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Saturday, March 29, 2008


Canadians would buy leprosy if someone told them it was good for the environment. They’re even worse than Australians:

For some reason the entire country has gone a bit crazy over Earth Hour. Earlier this week more people had signed up for it online in Canada than in the entire United States, with ten times the population. The US has slipped ahead by a few thousand right now, but in Canada one in 606 citizens is on board; in the US it is one in 5,347.

Problem for those unlit Canadians - there’s a big hockey game:

It’s just highly unlikely Leaf Nation and Habs fans will turn off their televisions one period into Hockey Night in Canada.

Montreal would have to score five goals in 20 minutes for it to have a hope in Hades - and the environmental footprint of replacing thousands of televisions thrown through Ontario windows would outweigh any conservation headway.

Montreal illuminophobes will find themselves particularly torn:

An ethical question: Is a television set tuned to the Canadiens-Maple Leafs game an essential appliance?

This will be the conundrum facing Montrealers who want to be green and participate in Earth Hour tomorrow night, but don’t want to miss a minute of a game with their beloved Canadiens.

Our man in Toronto will keep us informed. Meanwhile:

It’s curious that Ontario residents are voluntarily turning their lights off tonight. Remember the near-panic that gripped this province during the blackout of August 2003?

Posted by Tim B. on 03/29/2008 at 02:44 PM
(12) CommentsPermalink


Kevin Rudd embiggens himself in the US.

UPDATE. Contrail:

Rudd would have rehearsed the Texan-Queensland remarks over and over again in anticipation of the press conference with Bush. But a combination of stage fright and GWB’s jibe derailed him.

That seems a plausible reading, especially given Rudd’s stumbling reference to “the great state of Australia”.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/29/2008 at 02:15 PM
(29) CommentsPermalink


A form of Gore Effect struck Melbourne’s anti-warmening Earth Hour:

More than 1000 people braved the chill and the rain to see Premier John Brumby and Lord Mayor John So lead the countdown to 8pm.

According to the same Age report, perhaps a few more turned up to watch football:

Of course not everyone switched off. Across at Telstra Dome perhaps 40,000 fans watched the floodlit clash between Carlton and St Kilda, the decision made for safety reasons.

To play in the dark or not? That debate must have raged for hours. More on AFL and Earth Hour here.

UPDATE. An Earthian has his say: “The kids who ran past my house yelling at my neighbours to turn their lights off though, well Earth Hour means plenty to them.”

Yep. Bossy little kids are like that.

UPDATE II. The Age predicts:

From something that started modestly — Sydney hosted the inaugural Earth Hour last year — it has blossomed in ways even its organisers weren’t expecting. Across the globe, Sears Tower in Chicago, the tallest building in the US, fell dark. The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco turned its lights off.

Note the past tense. As I post, it’s morning in SF and just after midday in Chicago; several hours prior to the Great Unenlightenment.

UPDATE III. Not all kids are freelance light stasi.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/29/2008 at 01:11 PM
(16) CommentsPermalink


The Age’s Traceeee Hutchison works on her column:

My father and the Prime Minister share a first name.

Hmmm ... it conveys all the intended information, but lacks Traceeee magic. Try again:

By coincidence my father and the Prime Minister share a first name.

That’s more like it. The “by coincidence” is redundant, as nobody would ever think their shared first names were the result of, say, government regulation or a pro-Kevin naming conspiracy. Still, something is missing. One more try:

By sheer coincidence my father and the Prime Minister share a first name.

Now it’s redundant and clichéd! Perfect! But wait - maybe it can stand further improvement:

By sheer coincidence my father and the Prime Minister share a first name and a groin-inspecting floor mirror.

No. Too far. Go back.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/29/2008 at 12:38 PM
(20) CommentsPermalink


Google - which turned its screens dark to raise awareness of Earth Hour, thereby consuming more energy - is an absolute power monster.

(Via Simon S.) Senior advisor Al Gore ought to have a quiet word. Earth Hour’s lights-out stunt doesn’t amount to a hill of candlelit beans relative to Google’s gobbling, according to a note from electrical engineer Ceni:

What a wank Earth Hour really is. The average home uses 5 kW of power as a maximum. Your kettle uses 2.2 kW. Lighting does not even come close to 1 kW. Turning lights off is so petty.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/29/2008 at 11:22 AM
(8) CommentsPermalink


Hillary Clinton should hire Lyle. Seriously.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/29/2008 at 10:00 AM
(19) CommentsPermalink

Friday, March 28, 2008


The hour will soon be upon us:


Sparkly illustration by Sturt Krygsman. SMH darkenistas are hostile to our plans:

On the internet, a handful of commentators are attempting to stage spoiler events under banners such as “Anti Earth Hour” and “Hour of Power”. They encourage sceptics to leave their lights on and run all their appliances, while simultaneously revving their four-wheel-drives, between 8 and 9 tonight.

It sounds so wicked and wrong. A member of the Australian Defence Forces emails: “Further to your earlier post, as well as being sent the same text the serviceman received, we were encouraged to print out this flyer and stick it up around the workplace.

“Note the exhortation to act at home. Oh, I’ll be acting all right: all lights on deck for the Hour of Power!

It’s not by accident that our armed forces are held in such high regard.

(Insty link via Corey H.)

UPDATE. This Sky News poll is running pro-Power. Via Doug Cox, who reports: “Sky is advertising live coverage of Earth Hour. Somehow I don’t think they get the idea.”

UPDATE II. They’ve pulled a Blanchett in Tel Aviv:

The Mediterranean city turned off its lights at 8 P.M. on Thursday night ... Because of Shabbat, Tel Aviv decided to bring Earth Hour forward.

Thus a clash of faiths is avoided.

UPDATE III. Earth Hour is dangerous:

"We know that candles that are not extinguished properly can actually catch fire to nearby objects such as curtains and clothing,’’ he said.

That’s some impressive knowledge. (Via Becky)

UPDATE IV. Google goes dark:

Google Uk turned its home page black today in an effort to raise awareness for “Earth Hour”.

Great move, Google:

Unfortunately, on LCD monitors sized 22 inches or less, Google’s new black actually consumes more energy than its usual white one.

UPDATE V. The EcoChic (“Learning How to Love Mother Earth”) writes:

I was on a plane from Savannah to Atlanta when I read an article reminding me about Earth Hour.

How ... beautiful. By the way, our anti-warming Prime Minister (whose government has instructed all departments and offices to observe Earth Hour) is marking the occasion by flying around the planet. He’s an Hour of Power champion!

UPDATE VI. Google knows that black backgrounds eat more energy:

Our own analysis as well as that of others shows that making the Google homepage black will not reduce energy consumption. To the contrary, on flat-panel monitors (already estimated to be 75% of the market), displaying black may actually increase energy usage. Detailed results from a new study confirm this.

(Via Doug)

UPDATE VII. This Earth Hour deal is bigger than we thought:

At the Lake Bolac Eel Festival, lights and amplifiers will be turned off for a special “acoustic showcase”.

UPDATE VIII. Fiji is on full Earth Hour alert:

The police force is committed to make its presence felt when Fiji observes Earth Hour from 8-9pm tonight.

Corporate Communications Officer Ema Mua says the force wants to ensure that no one takes advantage of the Earth Hour Initiative to break the law ... “A big number will be patrolling on foot and those who will be on motor vehicle.”

Similar concerns in Manila:

Chief Supt. Roberto Rosales ordered all station commanders to make sure all their men are in the field.

It’s Authority Hour. Anyone who gets beaten up or robbed should contact Earth Hour founder Andy Ridley to discuss compensation.

UPDATE IX. Earth Hour is underway. Ignite! Nigel W. emails:

I won’t be at work tonight at 8pm, so I won’t be surrounded by equipment that toasts more coal in a couple of hours than your average Al Gore house does in a year.

But the attached photo hopefully shows that I have been doing my bit to warm the heavens of late. There are two of these suckers in the area that I am working in at the moment, and this is what they look like with about 30% of the equipment installed.

And from Louis Hissink:

Herewith the 2000 watt bitumen-melting light that will be switched on tonight at 8pm WSDT for one hour. That is me under the hat in front of our diamond core shed.

UPDATE X. Thrill to the darkness.

UPDATE XI. Fun for the whole family!

UPDATE XII. The horror of Earth Hour is at an end, at least locally. Now we await this year’s propaganda images from Fairfax - and further acts of electrical dissent as Earth Hour crawls into new time zones.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/28/2008 at 02:40 PM
(171) CommentsPermalink


Kevin Rudd’s list of 2020 Summiteers is revealed, combining several fine choices with dozens of loudmouths, seat fillers and net losses, many of them known to readers of this site. Among the Cuddly Ruddly One Thousand:

Robert Manne Academic. Doesn’t believe in dissent. Faulty football memory. Greater than normal capacity for caring.

Andrew Jaspan Foreigner. Small and sensitive, just like his newspaper’s readership.

Marieke “Nice flag, fuckhead” Hardy Granddaughter. Low-rating, critically-reviled TV writer. Paid by the government to entertain a small number of morning radio listeners. Unethical. Refuses to befriend anybody with whom she disagrees politically.

Phillip Adams Broadcaster. Broad fancier. Remembers things that never happened. Assisted wife’s vanity political career. Not good with facts. No, not good with facts at all. Easily frightened.

Tanya Ha Sustainable living advocate. Joke.

David Marr Moralist. Silenced under the Howard regime. Believes Australians are innately racist. Outrageous sense of humour. Thinks all Christians are white.

Professor Ross Garnaut Warmenist. Column generator.

Barry Jones Senior citizen. Who could ever have imagined Barry would still be turning up at these sorts of things?

Tim Flannery Geothermian. Spellcaster. Fridge magnate. Lofty disdainer. Idiot.

Nicholas Gruen Paralysingly dull writer, even for an economist. Thinks we should be polite to terrorists. Wanted to send Malcolm Fraser to Camp X-Ray on a mission to free David Hicks - who was no longer there.

Corinne Grant Comedienne. Star of The Glass House, John Howard’s crushing of which was a major election issue and caused children to be upset.

Barrie Kosky Theatricalist. Hates Australia.

Claudia Karvan Actress. Recycler.

UPDATE. Andrew Bolt rounds ‘em up.

UPDATE II. The summit’s best names:

• Indigo Willing

• Fiona Quality Wood

• Eric Ronald Wing-Fai Knight

I’m expecting a lot from these three.

UPDATE III. Want someone disinvited? Click.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/28/2008 at 02:21 PM
(53) CommentsPermalink


With all these good intentioners involved, we could have ended up at war with Mars:

Israel this week issued a formal rejection of a recent offer by former US President Jimmy Carter and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to mediate a ceasefire between the Jewish state and the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip.

It’s not just President Rabbit and Truly, Madly, Deeply Concerned Kofi who wanted in on this. Dizzy Desmond and The Pertayter Lady also put their hands up:

Carter and Annan sent their proposal to Israel several weeks ago, and noted that South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former Irish President Mary Robinson would also be part of the mediation team.

Israel probably rejected the proposal out of sympathy to the Gazans. They’re tough, but they’re not unfair.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/28/2008 at 01:32 PM
(23) CommentsPermalink


India’s Economic Times reports:

It’s easy to poke fun at Sydney’s Earth Hour ...

True, but it still requires more work than actually observing Earth Hour - especially if you’re Cate Blanchett. (Note to the Economic Times: that quote should be credited to Contrail.)

UPDATE. We used to be able to push around the Chicago Tribune. Now they laugh at us:

The latest bright idea from the country that gave us “Crocodile Dundee” is to have everyone across the globe turn off their lights for an hour at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Apparently, a bunch of neo-Luddites in Sydney did this last year and it made them feel good about themselves, so they’ve decided to give the rest of the world a chance to achieve a similar sense of self-worth.

We’ve become an international pariah.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/28/2008 at 12:32 PM
(25) CommentsPermalink


All out of organic soup at your local store? Here’s an alternative supplier.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/28/2008 at 11:26 AM
(13) CommentsPermalink


This is shameful:



I would like to tell you about an important global warming initiative – Earth Hour – taking place in Australia and around the world on Saturday, 29 March 2008.

From 8pm to 9pm on that date, major cities around the world will turn off their lights for one hour to raise awareness of climate change, and show that it is possible to take action on global warming. All households, communities and businesses are being invited to participate by turning off their lights at the time.

Our Department has registered to be involved in Earth Hour and to ensure our success I ask you to take two simple steps.

1. Turn off all non essential lights, monitors and computers not connected to the DSN/DRN.

2. Unplug all appliances and equipment in your office areas (except fridges and freezers) before you leave at the end of the week (Friday 28 March).

Don’t forget Step 3: receive your oestrogen injection, put on a party dress, and sing Sarah McLachlan songs all night with your army girlfriends.

The department is very mindful of Occupational Health and Safety issues and will ensure that all OH&S guidelines and standards are adhered to during the event. Emergency lighting and security systems will remain on as normal ...

Thanking you for your participation and cooperation.

Manager Base Services – Robertson Barracks

Defence Support Northern Territory / Kimberley

Via a disgusted serviceman, who emails: “This is Defence in Ruddtopia - symbolic gestures that really save the world.” Our embarrassed soldiers will be pleased to know they’re joined in this ferocious battle against lightbulbs by a kitty and puppy feeding company:


(Via J.F. Beck, who has an Earth Hour suggestion that might appeal to old wardogs)

UPDATE. A political statement such as has never been uttered before: “Get used to the Eukanuba, woofers.”

Posted by Tim B. on 03/28/2008 at 04:14 AM
(81) CommentsPermalink


Difficult to believe such people exist:

... one of the biggest dis-info sites out there ran by some of the biggest dis-info personalities and fake truthers in the movement.

I suppose Bryan Law, Barbra Streisand, Juan Cole and Jeff Alworth all qualify, in a sense. And Piers Morgan. In other transformative people news:

Former cycling champion Tammy Thomas seemed to be in the midst of shaving her face when an Olympic drug tester paid her an unannounced visit in 2002 ...

Test unnecessary. Still, furry Tammy is better off than this bloke:

A New Zealand man who claimed he was raped by a wombat and that the experience left him speaking with an Australian accent has been found guilty of wasting police time.

Alcohol is said to play a “large role” in the man’s life.

(Via Mr Bingley)

Posted by Tim B. on 03/28/2008 at 12:59 AM
(29) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, March 27, 2008


The news just keeps getting better for Hillary:

A Michigan man facing federal criminal charges of illegally working for Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi Intelligence Service says he met with Hillary Clinton at the White House in May 1996.

In a 1997 interview with this reporter, Muthanna Hanooti said that at the meeting, Mrs. Clinton was “very receptive” to his request for an easing of the American sanctions on Iraq that were in place at the time ... Asked whether Senator Clinton recalls the meeting ...

“I remember he had snipers,” Mrs Clinton replied brightly. “Snipers everywhere!” Despite her woes, the wife of Monica Lewinsky’s former boyfriend has vowed to take it to the floor, which could provide for the first interesting Democrat convention since 1968. She’s currently chunking along at 37 per cent approval, although Barack Obama isn’t doing so well himself:

Obama’s former minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, also came under fire this week when reports surfaced that he had written an article for Trumpet Magazine, run by his daughters, in which he said that “white supremacy is clearly in charge in America.” The article also quotes him referring to Italians’ “garlic noses,” and characterizing Jesus’ crucifixion as “a public lynching, Italian-style.”

There goes the Italian lynch mob vote. Obama has lately sorta kinda distanced himself from the Reverend:

"Had the reverend not retired, and had he not acknowledged that what he had said had deeply offended people and were inappropriate and mischaracterized what I believe is the greatness of this country, for all its flaws, then I wouldn’t have felt comfortable staying at the church."

That’s hypothetical change you can believe in, people.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/27/2008 at 11:50 PM
(23) CommentsPermalink


An email to reader Kae:

Dear Kaelene,

Thank you for your email of 28 March 2008 to the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, the Hon Alan Griffin MP, concerning the use of the word ‘Anzac’ which appears on Perth Indymedia’s website.

The Minister does take issues about the misuse of the word Anzac seriously. The department’s Commemorations area is investigating this matter urgently, and you will be informed of the outcome of the investigation as soon as it is known.

Thank you for bringing this matter to the Minister’s attention.


Aaron Jobsz, Assistant Adviser

The Hon Alan Griffin MP, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

UPDATE. Don’t forget our Kiwi friends.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/27/2008 at 09:48 PM
(51) CommentsPermalink
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