand Kids will live in.