Sunday, March 01, 2009

Hour's Not To Reason Why

Clameur de Haro? notes with despair the breathless enthusiasm with which the Jersey Evening [sic] Post is pushing the fatuous “Earth Hour” on 28 March, when we are all beseeched to plunge ourselves into darkness in order to do nothing less than save the planet, a (“vote for action against global warming”).
On no fewer than three occasions in the past week or so, an excited Elaine Byrne has eco-warbled enthusiastically (and repetitiously, to the point of tedium), despite her pieces being mind-numbingly long on regurgitated greenist propaganda and suspiciously short on hard scientific information.
This whole idea is arrant nonsense, and politicos like Cohen and the so called Eco-Active Team are achieving nothing more than signing themselves up to the nauseating marriage of gesture politics and muddled thinking which is the defining characteristic of populist environmentalism.
Firstly, a pinprick interruption to the overwhelming majority of residential light use which occurs at night will have no emission-reducing effects whatsoever, on anything. Most power stations run, during the night, at the same capacity as during daytime peak demand periods, and produce electricity (and therefore some amount of greenhouse gas) anyway, whether it is being used to create light or not. There is no way to store this excess power produced at night - that is why electricity generators sell off-peak power so cheaply to run our electric hot water systems at night, which function as virtual batteries. Hydro plants are responsive to fluctuating power demand, as are gas-fired plants, but others are not. Jersey’s certainly isn’t.
Secondly, in Britain, domestic household consumption accounts for only 30 percent of overall energy use — and lighting accounts for only 9 percent of that domestic usage. (By contrast, heating and hot water account for 80 percent of household energy use.) In short, less than 2.7 percent of total energy consumption in Britain can be blamed on the heinous eco-ignorant populace recklessly “destroying the planet” by having the lights switched on at night.
Thirdly, just consider the language used to justify this minor measure that will achieve staggeringly little, if anything (apart, possibly, from an increase in traffic accidents or petty crime). “Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing people and nature”, pontificates the WWFN. Well, thank heavens for that – CdeH? mistakenly thought that the effects of the global economic downturn, declining heath and nutrition standards in the third world, and Islamist terrorism were far more serious than a (by no means unanimously) predicted temperature rise of about 0.8 degrees…….

So this little eco-mentalist war on light is itself based on an utterly false prospectus. But of course it’s a golden opportunity for the greenists and our putative lords and masters to combine to present it (and themselves) as epoch-definingly heroic, to show how supremely committed they are to “saving the world”, and to condemn anyone who says “just a minute………” as either a sceptic, or a heretic to the green religion, or of course, a perpetrator of that ultimate crime, being a “global warming denier”.

CdeH? observes that we taxpayers in the beleaguered productive sector of the Island’s economy appear to be funding one Olivia Copsey, described as “Education and Awareness Officer” at the Environment Department. With access to information almost universally available over the internet, might we know precisely what she has been engaged to educate us about and make us aware of? And more to the point in these straitened times, how much we are paying for the privilege?

Clameur de Haro? will not be succumbing to the collective flight from the light of rational thought into the darkness of unreason on 28 March, even at the risk of not being able to tell himself what a good and caring person he is. He will, in protest, be switching on every damn light that he has, if only to ensure that the militant eco-mentalists don’t seize the opportunity presented by the darkness to come and vandalize his fleet of 4x4s.

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