Worshippers of the green gods will be turning off their lights for Earth Hour tonight while others will be powering up to celebrate Edison Hour.
I’ll be doing neither – using no more and no less electricity than I normally do.
The greenwash of Earth Hour doesn’t wash with me but deliberately wasting resources as Edison Hour will makes neither environmental nor economic sense.
I know what it’s like to live without power, albeit only part time. I spent 10 months on Great Mercury Island the diesel generator which provided our electricity ran for only eight hours a day.
I much prefer having power 24 hours a day but I’m not going to waste it.
While some people are returning to the dark ages and increasing their carbon emissions by celebrating Earth Hour they’re facing supposedly enlightened competition from Edison Hour.
And me? I’m not deliberately using more or less electricity than usual, but we went out for dinner (Speights Ale House in Wanaka, Morrocan lamb salad, delicious; took the waitress’s advice that the Sheep Shagger pinot noir was for tourists and enjoyed a Mt Difficulty Roaring Meg instead) and as we were paying the bill at 8.28 the lights dimmed.
We had walked there and walked home, as we usually do, noting that it was pretty dark, but then Wanaka always has the bare minimum of street lights. That’s because most residents prefer it that way because less light pollution lets them appreciate more stars in the sky.
I think that means we observed earth hour by accident and by doing so we burned neither candles nor bonfires, used no batteries and no petrol, so we probably did more for the planet than a lot of people who deliberately turned their lights off but created more carbon with alternative sources of heat and light.
P.S. Thanks to Madeleine who left a comment on the previous post which pointed me to Keith Ng at Public Address who sees the flaws in both earth hour and Edison hour:
I was inspired to write the first part of this after hearing of people who turned off all the lights during Earth Hour, then lit up their fireplaces and burned candles instead. From sixth form chemistry: Burning organic material (like wax and wood) produces CO2. Tell your friends. . .
. . . Going out of your way to waste energy is the antithesis of technological progress and human enterprise, so don’t you dare claim to be on the side of rationality and science.
Lucyna Maria at NZ Conservative is also neither sacrificing anything to the green god nor joining Edison hour.
And Frenemy has a photo of the dark.