This Earth Hour silliness started me thinking…

When I wrote on my Facebook Timeline

“Great … almost Earth Hour. Time to run around the house turning on all the lights, to help use up some of the power that’s being wasted by the morons who think they’re saving the planet”

I expected a certain amount of sarcasm and criticism. But I received neither.

People mostly were supportive. Which either means the lunacy is subsiding, or people decided they were just the ramblings of a senile old guy who had no idea what he was talking about. Probably both.

Lots of energy being saved here then!

But think about it. What difference can it possibly make, turning off lights for just one hour a year? The reality is that more energy is used than normal, because power stations can’t be turned off for an hour – so they go on producing electricity whether anyone wants to use it or not, and they have to increase production to cope with the surge in demand, when the smug ones decide to light up. And let’s not even talk about the CO2 produced by all the candles people use instead.

Why do people do this? Why can’t they just think for a second, and realize the whole thing is pretty pointless. Does Earth Hour raise awareness? It probably does. But how does that help, if no one actually does anything? It seems to me Earth Hour is more like a religion. It gives people a nice warm fuzzy feeling inside, but there’s no scientific basis for it.

Let’s all pump even more CO2 into the atmosphere!

So … I thought … well … criticising is all well and good but … I’m not doing anything either. And yet, it really is time we all started focusing on how to save the planet.

I began to think. Could I reduce my electricity usage? The obvious answer is “yes” … but could I reduce it by a significant amount … say ten percent? And could I influence other people to do likewise. Well, I figured I’d better get my own ducks in a row first.

What could I do, that maybe others could copy? I can’t power off my entertainment devices (TV, Satellite Decoder, DvD Player, etc.) rather than leaving them in Standby Mode all day because I already do that. I have one power switch that kills them all. Same with my computer monitors. But maybe that’s something YOU could do? They all use about twenty watts in Standby Mode, and that really adds up.

Then I realized I must use a significant amount of electricity due to sheer laziness. I act like light switches are going to give me Repetitive Stress Syndrome! I have lights on outside the house at night for security reasons. But do I switch them off during the day? Nooooo. Well, I do now. Early evening, I turn on lights over the stairs and in the bedroom, and leave them on for several hours until I go to bed. Well, I did. I don’t now.

But probably my worst sin was running two fridge/freezers. How can one person need two of those? I don’t. Laziness again. If I stop using one, it goes moldy inside. Well, tough. It’s off now, so I’ll just have to remember to clean it inside at least once a week.

Is that enough to make a difference? I’ll have to wait a month to find out. Could I do more? I’m not sure. My computers run 24/7, but they are doing stuff. Important stuff? Probably not stuff that couldn’t be done during the day, but computers are tempremental things and general fail when you power them up. So, I prefer to leave them on. I could probably live with less air-conditioning, but if that resulted in less productivity or less sleep, I’m not sure it would be a GoodThing.

So, please think if you could help save the planet in some small way. Perhaps I’ve given you some ideas. Perhaps you could give me some. Just don’t suggest I turn off my lights for one hour a year!

Paul

...has been travelling the world for more than fifty years; having lived and worked in five countries and travelled to many many more. He likes to write about his travels - present and past - along with his other main interests of Information Technology and Motorsport, and he adds a few general twitterings along the way. More info than you could possibly need is available by clicking the ABOUT tab in the top menu line.

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