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HOORAY FOR E-DAY

Britain has just experienced its first E-Day:

Energy Saving Day (E-Day) will be happening between 6pm on Wednesday 27 February 2008 and 6pm on Thursday 28 February.

A launch event at St Paul’s Cathedral will feature:

(a) The Cathedral’s illuminations being left off
(b) A candle lit vigil
(c) A bicycle-powered cinema
(d) Fun and factual films
(e) Games
(f) A bicycle clinic

Why, everyone was looking forward to E-Day:

Some of the UK’s biggest environment and development charities have proposed positive solutions to climate change as their special contribution to E-Day. The charities that have porposed ideas and activities for E-Day include including Greenpeace, The RSPB, The Woodland Trust, Tearfund, Christian Aid, the BTCV, The Ashden Awards and the iCount campaign.

A well known journalist, George Monbiot, has also proposed an imaginative and practical solution ...

His last imaginative and practical solution was buying a car. So, how did E-Day work out?

E-Day did not succeed in cutting the UK’s electricity demand.

Electricity demand actually increased - due to (this is so beautiful) global cooling:

The drop in temperature between Wed 27 Feb and Thurs 28 Feb days probably caused this, as a result of more lights and heating being left on than were originally predicted ...

I am afraid that E-Day did not achieve the scale of public awareness or participation needed to have a measurable effect. I will do my best to learn the relevant lessons for next time. Thank you to everyone who helped me or left something off specially as their contribution to E-Day ... Please enjoy E-Day’s solution, video and science sections which all worked well.

Warmest regards, Matt

(Via Peter R.)

UPDATE. In other energy-saving developments:

HOUSTON (Reuters) - A drop in wind generation late on Tuesday, coupled with colder weather, triggered an electric emergency that caused the Texas grid operator to cut service to some large customers, the grid agency said on Wednesday.

The same thing happened at RuddFest! By the way, the next time someone begins howling about Texas and oil and rednecks and warmening:

Texas produces the most wind power of any state ...

UPDATE II. E-Day organiser Matt Prescott complains:

“We had problems. There was a change in temperature. If it had been warmer, we would have been happy.”

But warmening kills poley bears!

“I feel we haven’t been able to get the publicity to get the scale we needed. I would love to do it again with enough publicity to do it better.”

Good luck achieving that without electricity. What are you going to do, paint your message on the side of cats?

UPDATE III. The BBC reports:

The E-Day concept started life as Planet Relief, an awareness-raising BBC TV programme with a significant comedy element.

On that score, E-Day was a roaring triumph.

UPDATE IV. Proud defiance:

It was supposed to help get people to save electricity, but Energy Saving Day (E-Day), a campaign to get you to turn off your gadgets for the day is looking likely to fail, and fail badly ...

Defiant electricity users have used almost 1% more electricity than they normally would.

UPDATE V. Also in the UK, observe how an irate journalist - one of the good guys, in this case - deals with sky numpties. Full screen is the way to go.

UPDATE VI. A mate in London emails: “I totally missed ‘Turn Everything Off Day’, what with all the flying I’ve been doing lately.”

Posted by Tim B. on 02/28/2008 at 08:58 PM
  1. E-Day. Traditionally celebrated with a lot of hugs, a Vicks inhaler, glowstick and a whistle.

    Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2008 02 28 at 09:34 PM • permalink

  2. #1

    And a seemingly uncontrolable urge to dance.

    Posted by Pickles on 2008 02 28 at 09:38 PM • permalink

  3. #2
    That’ll be the E.

    Posted by kae on 2008 02 28 at 09:42 PM • permalink

  4. “porpose”? “include including”?

    These people make no sense, on any level…

    Posted by Honkie Hammer on 2008 02 28 at 09:50 PM • permalink

  5. If the enviroweenies want to save energy, I suggest living in tents for a month or two.  No lights, and one hot vegan meal a day…...cooked over a dung fire. 

    I call it “I-Month”.  “I”, as in “Idiot”.

    Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2008 02 28 at 09:53 PM • permalink

  6. E-Day did not succeed in cutting the UK’s electricity demand.

    [compassionate head tilt]Awwww, that’s sad.[/compassionate head tilt]

    Posted by rinardman on 2008 02 28 at 10:13 PM • permalink

  7. Warmest regards, Matt

    Er, doesn’t he mean, coolest?

    Posted by cuckoo on 2008 02 28 at 10:17 PM • permalink

  8. #7 The correct salutation would be:

    Average regards, Matt

    or even

    Median regards, Matt

    Posted by kae on 2008 02 28 at 10:19 PM • permalink

  9. Actually, Honkie, I find the phrase “porposed ideas” strangely meaningful.

    It sounds to me like what Al Gore has been working on, for example.

    Posted by zeppenwolf on 2008 02 28 at 10:20 PM • permalink

  10. Warmest regards, Matt

    Hey, Matt, send those toasty regards over here. It’s getting down to zero tonight (that’s Fahrenheit, folks. In Celcius i think it’s negative fucktillion.)

    Posted by Dave S. on 2008 02 28 at 10:25 PM • permalink

  11. I’m interested in the bicycle powered cinema, which seems to fall into one of two categories:

    1. The merely moronic left version, whereby the bicycle is connected to an electric generator, which powers the projector; or

    2. the absolutely gibbering supergreenie version, which is substantially more complex…...the film is wound around the wheel rim (instead of the tyre) with the note that the pedal speed must be carefully controlled. Although we know that substantial candle assets are present (NB poisonous CO2 producing)these will probably be insufficiently intense to actually project the picture. (NB possible danger of major filmstock conflagration…=more CO2. Therefore some electricity generation will be necessary also ....see version 1 above). 

    As I keep harping on about, the Age of Reason is kaputski

    Posted by Rod C on 2008 02 28 at 10:30 PM • permalink

  12. The Weather had its own VE Day! Victory over Ecotards!

    Posted by Grimmy on 2008 02 28 at 10:41 PM • permalink

  13. The E-Day concept started life as Planet Relief

    And finished life as comedy relief!  hooray!!

    Posted by bondo on 2008 02 28 at 10:50 PM • permalink

  14. Dammmit.
    E day got an F.

    Posted by Wacko on 2008 02 28 at 10:51 PM • permalink

  15. A commenter at the blog An Englishman’s Castle has the best comment so far: Save energy whenever possible..switch the BBC off.

    Posted by Retread on 2008 02 28 at 10:53 PM • permalink

  16. Talk like a Pirate Day has more respectability, me Mateys.

    Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2008 02 28 at 10:54 PM • permalink

  17. I can see the natural progress here - we tried to make it voluntary, but you greedy bastards kept using electricity.  From now on we’ll price it out of reach.  Then we’ll see who can afford it - eh?

    Does anyone else see the day where the old folks can’t afford it and turn up their heels?  Will big Al be knighted for services to Britain’s budget?

    ps haha losers.

    Posted by peter m on 2008 02 28 at 10:54 PM • permalink

  18. #15
    I see the linked blog mentions a functionary titled
    “Controller BBC knowledge”...Can’t be a real hard job

    Posted by Rod C on 2008 02 28 at 10:58 PM • permalink

  19. For e-day I decided to not use petrol for a day, in fact I decided to burn all the petrol that I would have used yesterday.

    Posted by Ross on 2008 02 28 at 11:01 PM • permalink

  20. What are you going to do, paint your message on the side of cats?

    Effin’ priceless.

    Posted by Dave S. on 2008 02 28 at 11:03 PM • permalink

  21. You’ve gotta laugh; how about a contest for the stupidest green-save-the-world idea; the bicycle powered cinema is up there; nappies for cows perhaps:
    http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/s595417.htm

    Posted by cohenite on 2008 02 28 at 11:05 PM • permalink

  22. Hey, the video and science sections all worked well, them being so “factual” and all.

    Posted by yojimbo on 2008 02 28 at 11:06 PM • permalink

  23. Monbiot created quite a stir when he showed up in his car. Of course, it was kind of embarrassing when the head gardener told him to get cracking on mowing the back yard, but the whole thing got straightened out pretty quickly.

    Global warming - or rather, assertions concerning its severity and causes - is likely to turn out to be the most expensive hoax of all time.

    Posted by paco on 2008 02 28 at 11:12 PM • permalink

  24. I recall the iCount Campaign from my youth.
    The Muppets had this Dracula guy come out and say, “Wun kilowatt, two kilowatts,...”

    Posted by Merlin on 2008 02 28 at 11:13 PM • permalink

  25. The E-Day concept started life as Planet Relief, an awareness-raising BBC TV programme

    From the Stuff White People Like blog:

    “An interesting fact about white people is that they firmly believe that all of the world’s problems can be solved through “awareness.”  Meaning the process of making other people aware of problems, and then magically someone else like the government will fix it… This belief allows them to feel that sweet self-satisfaction without actually having to solve anything or face any difficult challenges.”

    Posted by Dave S. on 2008 02 28 at 11:15 PM • permalink

  26. So E-Day, conceived to combat global warming, was a bust because of cold weather.  They simply don’t see the irony, do they?

    You’ve gotta admit:  Mother Nature has a helluva sense of humor.

    Posted by RebeccaH on 2008 02 28 at 11:19 PM • permalink

  27. E-Day is a bad thing, billions will die because of it.

    http://gearsofwar.wikia.com/wiki/Emergence_Day

    Posted by Anthony_ on 2008 02 28 at 11:25 PM • permalink

  28. How sad is this, the gruinaid newspaper inthe UK has their own “eco friendly store” including items like.


    “..Traditionally and skilfully handmade in Brazil, this robust 100% cotton hammock is a perfect sanctuary in which to unwind. Barbados Double Hammock Extra wide perfect for two to share or great if you really want to stretch out. Load capacity 160kg..”

    Id love to be at the meeting for that item.

    Tarquin: We have a new item for the eco store.
    Nataahsha: Ewww its imported from another country.
    Tarquin: But its traditionaly made.
    Nataahsha: I dont care.
    Tarquin: By a blind lesbian a wimmins interpertive dance collective…
    Nataahsha: Go on…
    Tarquin: From genuine ecologicaly friendly rainforest cotton..
    Nataahsha: Oh allright then…

    Some of the other products are “green friendly” only if you dont ask why you “need” them.
    “Romantic Solar-powered Birdbaths”
    “Hand Painted Enamel Plates and Beakers”
    “21st Century Firelighting Based On Stone Age Principles”...  “Swedish Firesteel with Oak Handle”
    “Assorted Organic Chocolate Pastel Bunnies*”

    Its impossible to individualy mock every item they are selling, the list is just to big.
    Still if you consider paying extra for dubious “green” items as a tax on stupidity then you have to abmire their cunning in allowing the gruinaid newspaper to be the front for them.
    I suspectPaco is involved somwhere.

    Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2008 02 28 at 11:31 PM • permalink

  29. When did so many people get so god damned stupid?

    Posted by Latino on 2008 02 28 at 11:32 PM • permalink

  30. I feel its only fair to point out that the RSPCA would probably have a shit fit if we began using cats to send any kind of messages.

    Especially for ‘publicity’.

    Fear not good eco-citizens, Gaia shall smite their infidel hides!

    Posted by The_Wizard_of_WOZ on 2008 02 28 at 11:38 PM • permalink

  31. Even better they wail and hoot about air travel, giving page space to anit airport protesters then have a link to This.

    “Swap homes for free accommodation & unlimited holidays worldwide”

    The idea is good, but the mental contortions of expiditing peoples overseas trips must be confusing them something fierce. Theyd nearly be at the stage of sitting down to pee and standing up to crap.

    Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2008 02 28 at 11:39 PM • permalink

  32. #29 Latino

    LOL. Probably around the time feelings became more important than facts.

    Posted by Retread on 2008 02 28 at 11:41 PM • permalink

  33. Latino, a great many people have always been god damned stupid.  It’s just that now the innertubes and the web and 24/7 newscasting both let the dumbasses group together and the rest of us see them.

    Of course, celebrating the blather and posturings of god damned stupid celebrities and politician (think Rosie O’Donnell and Al Gore, for instance) gives the other god damned stupid bastards the idea they should spout off, too.

    Posted by JorgXMcKie on 2008 02 28 at 11:43 PM • permalink

  34. “Crikey” or “olé” ?

    Posted by paco on 2008 02 28 at 11:44 PM • permalink

  35. News Flash:

    Mandela still dead!

    Posted by aaron_ on 2008 02 28 at 11:49 PM • permalink

  36. I guess you have a point there, #33. But what would have been considered flaky, fringe ideas just a few years ago are now mainstream and gospel to the media, academia, government, and a vast sector of the public. I meant the whole climate change hoax at first, but think of how many people have latched onto the 9-11 troof movement. I mean, we watched those planes hit those buildings but it’s still not good enough. Sometimes I just want to bitch slap some sense into the entire world.

    Posted by Latino on 2008 02 28 at 11:56 PM • permalink

  37. When did so many people get so god damned stupid?

    Ah, yes! The GDS outbreak.

    I think it began around the time Clinton entered the White House.

    Posted by rinardman on 2008 02 29 at 12:00 AM • permalink

  38. #34, those are pretty easy on the eyes for lefty protesters. Atypical.

    Posted by Latino on 2008 02 29 at 12:02 AM • permalink

  39. #34 proves #29

    Posted by Retread on 2008 02 29 at 12:02 AM • permalink

  40. #37 How, then, does on explain the election of Jimmy Carter?

    Posted by Retread on 2008 02 29 at 12:04 AM • permalink

  41. #36

    Sometimes I just want to bitch slap some sense into the entire world.

    Way more slaps than you could single handedly cope with!

    Posted by kae on 2008 02 29 at 12:04 AM • permalink

  42. Kae #41, that is why I need your help, and that of all good Blairites!
    I sense a movement being born.

    Posted by Latino on 2008 02 29 at 12:07 AM • permalink

  43. The Biff (around the melon) sub-group of minions and minionettes?

    It might just have legs, Latino.

    Posted by kae on 2008 02 29 at 12:14 AM • permalink

  44. Latino:

    How’s this for a slogan idea?

    Bitch slap the person next to you, just in case they need it!

    Or,

    One good slap deserves another! Pass it on!

    Posted by Grimmy on 2008 02 29 at 12:16 AM • permalink

  45. Glad that other pundits also found humor and noticed how ironic this line seems:

    “Warmest regards, Matt”

    How insensitive of him. I hope he purchased carbon credits for those regards.

    Posted by Jono on 2008 02 29 at 12:17 AM • permalink

  46. Reason for $4 gas:

    “strong demand and a change in formulation”

    What will be stressed, Bush didn’t know about $4 predictions or that envirotards and corn farmers are driving up the price of gas?

    Posted by aaron_ on 2008 02 29 at 12:17 AM • permalink

  47. #42, Latino, Count me in.

    Posted by The_Wizard_of_WOZ on 2008 02 29 at 12:24 AM • permalink

  48. #43, Kae, Too bloody right, Bring Back the Biff!!!

    Posted by The_Wizard_of_WOZ on 2008 02 29 at 12:26 AM • permalink

  49. Bicycle powered cinema?
    Golly you wouldnt want to get so involved in the climax that you suddenly sat stock still would you?

    Posted by Jazza on 2008 02 29 at 12:32 AM • permalink

  50. #28: I suspect Paco is involved somewhere.

    You know what they say, Frollicking: There’s a progressive born every minute.

    Posted by paco on 2008 02 29 at 12:32 AM • permalink

  51. Its not to late to nominate for the fig leaf for crap policies loozerpalooza of Krudds.

    Last day to nominate yourself for the 1000 ring circus.

    Is there something in the water at the moment that explains peoples extreme cedulity at some really stupid ideas?
    Im becoming a strong supporter of the view the age of reason is dead. Im just not sure what or who killed it.

    Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2008 02 29 at 12:41 AM • permalink

  52. #46:  And if that isn’t enough, then Pellosi et.al. will just raise the tax on gas some more.  After all, the dems NEED gas prices to be high for the elections!

    Posted by rabidfox on 2008 02 29 at 12:57 AM • permalink

  53. The charities that have porposed ideas…..has anyone notifed Greenpeace of this blatant exploitation of out bottle-nosed bretheren? Sounds like ceteceacide to me.

    The E-Day concept started life as Planet Relief…..and by all accounts performed by hand.

    Posted by Habib on 2008 02 29 at 01:07 AM • permalink

  54. #51, Frollicking,

    “Is there something in the water at the moment that explains peoples extreme cedulity at some really stupid ideas? “

    Hmmm, you might be onto something there, you dont see too many of these ‘progressive’ types drinking tap water do you?  Its all bottled “mineral” water.

    Paco, what have you been putting in the bottled water?

    P.S. Evian spelled backwards is Naive…

    Posted by The_Wizard_of_WOZ on 2008 02 29 at 01:11 AM • permalink

  55. (b) A candle lit vigil

    Candles are the most polluting, least efficient form of lighting yet invented. The energy used in melting the wax for a candle stick causes is enough to light up a suburban home for a hours. But on top of this is the carbon emitted making and transporting the raw materials - moulds, wax and wicks - to the point where the candle is cast, then the carbon output transporting the candle to the point where it will be lit using matches or lighters, both of which burn with exceptional inefficiency. Then there are the pollutants emitted into the atmosphere as the candle burns, none of which is trapped in filters like a power station. And finally there is the disposal of the residue, which is either energy consuming if thrown into the rubbish for the council to haul away or polluting if thrown into the street.

    These people are environmental vandals!!

    Posted by Contrail on 2008 02 29 at 01:22 AM • permalink

  56. The children don’t want it.

    Posted by Henry boy on 2008 02 29 at 01:24 AM • permalink

  57. #51 TFM ..always hard to pin down the extinction of a concept.  In Oz, the rot started with whitlam’s election, IMO

    Posted by Rod C on 2008 02 29 at 02:29 AM • permalink

  58. #29

    When did so many people get so god damned stupid?

    When Algore invented the “information stupidhighway.”

    Posted by mr creosote on 2008 02 29 at 04:14 AM • permalink

  59. Gaia sure does have a sense of humour, the old harlot. This is priceless. A bicycle powered cinema? Fun and factual films?
    Hell, my ribs a killing me with laughter. What a way to end the week. Thanks Tim.

    Posted by BJM on 2008 02 29 at 04:34 AM • permalink

  60. Texas produces the most wind power of any state ...

    Refried beans and chilli anyone?

    Posted by murph on 2008 02 29 at 05:54 AM • permalink

  61. #34 Paco; Well may the Deity bless PETA for getting the concept of nudie protesting right. Got my attention. Raised my awareness, if you know what I mean.

    Posted by dean martin on 2008 02 29 at 07:47 AM • permalink

  62. Next time they should just move right along to “F-Day.”

    People need a reason to turn off the lights.

    Regards,
    Ric

    Posted by Ric Locke on 2008 02 29 at 10:02 AM • permalink

  63. Hey Murph. You live in the UK. How did you find E day?

    Posted by mehaul on 2008 02 29 at 10:07 AM • permalink

  64. #36

      Sometimes I just want to bitch slap some sense into the entire world.

    What we need is a planetary clue-bat.

    Posted by MikeTheLibrarian on 2008 02 29 at 12:27 PM • permalink

  65. PACO Enterprises, a global leader in ecologically-maintainable appliances, proudly announces their newest offering in the “eco-washer” line - the SHEEP FLINGER 5000!

    “Sheep-powered washers are the wave of the future!” gushed PACO mouthpiece Wron Wright. “Why, just last month, all the lads down in the outback stations were fairly screaming for these babys!”

    Posted by mojo on 2008 02 29 at 04:30 PM • permalink

  66. When did so many people get so god damned stupid?

    Didn’t it start about the same time we left wronwright overseeing the minions calibrating Lord Karl’s satellite-mounted Idiot Beam?

    Posted by Achillea on 2008 02 29 at 04:44 PM • permalink

  67. Only games that can be played by candle light in a dark cathedral? ... Hhmmm…

    Posted by Barrie on 2008 02 29 at 06:19 PM • permalink

  68. #51 ‘Last day to nominate yourself for the 1000 ring circus’.

    I didn’t nominate.  I can’t jump through all the hoops and funnels on the way to surviving the magic number, my left Rudder doesn’t work, and especially, I’m not female.

    Posted by Barrie on 2008 02 29 at 06:25 PM • permalink

  69. Hey - if I get picked, will Kev spring for airline tickets?

    Round trip, first class, naturally.

    Posted by mojo on 2008 02 29 at 06:35 PM • permalink

  70. Texas produces the most wind power of any state

    Washington, D.C., would have won, but it’s not a state….

    Posted by Barbara Skolaut on 2008 02 29 at 08:27 PM • permalink

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