Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Earth Hour 2009: A Bust?

Sneaky burglaries rose 217.8% during Earth Hour's darkness.

Earth Hour, an environmental proactive movement where people around the globe are encouraged to shut off lights and other electricity-consuming devices for one hour, didn't work out too well this year.

This year, the 3rd ever Earth Hour, and the 2nd ever in Ontario, was not nearly as well-promoted as 2008. And that may be one of the reasons there was actually a spike in energy useage, instead of a dip, between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Suz and I duplicated our trip from last year, taking our sweet hybrid car to a nice lookout point over the city, to see the vast darkness.

Abandoned Tim Hortons with lights on for Earth Hour.We were the only ones perched atop the city, staring down at the thousands below us. Street lights, of course, stayed on, but residential blocks were shrouded in shadows as, it seemed, most people turned off their lights, TVs, clock radios and dialysis machines.

But the view was disappointing. Earth Hour was a bust. Take, for example, this empty Tim Hortons. Once bustling with thousands of donut-craving customers a day, it has sat, abandoned and desolate for over a year. However, despite the lack of patrons, it was still fully lit inside, wasting precious energy every day, including during Earth Hour.

And www.ieso.ca confirms the disappointing news. Ontario witnessed a 400 megawatt spike of energy consumption during Earth Hour instead of last year's roughly 500 megawatt dip. Check out this graph from ieso.ca.

But wait. There is some good news. Comparing last year's energy useage to this year's one will notice that during the day as a whole, Ontario consumed far less energy in 2009. The daily high for 2008 was approximately 17,800 mw, while 2009's was 15,500 mw. And while Earth Hour 2008's energy useage was approximately 16,300 mw while 2009 jumped to 14,900 mw. Yes, even though energy consumption jumped upwards during a time we were supposed to be conserving energy, it was still 1,400 mw less than last year.


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Blogger Sridhar said...

I voted for global warming. Burn! World burn!

I wonder how useful it is to switch off various appliances when turning them back on would consume more power than if they had been running already. I have seen this as more of symbolic and educational event (which is good in itself) than achieving any actual savings of energy.

12:22:00 AM

Blogger mmat said...

i almost forgot about it because this years advertising campaign was so quiet. i'm guessing that in this "recession" the government tried to "save money" by not advertising, and by save money i mean earn money through people's electricity consumption.

9:22:00 AM

Blogger Monogram Queen said...

Yes I guess that is a small meek "hooray"

11:21:00 AM

Blogger Martini said...

I've since discovered that ieso.ca announced an Ontario-wide 6% reduction in electricity consumption during Earth Hour.... which conflicts with their 'actual' useage chart. I've emailed them for an explanation.

12:39:00 PM

Blogger Vengelyne said...

What about people like me who have been using energy-saving bulbs all over the house for yonks? I'm saving more energy in 1 year than them turning off the lights for 1 hour in that 1 weekend.

How are you, btw? :)

12:40:00 PM

Blogger TheatreChick73 said...

I wasn't home for the designated hour but that means my house was dark anyway. Does it still count?

2:50:00 PM

Blogger Martini said...

Hey V! Nice to see you on here again. You going to start up the blog again? Yeah, CFL bulbs are great - They sure save a ton of electricity, but are a real pain to recycle as they contain mercury in the ballast!

Theatrechick73, of course! Dark is dark, right?

3:58:00 PM

Blogger Vengelyne said...

Haha. My blog is GONE. I've sooooooo many reasons not to blog:
1. No time.
2. No muse.
3. Lost all my blogger pals.
4. I don't want some people that I know to find me in the blogosphere, which they have in the old blog.
5. My old blog link is taken over!

12:40:00 PM

Blogger honkeie2 said...

I am a smog eating, energy waisting, plastic water bottle using, carbon foot print making American. Anyone that tells me to do something I dont like I will blog like hell about it then burn some plastic and let off cfc bombs in my back yard......ha!
Not really, i recycle like there is no tomorrow, have a gas friendly car (35mpg) and even pick up other peoples trash to recycle....i just like picking on canadian hippies.

12:59:00 PM

Blogger Martini said...

Oh Lord! I've been pegged as a Canadian hippie?! I'll have to rectify that soon.

2:00:00 PM

Blogger Ms. Creek said...

Could you imagine how great it would be if we, the whole earth, designated 4 hours a day where we don't consume energy? Okay, maybe just one hour so the meat doesn't start thawing in the freezer.

6:36:00 AM


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