Sunday, March 30, 2008

More "save the planet" buffoonery

So, as I understand it, this "Earth Hour" bizzo involved the citizens of Christchurch turning the lights off for an hour last night at 8pm. Apparently, the intent (according to http://www.earthhour.org.nz/)was to "...take a stand against one of the planet's biggest threats - climate change." (Incidentally, climate change is a constant - has King Canute's lesson been lost in these uneducated times?)

The message I took from Earth Hour was the rather odd one that burning candles is better for the environment than using electric lights. I mean, how likely is it really that burning things will be better for the environment than using electricity which, in this country anyway, comes largely from renewable sources? What next? Send a message against global warming by switching off the heat pump and burning some coal in the good ole fireplace?


15 comments:

FAIRFACTS MEDIA said...

Indeed PM.
The folly of Earth Hour with the focus on Christchurch is quite noticeable.
Down south much power is generated from hydro power stations, so little would be gained in the greenhouse emmission depaprtment.
And yes, i am sure candles will emit co2 as well.
I was to comment on Phil U's environmental post of yesterday.
There has been much printed lately that the warmest year for the planet was 1998 and we are entering a cooling trend.
We have published such material on here and have not ignored it, like he says.
And Phil might also want to pop over to kiwiblog where it seems the planet has a self correcting mechanism for greenhouse gas warming.
The envirofacists are as wrong on Earth Hour as there are on many other things. Need I mention biofuels again. Just look at the big article in the Weekend Herald which reports how groing biofuels is leading to food shortages.
As Crusader Rabbit or the Midnight Sun reports today, thank God the USA has developed new technology which has boosted its oil reserves.

Gooner said...

http://www.stuff.co.nz/4455577a10.html

Best quote:

But one of the global organisers, Charles Stevens, of WWF told the French newsagency AFP that most participants are aware that it will be just a small step in solving the problem of rising temperatures around the globe.

"Switching the lights off for an hour is not going to make a dent in global emissions," he said.

Psycho Milt said...

I probably shouldn't be such a grinch - after all, people who really want to feel like they're doing something for the environment, without suffering any actual inconvenience in the process, are people too.

Falafulu Fisi said...

The envirofacists are as wrong on Earth Hour as there are on many other things.

Yes, fairfacts. Next time our government (both Labour or National) is going to formally employ climate psychics to advise on how to save energy in order to help the planet. No doubt that such advises to the government of the day is to perhaps ban all forms of transport requiring everybody to walk (to wherever they're going) or shutdown powerstations (forcefully & deliberately) just to make people use candles 24hr.

We're going back to the ice ages where humans survived in caves.

Sean said...

I don't know why everyone on the right (+ PM) gets into such a tizz over Earth Hour. Quite frankly, I have more worrisome issues to be stressing about. What I can see from the Earth Hour exercise is that it creates an enormous amount of awareness for environmental issues in general. It's in the papers, news, and everyone is talking about it, even if many poo-poo the value gained. I agree there is little saved in the grander scheme of things but it brings the issues to peoples minds and it certainly has been effective in achieving that.

KG said...

"What I can see from the Earth Hour exercise is that it creates an enormous amount of awareness for environmental issues in general.."

It creates an enormous amount of awareness that there are a lot of fools out there who behave like lemmings whenever the media trumpet feelgood useless bullshit over facts.
If the same effort has been put into publicising the weakness of the AGW case it would perhaps been of some real use.
Instead we have idiots who are prepared to turn out lights and turn off appliances in the vague hope it may..err..achieve...um...something.

Gooner said...

Sean, what's the issue that is to be brought to our minds?

Harpoon said...

PM, your question about "King Canute's lesson" is interesting. Did you ask it in awareness of the historical event or of the myth about it?

Psycho Milt said...

Apparently, Canute demonstrated to his subjects that a King's authority didn't extend to ordering the tide not to come in. That lesson applies currently to anyone wanting to "take a stand" against climate change - you might as well take a stand against continental drift. (I hasten to add: that leaves open the question of whether current climate change is affected by us. It seems reasonable to assume that it is and that we should investigate how to mitigate the effects, but I don't see how burning candles instead of using an electric light comes into that category.)

Sean said...

Environmental issues Gooner, as I mentioned. If we get past the Al Gore, Greenies, Climate change, carbon credits and global warming that we've been inundated with over the past 5 years, let's still not let it put us off environmental concerns. I'm not sticking up for all that and also not saying it's all a crock (I admit to being a bit ambivalent to the recent barrage from both sides). Ultimately though we need to still look after the planet. We are getting larger in number but the planet is staying the same size. And therefore Earth Hour is an example of bringing environmental awareness to the populace. I look at the example of Thailand and Indonesia where I have been, outside the tourist areas, and there is rubbish and plastic bags everywhere. Quite disgusting really. I never want to see us treat the planet the same way they do in those countries. So at the end of the day I can't see any harm in Earth Hour. People can debate the extent of the benefits, but few will say any harm was done.

DenMT said...

PM "Apparently, Canute demonstrated to his subjects that a King's authority didn't extend to ordering the tide not to come in. That lesson applies currently to anyone wanting to "take a stand" against climate change - you might as well take a stand against continental drift."

I'm disappointed man. You suggest that we shouldn't delude ourselves that we can have an effect on climate change, followed up by saying that it's reasonable to imagine that we already have affected the climate and could in fact investigate mitigation.

Earth Hour may in fact be a 'hollow gesture' in the same way that Kyoto is in effect a hollow gesture, but both are important in that they acknowledge a real need for change and action if we are to accept that in the medium term, the climate may well change in ways that produce inhospitable circumstances for lots of humans.

It is a real shame that the issue has become so politicised, but for all money the scientific basis is there to suggest a real threat.

DenMT

Clunking Fist said...

"It is a real shame that the issue has become so politicised, but for all money the scientific basis is there to suggest a real threat."

Hmm, further reading required by that man.

DenMT said...

Clunking Fist: Haha. I have, over the past few years, clocked up hundreds of free-time hours worth of reading on climate change - primary-source scientific material, not internet opinion. I don't want to come across as arrogant, but what is your platform to suggest that I don't have sufficient background to form my own opinion?

The irony for me is that on the occasion that I have conversed with 'skeptics', they have been unable to carry an argument with regard to the science underpinning climate change, beyond vague references to 'cosmic rays' and the like. My own personal experience has been that the more vehemently someone opposes the IPCC position, the more likely it is that their own understanding of the issues is predicated on opinion pieces by other skeptics, not actually on a scientific foundation.

I accept that it is probably unfair to expect people to read widely before holding forth on climate change issues, but your smug 'read some more' one-liner did arouse a bit of ire.

DenMT

Psycho Milt said...

DenMT: call me pedantic. Taking a stand against climate change is indeed like taking a stand against continental drift. Taking a stand against us having detrimental effects on climate change is a different thing. I just don't see that switching to burning candles would help in that respect.

Clunking Fist said...

Hi DenMT.

Yeah, that whole "cosmic rays" thing is pretty weird! Next folk will be saying that the moon is the main reason the water level in the harbour goes up and down! Sheesh, how can anyone believe that the sun helps determine temperatures on this planet!
Next someone will say that strong fohn winds increase domestic violence and road rage, when everyone knows is the pressures of the capitalist lifestyle...
I’m glad enviro-mentalists have found a way to impose Kyoto on volcanoes and co2 emissions from seawater.

How well read are you on the crap that is the climate models? How accurate have the predictions of the earlier calcs been with hindsight? How a lot of model builders have rubbished the climate models, about how they rely on positive feedback when there is no empirical evidence of such feedback in earth’s climate system?
How well read are you on infrared radiation, the absorption properties of CO2, the how much CO2 is required before ALL infrared is absorbed and thereafter increases in levels of CO2 have no further effect on troposphere heat BECAUSE ALL INFRARED HAS BEEN ABSORBED. How earth based stations record increases in temperatures at ground level, but satellite data of upper atmosphere temp show poor correlation to the ground temperatures. How siting of measurement stations have been criticised, how research showed that, due to urban heat island effect, somehow the climate researchers correct UP the temperatures from
What say you on the 800 to 1000 years lags in correlation between temperature and co2 levels?
What say you on indications that arctic ice has expanded back to previous levels? That, shock horror the famous polar bear photo, whilst not a fake, was taken out of context?

And finally: how do YOU heat your home in winter?