Saturday’s first celebration of “Earth Hour” was, I guess, interesting for those who observed it. We in the Stoutcat household were otherwise occupied celebrating Human Achievement Hour, which meant that some lights were on, soft music composed over a hundred years ago was playing with crystal clarity, and a savory supper of non-local comestibles and beverages was being consumed with gusto.
Those who sat in the dark (many of whom actually burned candles, which to my mind sort of negates the whole idea of “Sitting in the Dark”) may have had a pleasant experience; and I freely admit, there are some really impressive photos (but again, isn’t that using power of a sort?) showing the lights dimming in larger urban areas; but did the whole imposture accomplish anything — like actually saving any power?
Let’s take a look, via Watt’s Up With That?, at actual usage charts from the state of California (an area which I think we can all agree has more than its share of folks likely to have celebrated Sit in the Dark Hour), both during the powered-down time, and for the same time period the very next day. What do we see?
Saturday, 3/28: Earth Hour day (see gray shading for the actual usage for the 8:30-9:30 time frame)
Sunday, 3/29, the day after “Sit in the Dark” Hour (see gray shading for the actual usage for the 8:30-9:30 time frame):
As Russ Steel, at the always interesting Watt’s Up With That? said:
There you have it, scientific data showing that the Earth Hour was a total bust in California. If you look close, you can see a little bump up above the forecast demand, which tracked very closely with actual power consumed prior to the witching hour 8:30 to 9:30. But, it is clear that power consumption did not drop, it stayed up. Maybe all those protesters forgot to turn off the lights.
I can’t wait to see what kind of feel-good boondoggle they’ll try to foist on us next…