Was Earth Hour an epic fail?
Posted by danishova on March 29, 2009
Reporting from Chicago, the epicenter of hopenchange:
This year’s event had substantially less impact on the Chicago area’s electrical use compared to last year, according to a preliminary estimate from Commonwealth Edison Co.
About 1 percent energy reduction, not adjusted for weather, was logged from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., said ComEd spokeswoman Rachel Gerds. That is equivalent to saving about 100 megawatt hours, she said.
The 2008 Earth Hour cut the Chicago area’s electrical use by roughly 7 percent, Gerds said. Adjusted for weather, ComEd customers then saved more than 800 megawatt hours, she said.
"We’re not quite sure why" the disparity occurred, Gerds said, but she suggested Saturday’s cold and rain might have caused more people to stay home and use appliances.
Ah, they await the super-reliable “weather-adjusted estimate”:
A weather-adjusted estimate for the 2009 Earth Hour should be available Monday or Tuesday, she said. ComEd’s preliminary estimate for last year’s Earth Hour put the Chicago area’s energy reduction at 5 percent.
How about in Green crazy, California?
Was Earth Hour a bust? So it appeared in the San Fernando Valley of California, as demographically close to Middle America as anywhere.
I stood on my balcony before the witching hour of 8:30 p.m., overlooking a vast landscape of twinkling lights, illuminated apartment buildings, pizza parlors, supermarkets and suburban bungalows.
I waited. Even hoped.
The minutes ticked by. I squinted. Could I even see a single light winking off in the distance?
I glanced up the hill behind my house. Every home’s lights were ablaze. The outdoor bulbs in the garden of my neighbor, a hairdresser, gleamed defiantly. A bright glow issued from the windows of the neighbor across the street, a hospital technician.
8:40 p.m. … no change.
9 p.m….no change.
More evidence that this was a bust in California, including a handy dandy chart here:
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.
Reporting from Australia:
Earth Hour crashes to Earth (pretty charts included)
Clearly, not everyone heeded the message. The lights still blazed at Scots Church, the Athenaeum Theatre, the Shrine and in empty office buildings all over town.
But more than 1000 people braved the chill and the rain to see Premier John Brumby and Lord Mayor John So lead the countdown to 8pm. The Premier said the event was a call to action for people who believed they could make a difference. "This is all about sending a message to the world," he said. "But it is also an action that will make a difference."
At the top of the Rialto, a small crowd had a sense of anticlimax when there was no widespread blackout at 8pm. In fact, across the CBD rows of illuminated office windows, with little sign of beavering workers behind them, showed not everyone had read the memo….
Of course not everyone switched off. Across at Telstra Dome perhaps 40,000 fans watched the floodlit clash between Carlton and St Kilda, the decision made for safety reasons. But minutes after the first ball was bounced, the stadium’s external signs were extinguished.
And in Fiji, while most towns and cities embraced darkness, one remote village demonstrated its support by leaving the power on. Isolated Visoqo Village had never enjoyed the benefits of basic electric lighting but last night was lit up courtesy of its brand new solar power plant.
Reporting from New York City:
Hey, surely things went better in Canada!:
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.
1. From Jordan: A disappointing Earth Hour in Amman.
2. Ha! Newsbusters reports, with a vision of an environitwit’s Utopia:
“North Korea celebrates Earth Hour 24/7”:
3. National Review’s Planet Gore submits photographic evidence that Earth Hour failed in New York City…
4. Earth Hour a bust in New Zealand:
The lights dimmed tonight but Christchurch failed to match its previous power-saving effort for Earth Hour
Orion New Zealand estimated the electricity saved in the city during the lights-out event was 8.1%, well short of last year’s 12.8%.
About 21.7 megawatt hours of electricity was saved – about what two New Zealand homes consume each year – which is the equivalent of 4.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
UPDATE: Ed Morrissey calls Earth Hour “Curse the Light” Hour and delivers the goods on Al Gore’s stunning hypocrisy.
Upon reflection, I decided to remove the Earth First video I posted originally. It’s not offensive, but the title is NSFW. If you’re longing for some greeniac humor, click on Earth First homepage.
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