Today (March 28, 2015) millions of people around the world will pretend to reduce their energy usage by turning off the lights and living in darkness for one hour. All in an effort to feel good about the wasteful consumer focused lifestyle they live the other 8759 hours of the year. Oh and also as a token effort to increase awareness of global warming.
The first Earth Hour was held in 2007 in Sydney, Australia. Since then, more than 120 countries have participated in this cathartic display for the purging of our eco-sins.
Now I know I run the risk of being jumped by the truly green few that read these pages so I will do this disclaimer: I went to university to study environmental issues and environmental policy. My honors thesis was on Energy use, and Sustainable Energy Sources. I am a card carrying Green Party member. I just find eco-tokenism to be an hindrance to real change.
The noble ideal behind Earth Hour is that by consciously living in a more more eco-friendly way – even if only for those 60 minutes – it may change the way we live the other 8759 hours.
If you did participate by turning off all those things you didn’t really need during that hour – how much could it hurt to only turn things on when you actually need them!
If you think Earth Hour actually saves energy or reduces carbon emissions, well I have bad news for you. The power grid is designed to meet peak projected demands. Electricity is constantly being created and fed into the grid in the expectation that it MAY be needed. Power generation plants do not turn on/off based on current consumption. In fact in Ontario, Canada the local power system had to dump electricity during an unexpected warm-spell one January – by paying others to take it!
If you want to reduce overall energy generation (and our total carbon footprint) then you need to reduce your energy use all the time. This changes the peak energy expectation – and then our energy generation stations will reduce their output based on averaging.
Earth Hour does start the conversation and is an opportunity for us all to look at our lifestyles and make real changes.
Below are some suggestions from WWF Canada on how to make a real change:
- Leave the car at home. Consider walking instead of driving. You’ll get more exercise and reduce your carbon footprint.
- Eat local. Your food will be fresher and will save harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
- Fly less. Enjoy a local vacation close to your home.
- Be energy efficient. Opt for home appliance with a high energy efficiency. It’s better for the planet and will help you save money.
- Use Green Power. Research if there are green energy providers in your area thatb provide your home with power generated from renewable energy sources.
- Get a Home Energy Audit. It will show you how your home uses energy and where you can make improvements. It could result in hundreds of dollars in energy savings each year.
- Hang Dry your clothes. Instead of using your energy-guzzling dryer, hang your clothes outside or in your laundry room.
- Unplug unused appliances and electronics. Electrical devices draw energy even when they’re not switched on.
- Is Earth Hour is truly dim-witted idea? (safaricamkenya.com)
- Earth Hour (bonsainewsletter.wordpress.com)
- Why Tonight’s Earth Hour Is Misguided (newser.com)
- Earth Hour 2013 – Yawn. (jeffbinoville.wordpress.com)
Oh my! Today is the day of superstition! Friday the 13th
For those that are not aware – in western mythology a Friday the 13th is bad-luck. A day of misfortune. Unfortunately no one really seems to know why this might be the case!
I have never placed any belief in the bad-luck of Friday the 13th – and so far I have not seen any side-effects. The town of Port Dover in Ontario actually celebrates the day! It started out as a motor-cycle enthusiast excuse to show of bikes and party – and now is pretty much just an excuse to party.
So Happy Friday the Thirteenth! And Good Luck to all
I have no idea who this is but I stumbled across this song and I think she is brilliant!
give her a listen and share! Let’s see if we can make this video trend :)
Silence is soothing.
At the right time and place. There are moments when we just want quiet. When we desire peaceful reflection. Moments of simply wanting to reside in the harbour of ourselves. Silence chosen and embraced is the sweet blissful cocoon of tea for one and a book at midnight. Wrapped in soft blanket on the couch I savour each sip, each word, and wander the paths of imagination.
Silence is bitter.
At 4:30 AM when the world is asleep, and all around is the dead of night. Even the creak of the house long settled into the cold silence of the dark. Silence then is as bitter as black coffee. Espresso doubled down and chugged straight up and hot. I slip out of bed and wander the empty silence of my house. Standing in each cold empty room looking for answers, looking for voices. But it is only the echo of me rambling to myself.
Silence is nothing.
A gap the size of the moon dancing across the skies, slipping over stars and planets. Dancing between streaks of light from comets. Silence is the sputtering of candles defying the dark, defying the rain, defying the wind, defying time. The candles never win, but oh how they burn, oh how they dazzle with bright burning flames. Silence is the gasp in the moment after you and I. As we pull apart and lie side-by-side, side-by-each, alone in the racing of our hearts.
Silence is absence.
Empty spaces in my memory of people who made me laugh. Made me cry. Made me love them. Perhaps they even loved me. At least in silence I can dream and think; believe that once they cared to call my name and longed to hold me near. Silence frees the ghosts of the past to wander through my mind with stories of ‘what if…’ and ‘remember when…’
Silence is sharp.
Razor edged slicing away what needs to be forgotten. Slicing deep and opening wounds we cannot leave alone. Silence is when we are fully ourselves; undistracted, undissolved, undistilled. The raw essence of I fully exposed to the sun and the sky. Bleeding away trickle by tick, droplets of time all bloody and slick. Revealing the truth to a stupid old dick. In silence there is no hiding from regret and sweet guilt.
Silence is golden.
What more is there to say? Silence is needed, and simply embraced. Held close to feel cold reality and warm life still breathing, still beating, still in this frame. Silence speaks loudly – and when we listen closely silence sets us free.