Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
Latest posts by Jim Lakely (see all)
One of the funniest writers in the land of zeros and ones is Jon Gabriel — known to his happy Twitter fans as ExJon. He blogs for FreedomWorks these days, and his take on today’s Earth Hour (8:30 to 9:30 in your time zone) is required reading.
Jon notes that the “gimmick” of Earth Hour “is designed to make people feel like they’re accomplishing something instead of actually accomplishing something.”
But what does Earth Hour actually accomplish? Higher carbon emissions, it turns out:
Consider the activists’ recommendation of replacing electric lights with candles for an hour. Candles are made from paraffin, i.e., refined crude oil, and are far less efficient than electric bulbs — even those dastardly incandescent light bulbs our government is so helpfully seizing from us. You would need about 40 candles to match the light produced by a 40-watt bulb, but just one candle cancels out any theoretical CO2 reduction.
Then there’s the effect of a mass off-switch/on-switch across an electrical grid. Power companies still pump the same amount of energy despite a brief dip in consumption. But when a large number of people simultaneously increase consumption at the end of Earth Hour, a surge often requires engineers to fire up additional coal- or oil-fueled resources.
And liberals claim that conservatives are anti-science.
What really chafes is the flamboyant hypocrisy of Earth Hour advocates. “Let’s turn off our lights, then upload millions of tweets, photos and videos using our smartphones and computers!” Because where’s the fun in saving the planet if you can’t use electricity to brag about it every three minutes?
The facts show that Earth Hour is just another exercise in progressive posturing and self-congratulation. If conspicuous non-consumption saved the planet, we’d be able to run our cars on self-righteousness and moral preening.
Read the whole thing.
Meanwhile, our friend Tom Harris over at the International Climate Science Coalition suggests celebrating “Energy Hour” one hour earlier. Tom quotes Terry Dunleavy’s great take on this silly exercise:
“It’s important not to waste energy, and to generate it as economically as possible in terms both of cost and depletion of natural resources. Those are the right reasons for mass gestures like Earth Hour. However, it is a mistake to promote such initiatives as ‘saving the planet’ by reducing emissions of CO2 when so many qualified scientists do not support the hypothesis that man-made CO2 can or does cause dangerous global warming. As the public come to realize that they have been misled about the reasons for Earth Hour, much of the incentive to engage in constructive behaviour will evaporate.”
Yes. That will happen. But enviro-lefties get to preen about “doing something” to “raise awareness.” That’s obviously more important.