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Turning off the lights for an hour is silly - Comments (0)
Carole McWilliams - 3/20/2009
On March 28, for the second year in a row, there is a national and local campaign for people to turn off their lights for an hour after sundown.
This apparently is supposed to make people more aware of global climate change and how individual actions, multiplied by millions, can help protect the environment. Or some such thing.
I’m not trying to be snarky, but my thought last year and again this year is that sitting in the dark for an hour in the name of energy conservation is just plain silly.
It’s also counterproductive if people light a bunch of candles during that time. How much CO2 do those emit?
The idea reminds me of the guy who spends all week drinking, womanizing, and scamming elderly widows and then is all pious in church Sunday morning.
Instead of turning off the lights for one hour a year, the focus should be consistent energy conservation and earth-friendly behavior all year, since this earth is the only one we’ve got.
One of the simplest ways to do this, if you haven’t already, is to replace incandescent light bulbs with CFLs (those corkscrew fluorescent bulbs) at least for the lights you use the most. This should save a lot more energy than turning off the incandescent lights for an hour, and there’s no inconvenience with it.
I have a pair of ceiling lights at home that used to need replacing two or three times a year because they are on every evening. Changing them is a hassle. It requires a ladder and I don’t like doing it.
Since I replaced those with CFLs at least a year ago, they haven’t needed changing. They’ll be on during Earth Hour on March 28.
With CFLs in all the lights I use most, my LPEA bill is noticeably lower. I also signed up for a 100 kwh block of wind-generated power, which in most months is more than I use.
Switching to CFLs is just one example of energy conservation that doesn’t involve sacrifice, unlike sitting in the dark for an hour.
There are plenty of other ways to conserve energy that involve mindfulness more than sacrifice. Lets focus on those first.