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EARTH HOUR?
by jeffwith1f
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 1:45 pm on Saturday March 29 2008 x
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x jeffwith1f really?

that's all the time we have for the earth? an hour?
we're so screwed. As the organizers of this event point out, this will have a negligable impact on the environment, but will hopefully spark some awareness, and more importantly, cause people to make larger changes in thier life.

I think event organizers are fooling themselves, but perhaps I am being a bit jaded.

More dismaying I recently read that the anticipated power savings of all the people and buildings in the city turning off all thier lights and power using devices is only anticipated to reduce power draw by 10%

What the heck is drawing all the power? Everyone I know seems commited to shutting down entirely, how is it that we're still going to be using 90% of our power demand.

at any rate, a 10% drop for 1 hour of one day is not even a bandaid for the environment. It's the environmental equivelent of wearing a bracelet or ribbon.

If you really care people, do something real, do something lasting, do something everyday.

let me know how it goes for you.
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 6:34 pm on Saturday March 29 2008 x
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x jeffwith1f Toronto is having a Nelly Furtado concert to mark the event. Although billed as "acoustic" there will surely be 1000's of Watts of amplification used, and even more draining will be lighting it, (I suspect, but I don't know, perhaps they will perform in the dark)

they say this hypocracy is alright as the electricity that they use will come from "green" sources.

the details of this sound sketchy to me, and would seem to fly in the face of what we are trying to do.
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x Unread post xjeffwith1f   - at 10:17 pm on Saturday March 29 2008 x
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x jeffwith1f OK

we turned off all the lights and such, I put Luke to bed and lay quitely watching the neighbourhood and city out the window

UKGirl sat on the front porch with the laptop (running on battery power) and had a hotchocolate (water boiled before earth hour) and chatted with the neighbours.

I attempted to note the electricity usage from our meter at the start of the hour, at the end of the hour and an hour after earth hour and we had turned on the lights and television and the house was purring along as normal.

well

I did notice that most of my neighbours had all thier apparent lights off, but that 2 did not. The street lights were still on, so it's not like the city was dark.

The city and downtown core still gave off a normal glow, at least as seen from East York, although the view from my bedroom window does not allow me to see any of the big buildings downtown, so I can't say if I saw them turned off when they would normally be on (at 9 PM on a Saturday) As 9 PM hit, I did notice that within about a minute lights did blink on in the houses around me, but I did not see a noticable increase in background light polution from the city at large.

according to our electricity meter, we appear to be reading a consistant 8 kW/h across every reading I took, suggesting either that a) I am not reading it right, b) turing off the lights and television et al, did not have a noticable effect on the power the house draws normally or c) the way the meter reports power usage is averaged in such a way that I am not seeing the power savings at the moment.

UKGirl learned some interesting information about our neighbours by talking to them, which otherwise would have happened, and Luke and I did spend an hour on a dark bed playing when we otherwise would have been doing excactly that with the television on in the background.

so far, I'm calling a bust, but I do look forward to hearing what the actual effect on the Toronto grid was.

so far no word on how Carbon Neutral the green powered WWF sponsored Nelly Fertado concert at Nathan Phillips Square was.
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x Unread post xUniversal Sea   - at 12:22 am on Sunday March 30 2008 x
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x Universal Sea I'm calling it a bust as well. 8pm came and went for me, though I dimmed the lights, and tried to see how many buildings in Melbourne were out - I didn't observe any.

I had shit to do and couldn't keep the lights off.

Environmental concerts are total hypocricy for the points you've mentioned, also the waste factor, treading on the ground, portaloos, transporting, power consumption.

If cities were serious about this, once a month there would be a no power hour and the power companies would shut off grids, with everybody knowing fully in advance. People should learn how to live without power, it's simple. We take power for granted. Those of us who experienced that huge blackout a few years back will feel it closer to home.
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x Unread post xxjeffwith1f   - at 9:32 pm on Monday March 31 2008 x
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x jeffwith1f THat black out was a blast, but it was my first realization how reliant I am on the internet to find out anything (and that was before my involvement with UM)

It was fun though. My only real issue with it was that it was very very hot, and I do not do well in the heat if I don't have somewhere cool to escape to.

I seem to recal (and for shame on me) by about 11 PM, retiring to the car, to run it and the AC for about 10 minutes, just to cool down and listen to the radio so that I could get a status of what was going on (as, of course, television and the internet were also bust without the power to fire up the machines)
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