Awareness, consumption raised

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Last updated on May 20th, 2017 at 09:58 am

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
    1. We are still about 3 hours from Earth Hour here in France (total participating businesses in our city of more than 2 million people: 1). Still, I can revel in Sydney’s celebrations which included these fireworks.

      I wonder if anyone told them about the environmental impact of fireworks:

      The more serious concerns, however, are things like the potassium perchlorate used as an oxidant in fireworks. Perchlorate, which messes with our thyroid glands, falls to the ground as the firework performs, and may fall into water, where it was recently studied by the folks at the National Risk Management Research Laboratory. Perchlorate in the lakes they studied rose precipitously after fireworks displays, but dissipated to background levels in about 80 days.

      That’s not all:

      The other small trouble with fireworks is the additives used to get nice colors. They’re usually heavy metals (lead and barium are two examples) with various human health risks attached.

      Well done, Sydney. You’ve proven to the world you can tackle a non-existent problem with symbolism, water pollution and heavy-metal poisoning.

      Posted by Villeurbanne on 2008 03 29 at 12:22 PM • permalink


    1. BTW – The wife celebrated Earth Hour by driving up into the Alps to spend a day skiing. I asked her to be on the lookout for polar bears and baby seals: she knows what to do.

      We’ll be spending Earth Hour having dinner and then catching a movie in one of the most lit up sections of our town seen here in all it’s electric glory. We have not yet decided on the endangered species we will munch on.

      Posted by Villeurbanne on 2008 03 29 at 12:27 PM • permalink


    1. I’m hours away from celebrating Earth Power Hour, but why wait for all the fun?  I’m sitting in a local emergency operations center, running radios and computers, talking to scores of other people doing the same thing.  Share the love, people!!

      Of course, I drove 40 miles to do this.  Afterwards, I’ll drive even further, in order to buy goods and produce from all over the world.  O, the joys of a large carbon footprint!!!

      Just doing my best to have fun, and be as close as I can to the heart of this august occasion.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2008 03 29 at 12:44 PM • permalink


    1. I have trouble reading white on black, so I’ve switched my browser’s home page from Google to Microsoft’s Maybe I’ll switch back, maybe not.

      My local lefty rag, the Toronto Star, has devoted its entire Saturday issue to this elevation of primitive existence. They’ve tried to get each section of the paper to tie into the theme of this modern-day replacement for the hair shirt. The result is some real stretchers, especially in the Sports (some Canadian basketball allusion) and Wheels sections (“Modern headlights light up the dark”). Hilarious. I am all atwitter with anticipation as to what the Star’s comrades over at the CBC are cooking up to similarly taint my Hockey Night in Canada experience this evening. For sheer insanity, it’ll be tough for them to trump yesterday’s episode of TVOntario’s The Agenda, which featured three envirofascists earnestly discussing their neolithic utopia of the future while gathered around a table in candlelight. Candlelight. As if broadcasting the fucking signal used no power. Irony is dead.

      Posted by Crispytoast on 2008 03 29 at 01:01 PM • permalink


    1. Hey #4/fellow Torontonian,

      I don’t bother with most printed papers any more (although this morning the National Post actually had an election article from Conrad Black), and I never cared for the Star in the first place.

      Anyway, if you’re a Firefox or Opera user, you can use to undo the damage of Google’s self mutilation.

      Posted by William de Haan on 2008 03 29 at 04:23 PM • permalink


    1. #6

      Google’s self mutilation.

      Don’t they lock people up for that?

      Posted by kae on 2008 03 29 at 05:13 PM • permalink


    1. “Turning lights off is so petty.”

      That’s the environmental movement for you, half petty, half malevolent.

      Posted by Michael Lonie on 2008 03 29 at 07:50 PM • permalink


  1. #5 – thanks for the link; I didn’t know that existed. Very useful.

    Thankfully the CBC was remarkably restrained during the hockey broadcast. A shot of the lights being turned out at the Parliament buildings, and then a couple of mentions here and there, including a shot of downtown Toronto with a brightly-lit parking garage thumbing its nose at the neo-Luddites. Plus a quick clip of His Eminence the High Priest David Suzuki spouting some kind of gibberish. But nothing to upset the sweet taste of a Leafs victory over the Habs, no matter how hollow it is since they’re in the playoffs and the Leafs aren’t. Yet again.

    Posted by Crispytoast on 2008 03 29 at 09:52 PM • permalink