Tonight’s the night! Or should I say the hour.
Earth Hour. Ta da! <fanfare>
Tonight we turn off the lights at 8 pm and turn them back on an hour later. And tomorrow when we wake up climate change and all its associated problems will be a thing of the past.
Oh, yeah, right….
As you can see, I don’t have much time for this fantasy feel-good idea.
For a start, as a fellow sceptic pointed out in the daily paper earlier this week, our coal-fired power stations don’t just shut down when power demand drops. They keep on churning out CO2 because of something called base load. They have to supply a certain amount of electricity regardless of whether it’s all needed at any one time. Power excess to demand is simply ‘dumped’. So turning off the lights won’t make much difference. It’s another of those feel-good exercises that makes the sheeple in our society think they’re doing some good.
Incidentally, tonight in Melbourne (as on everyday Saturday night throughout the winter months) there are a couple of football matches happening. Under lights, of course. Those huge light towers use an enormous amount of power. The AFL hasn’t volunteered to cancel those for Earth Hour, has it?
As a society we just aren’t serious about avoiding climate change. I’ll believe we’re serious when I see:
(a) nightime sporting events banned.
(b) shops, offices and factories close at 5 pm (like they used to do in the good old days).
(c) permanent petrol rationing in force.
(d) everyone growing all or most of their own food at home (industrial agriculture is responsible for about 30% of all greenhouse emissions).
(e) etc, etc. (too many etceteras to mention)
Meanwhile those of us on the bridge of the Titanic watch as the water pours in through the gaping hole in the side of our earthship. We’ve given up trying to warn those partying below decks…they just don’t want to know.
So we’re busy donning our life jackets and readying the lifeboats.