Mar 29, 2008

On Observing Earth Hour

Château Brooks during Earth Hour

(Toledo, OH) While I remain skeptical as to the degree that human activity is responsible for climate change, I nonetheless decided to participate in Earth Hour this evening. Part of this was to see if my efforts would, in fact, join with those of people around the world to make a symbolic gesture toward energy conservation.

The other factor in my decision was to spend an hour engaged in voluntary simplicity, which I must admit holds greater attraction to me than does Earth Hour.

So off went the lights, televisions, and computers in the house for an hour. I spent my time playing with the dogs, unloading the dishwasher, and taking a walk in the dark around the neighborhood. Of course, since Toledo Edison and the City of Toledo chose not to observe the event by turning off the streetlights, they remained on in my neighborhood.

I counted six of 21 homes on my street with lights out, but three of those stayed dark after 9:00 pm, so I am conjecturing that these were unoccupied at the time, or else busy with a lightless psoriasis treatment. Thus, by my estimate, approximately 14 percent of my block participated in Earth Hour.

My youngest daughter was gung-ho and eager to join in on the observation, even using a candle to take a bath, but my youngest son complained for 20 minutes about needing lights and television. I ended up bribing him with a few bucks so he could walk up to Taco Bell, allowing me at least 30 minutes of relative peace in the dark.

The net result? We probably saved a dollar or two in that hour at my house, but I suspect that Toledo did not contribute much to the planetary reduction in energy usage, at least based upon my cursory glance about the neighborhood.

I did enjoy the quiet, though.


Anonymous said...

You said:

"I remain skeptical as to the degree that human activity is responsible for climate change."

what will it take for you to get your HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS about global warming?????

historymike said...

Hi, drive-by Anonymous:

1. Who can definitively say to what leve human activity is responsible for the CO2 increases? Is it 10%? 30%? 80%?

2. Even if we could somehow determine the precise level of human activity responsible for the rise in global temperatures over the past 150 years, is it even possible to reverse these trends? And at what cost?

3. My head is not "in my ass" about global warming. However, I refuse to sit idly by and swallow whole the pablum dished out by Hollywood celebrities and well-intentioned politicians in the guise of enlightened science. I prefer to let the scientists debate the issue and continue to research the phenomenon, while simultaneously making informed political decisions.

4. Hell - don't I get a little love from the maniacal environmentalists? While my heart was not embracing global warming, I did turn off my lights for an hour.


OFAC said...

Global warming is only one issue at any rate. Energy consumption has plenty of other nasty side effects.

Blown up mountains, mercury filled water, carcinogenic air, etc., are devastating and unacceptable with or without global temperatures being effected.

Unfortunately, these kind of actions may do more to assuage the consciouses of people participating in a toxic civilization than they do to actually affect any serious large-scale changes.