My House Was Ablaze With Light During Earth Hour

| 3/30/2011 8:44:11 AM

Tags: renewable energy, carbon footprint, Earth Hour, Cam Mather,

Earth Hour is a stupid idea. It’s as stupid as creek cleanups. Or “clean coal”.  

Earth Hour is one of those events that let’s people think they’re really doing something for the planet when in fact they’re perpetuating the myth that small changes can make a big difference. Know what can make a big difference? Big changes. Radical changes. Making changes to your life as if the planet matters.

Last year we were entertaining some environmentally conscious friends during Earth Hour night, and they were surprised that we weren’t turning off our lights. Why would we? Our lights are powered by the sun and wind. There are no negative impacts from us having our lights on for an hour, or a night, or a year. Or at least no additional negative impacts. Some resources and energy went into making the components of our off-grid electrical system. The solar panels recouped the electricity that was required to manufacture them in less than 3 years. They’ll last for at least 50 years, so it’s a good energy return on investment. The lead in the batteries that keep our lights on at night is recyclable. Our solar- and wind-generated electricity doesn’t have the same environmental impact as grid power from coal or the legacy of nuclear energy’s waste.

lit up house2

Yes, any form of energy generation has some impact, and I’m pretty comfortable with the fact that ours is minimal over the long haul.

The climate scientists are now starting to discuss “geoengineering;” ways to mitigate the impact of climate change. One of the options being considered is shooting sulphur particles into the atmosphere to creating low-level clouds over the oceans to reflect some of the sunlight and heat back into space. You know you’re in trouble when the debate has turned to suggestions like this.

Before humans starting burning fossil fuels the concentration of C02 in the atmosphere was about 280 ppm. Now it’s at 380. With business as usual we will hit about 450 ppm in the next decade or so. Many scientists are suggesting though that we need to get back to 350 ppm to be safe and avoid cataclysmic climate change. The organization called is leading the charge on this.

Jared Barnhart
4/4/2011 10:07:03 AM

This doesn't necessarily have anything to do with this particular post, but... What kind of wind turbine do you have? Have you been happy with it? I've been looking at a Bergey XL.1 Jared -

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