Aiming for a darker world Update: Google’s hypocrisy

posted at 8:43 am on March 29, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Global-warming advocates showed a hint of how they would run the world in Sydney, Australia, the first major city in the world to participate in Earth Hour. The city turned off its lights and its citizens had to rely on candles for their activities. Even Google celebrated it with a black background, asking people to turn off their electricity as well:

Sydney’s iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge went dark Saturday night as the world’s first major city turned off its lights for this year’s Earth Hour, a global campaign to raise awareness of climate change.

The lights on the arch of Harbour Bridge were turned off at 8 p.m., followed shortly by the shells of the Opera House and other city landmarks. Most businesses and homes were already dark as Sydney residents embraced their second annual Earth Hour with candlelight dinners, beach bonfires and even a green-powered outdoor movie.

The city was noticeably darker, though not completely blacked out. The business district was mostly dark; organizers said 250 of the 350 commercial buildings there had pledged to shut off their lights completely.

Welcome to the fantasy of anthropogenic climate-change true believers. Their aspirations to make the world a little darker and colder came to life during Earth Hour, even while evidence mounts that their scientific hypotheses and models have serious flaws. Instead of handling legitimate scientific criticism as scientists, they have instead responded with obloquy and charges of heresy.

They do not want to find alternative energy sources that will fully replace what we have now. They want to reverse industrialization entirely, and they want top-down management of energy production to get it. They want a darker world, one in which candles replace light bulbs and the energy that runs the global economy — and has produced the best living standards in human history — gets rationed to satisfy the whims of statists and earth-worshipers.

There are many good reasons to work towards energy independence and the reduction of emissions from hydrocarbon-based energy production, but no good reason to cheer for darkness. Earth Hour is just another absurdity from a movement full of them.

Update: While Google scolds the rest of the world about turning off the lights, HA reader Simon Scowl directs our attention to this month’s Harper’s, which has an interesting look at Google’s plans to exploit cheap electricity in Oregon. Thanks to a boatload of government subsidies, Google located its new server farm on the Columbia River — where it will use enough electricity to light Tacoma, Washington.

But that’s not the best part. According to Harper’s, Google and its competitors have now started building data centers in places like Lithuania, Dublin, Siberia, and Shanghai. What do all these locations have in common? Except for Lithuania, where 78% of the power will be nuclear, all of them rely on carbon-spewing energy production with lower prices and fewer controls on emissions. So much for Earth Hour, eh?

Update II: Simon says (heh) that I had the wrong link for Harper’s.  I’ve fixed it now.


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So, did those two assholes who run Google give up any flight time in that huge jet they own?

Guess not…

benrand on March 29, 2008 at 12:22 PM

But that’s not the best part. According to Harper’s, Google and its competitors have now started building data centers in places like Lithuania, Dublin, Siberia, and Shanghai. What do all these locations have in common? Except for Lithuania, where 78% of the power will be nuclear, all of them rely on carbon-spewing energy production with lower prices and fewer controls on emissions. So much for Earth Hour, eh?

Bwaaaahahahahahaha!!!

North Korea’s pretty dark. Let’s do whatever they’re doing.

saint kansas on March 29, 2008 at 8:53 AM

Bwaaaaaaahahahahahaha!!!

Stop it; you guys are killing me…this is so fabulously rich I can barely stand it. Google using a black background which probably uses twice as much power to produce to pretend that the environment means something to them, while their entire billion$ are based on burning fossil fuels for entertainment and non-essential f**king off.

Brin, you pathetic douchebag, you are vying for World’s Worst Human status.

Jaibones on March 29, 2008 at 12:23 PM

Wow. Anyone ever read Ayn Rand’s Anthem?

It’s set in a dystopian (read: communist) future, where the words “I,” “me,” “my” have been eliminated. Everything is collectivist, and people aren’t even allowed their own names.

Anyway, it’s relevant here because they don’t have electricity in this liberal paradise. They use candles. And when the main character discovers electricity and makes a light bulb, and tries to show it to the totalitarian World Council, he’s sent to a gulag.

So I guess this “Earth Hour” is the first step toward a terrible future.

Gunhaver on March 29, 2008 at 12:28 PM

TexasJew on March 29, 2008 at 12:00 PM

Uncle. Your inflicting real psychic pain with this. I know it’s the truth but I can’t hear any more truth about energy, or Iraq,or the UN,or the Jihadis, or Congress, or candidates. My head will explode without being able to do any more about it than just vote McCain. WTF is happening to the world? It’s going insane and I’m just sitting here watching.

JiangxiDad on March 29, 2008 at 12:31 PM

I think it’s kinda cool. What’s wrong with saving electricity? Spending the night with your friends at the beach rather than watching TV? Or even, gasp, getting a full 8 hours night sleep instead of browsing the net or playing xbox until the early morning?

tlynch001 on March 29, 2008 at 8:56 AM

And you feel that people must be part of a mindless lemming like event in order to do what you term as “cool”?

TheCulturalist on March 29, 2008 at 12:36 PM

Google’s own masturbatory statements on Earth Hour include a link to this statement:

We applaud the spirit of the idea, but our own analysis as well as that of others shows that making the Google homepage black will not reduce energy consumption. To the contrary, on flat-panel monitors (already estimated to be 75% of the market), displaying black may actually increase energy usage. Detailed results from a new study confirm this.

Self-Fisking weenies.

Jaibones on March 29, 2008 at 12:36 PM

Only time I’m turning off the lights is when I go to bed tonight at 11PM….just like I do every night.

pilamaye on March 29, 2008 at 12:38 PM

I think it’s kinda cool. What’s wrong with saving electricity? Spending the night with your friends at the beach rather than watching TV? Or even, gasp, getting a full 8 hours night sleep instead of browsing the net or playing xbox until the early morning?

tlynch001 on March 29, 2008 at 8:56 AM

Nothing wrong at all, other than the glaringly obvious fact that the leftist weenies who spew this nonsense also spew more energy than the rest of us. It’s all bullshit, dude.

The nitwits at Google will burn more fossil fuels in the time it takes me to type this comment than I will in my entire lifetime. Are you so dense that you don’t understand that? Private jets, enormous yachts, empty homes and buildings that their billions enable them to own which waste electicity and natural gas and earth’s precious raw materials — all the while they lecture us about the environment? It’s all crap, dude. Wake up.

Jaibones on March 29, 2008 at 12:43 PM

A letter writer here in Mn sent a request in a local rag to have all of us turn our lights off. I sent in a reply that stated my intent to purposely turn on every incandescent bulb I have in my home. Then I added, CO2 is NOT a pollutant and if your wanting ecological energy start building reactors. Any odds on if my replay will be printed? Remember, this is MN.

MNDavenotPC on March 29, 2008 at 12:49 PM

Ed, why are you shocked that the Left would turn off the lights? The answer is a no-brainer. The Left is the dark-side.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on March 29, 2008 at 12:49 PM

In other news, Sydney reports there were over 50 serious accidents, 75 robberies and 30 assaults during last night’s blackout.

TheBigOldDog on March 29, 2008 at 9:00 AM

That’s not a very good per hour ratio. A city blackout in Sydney sounds like a great idea if I was crook. No security systems and an unarmed populace.

I will have my lights all on along with every possible electronic device I can plug in. Of course if the neighbor goes dark due to the city shutting off the power I guess I had better lock & load so I can repel boarders.
I

VikingGoneWild on March 29, 2008 at 12:55 PM

Candles give off green house gasses, they need to put them out NOW, sit cold in the dark! I on hte other hand will be blasting the AC, surfing the web, watching TV, running my dishwasher, filling a hot bath, blending a booze, microwaving a burrito and I might even throw up the Christmas lights.

HotAirExpert on March 29, 2008 at 12:55 PM

I’m going to have a humidifier and de-humidifier in the same room in an all out death match to see who wins.

Snake307 on March 29, 2008 at 11:01 AM

Thanks for the laugh!

VikingGoneWild on March 29, 2008 at 12:56 PM

It’s been almost a year since I was out in The Dalles (I live in Portland) but the Googleplex out there is going to be huge! It’s right next to the old aluminum smelting plant and only about 4 or 5 miles downstream from The Dalles Dam. Surprisingly for as big as it is you can’t really see much from I-84 that goes right past. I think this is the coordinates for it: 45°37’46.81″N 121°12’2.70″W
Just SW of that about 1/4 mile you can see the huge aluminum plant that’s being torn down.

Afterimage on March 29, 2008 at 12:57 PM

You can also download a 19mb video that some guy put up of him driving around the complex as it’s under construction: http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2006/3/25/21526/5172

Afterimage on March 29, 2008 at 1:01 PM

Well, share your expertise! We’re fighting a battle here and Al Gore et al are winning with their “climate scientist” hacks and kickback artists.

As my screen name implies I worked in the nuclear industry. I started out back in 1965 on a naval reactor in Idaho. Stayed in the industry after the navy operating a large commercial nuke. For most of my career I was a licensed Senior Reactor Operator and shift manager. I ended up my career as the outage coordinator for the plant. I’ve been fighting this battle since before TMI. We not only managed to salvage the nuclear option and keep it alive in this country we managed to make it the most cost efficient method of electricity production. This in spite of our government and general public hostility not to mention continuous and definitely negative press. Of course you never hear any of this from the so called news agencies. The struggle after TMI was intense, we had a major personnel loss. People thought they saw the handwriting on the wall and started abandoning the industry. We worked through that and at the same time started to work toward making the plants more and more reliable. The industry came together and started to share experiences and practices with each other. This may sound odd that companies in competition would actually share operating practices but we did and still do. The result was an overall improvement industry wide in safety and performance. Once again you never hear any of this from the news agencies only the negatives. The fact that a nuclear power plant operated without incident for 18 months is not news worthy. But if one hiccups for some reason it’s front page disaster time headlines. Like I said I’ve been fighting this battle for a long time. Looks like I’m going to be in it for longer still. Every time I hear the term bio-fuel I want to scream. Just confirms to me that most people want pie in the sky and have no basic understanding of energy.

Oldnuke on March 29, 2008 at 1:02 PM

I had no idea this was happening. Went to Google to perform a search, thought the screen was screwed up. Went to Yahoo! where everything seemed normal and performed my search.

Moral: When you find yourself in the dark, go towards the light.

Or, only a fool would choose darkness when light is available.

Zaire67 on March 29, 2008 at 1:09 PM

Useless. I have everything in my house turned off from 10 PM until 5 AM, then from 6 AM until about 4 PM.

1 hour? HA! I claim AMA! Absolute Moral Authority!! My stuff is off for 18 hours, not just 1!

Mazztek on March 29, 2008 at 1:12 PM

1 hour? HA! I claim AMA! Absolute Moral Authority!! My stuff is off for 18 hours, not just 1!
Mazztek on March 29, 2008 at 1:12 PM

I have two questions. I’m being serious too, not facetious.

1. How do you do that?

2. Why do you do that?

Oldnuke on March 29, 2008 at 1:15 PM

Uncle. Your inflicting real psychic pain with this. I know it’s the truth but I can’t hear any more truth about energy, or Iraq,or the UN,or the Jihadis, or Congress, or candidates. My head will explode without being able to do any more about it than just vote McCain. WTF is happening to the world? It’s going insane and I’m just sitting here watching.

JiangxiDad on March 29, 2008 at 12:31 PM

That’s “Tio” down here, pardner..

I agree with you. And as for McCain’s positions… I’d better stop, because then your head would explode like Bikini Atoll.

Here’s a fact to remember, whenever someone comes up with a biofuel or ethanol or buffalo poop or french fry oil solution to our energy crisis:
America’s oil needs are equivalent to covering a full football field, goallines included, up to a height of over 133.5 miles high with a very high grade hydrocarbon.
Do the math yourself:
(5.3)X(21000000)X(365)X(360X160)/5280 = 133.5+ Miles high

Oops – that wasn’t too comforting.
Well, how about this:
No country in the entire world, including Saudi Arabia, is entirely energy sufficient. Refined products, crude, gas – everyone is importing energy. And they will import energy.
We Americans just have to make sure that our economy is strong enough to be able to continue paying for it.

There, that’s better. And now we’ll all learn to love Big Brother.. I mean, Al Gore.. in the dark.
Remember, the only people who are TRULY green are dead (I’m not including Leprechans, Jolly Giants or Amazing Hulks).

TexasJew on March 29, 2008 at 1:18 PM

From 10 PM until 5 AM, I am asleep. From 6 AM until 4 PM, I’m at work.

Mazztek on March 29, 2008 at 1:21 PM

Oops – that figure was just for a year – our yearly needs, to be exact.
This year, for example, was a leap year, so you’d better add another third of a mile or so to that figure.. ;-)

TexasJew on March 29, 2008 at 1:22 PM

I think it’s kinda cool. What’s wrong with saving electricity? Spending the night with your friends at the beach rather than watching TV? Or even, gasp, getting a full 8 hours night sleep instead of browsing the net or playing xbox until the early morning?

tlynch001 on March 29, 2008 at 8:56 AM

I’m all for saving, and do so. But I do it on my terms and when/how I want to. And I don’t tell anyone else when/how to do so, unless they’re spending my money on it.

Libs and Dem’s are collectivists, not individuals. They like to do everything together in some big Kumbaya-Stalinst festival style.

If you wanna live in the dark, go right ahead. If you want all your lights on and a/c and heat with the windows open, go right ahead. pay for it with your own money, and stop trying to tell other people what to do and when to do it.

I think that EVERYONE ought to slaughter a lamb and bay at the moon tonight. If you’re not in, why not???

JiangxiDad on March 29, 2008 at 1:32 PM

Communism, increment by increment.

Johan Klaus on March 29, 2008 at 1:37 PM

They want to reverse industrialization entirely, and they want top-down management of energy production to get it. They want a darker world, one in which candles replace light bulbs and the energy that runs the global economy — and has produced the best living standards in human history — gets rationed to satisfy the whims of statists and earth-worshipers.

Well, all ‘they’ have to do is continue to be a bunch of dhimmis and give in to the muslims, and their wish will be fulfilled, we will go back to the dark ages literally.

4shoes on March 29, 2008 at 1:40 PM

But hey, at least google wants their employees to drink the koolaid. At they’re trying, man.

hkenshin on March 29, 2008 at 1:40 PM

In the Philippines where I grew up, we had this about 20 years ago, I think because of global cooling.

I think we overdid it so it resulted in global warming

maynila on March 29, 2008 at 1:43 PM

where’s Al when you needed him back then

maynila on March 29, 2008 at 1:43 PM

My head will explode without being able to do any more about it than just vote McCain. WTF is happening to the world? It’s going insane and I’m just sitting here watching.

JiangxiDad on March 29, 2008 at 12:31 PM

I can totally relate, esp. with small children.

4shoes on March 29, 2008 at 1:44 PM

candlelight dinners, beach bonfires

I wonder what the “carbon footprint” is of a beach bonfire?

darkpixel on March 29, 2008 at 1:47 PM

Two bulbs bad. Four bulbs good.

Shy Guy on March 29, 2008 at 1:49 PM

Do the math yourself:
(5.3)X(21000000)X(365)X(360X160)/5280 = 133.5+ Miles high
TexasJew on March 29, 2008 at 1:18 PM

math? r u serious?
the people who do whatever they are told they need to do to be “green” don’t need no stinkin’ math to know what’s what.
besides that, how can they be expected to do math when they have their fingers stuck in their ears and are yelling “na na na na” at the top of their lungs?
please, lets try to “keep it real” here. ;-)

TheCulturalist on March 29, 2008 at 1:52 PM

where’s Al when you needed him back then

maynila on March 29, 2008 at 1:43 PM

he was inventing the internet, give him a break

TheCulturalist on March 29, 2008 at 1:55 PM

elgeneralisimo thinks that we should return to the primary renewable resource for lighting that was used prior to the ubiquity of petroleum and coal fired electrical plants… whale oil…

Whalers of the world… Unite !!!

elgeneralisimo on March 29, 2008 at 1:56 PM

lol, WTF? I was wondering why my google page was black this morning. Seriously what the hell do these people want to live in the dark ages again??

It’s absurd.

j0 on March 29, 2008 at 2:01 PM

This reminds me of that scary movie in the 60′s with Audrey Hepburn as a blind woman and Alan Arkin as the bad guy trying to get heroin from the aforementioned victim-lady. Was it called: ‘Wait Until Dark’?
I think that the terrorist like this new, eco-’friendly’ interest in darkness…and i thought Australia would be a good place to relocate. Duh.

Christine on March 29, 2008 at 2:05 PM

I’m here at work and I stopped to help a co worker (happens to be a friend also) and he had a post it note on his desking “EARTH HOUR.” I started to laugh at him and he got pissed! I asked if he was getting rid of all his electronics and live like a caveman from now on. I also asked him if he was going to walk, ride a bike or a horse to Las Vegas next month instead of flying on a jet. Of course the answer is no. He’s just “trying to be more aware of global warming.” I’ve sent him all the links you guys always post (keep them coming!) but I think he is just too brainwashed.

VikingGoneWild on March 29, 2008 at 2:05 PM

Hasn’t the Rachael Carson crowd done enough??? Aren’t 60 million unnecessary human deaths caused by their superstitions and phony “science” scares enough reason to consign the rest of these nuts permanently to the loony bin for the protection of the rest of our civilized society??

ENOUGH!!! ALL LIGHTS ON!!! SIRENS ON!!! MOTORS AT FULL POWER!!! Swim, polar bears, S-W-I-M!!!

landlines on March 29, 2008 at 2:10 PM

Harper’s, which has an interesting look

Looks like you have the wrong link there. In any event, building server farms near the power sources is an energy-saving action, since you save the significant amount of energy it costs to move electricity across the grid (which far eclipses any extra amount it might take to move data a little further down a fiber optic wire). While one shouldn’t get too hysterical regarding energy use, taking simple steps to limit it generally helps: It makes energy cheaper (since the marginal source should be the most expensive) and a reduced energy requirement per person allows more flexibility regarding how we live. And “raising awareness,” however seemingly laughable, helps with this. Google isn’t forcing you to do anything. It’s not promoting something that you’re really opposed to in the sense that you think it’s bad; you just think it’s pointless (although one would think that you might see the economic conservative angle, here). So what’s wrong here?

Google has shown themselves sympathetic with Communist governments

Well, Michelle may have had fun with “Gulagle” logos, but it’s Yahoo! which showed itself to be the “moral pygmy” of the bunch.

calbear on March 29, 2008 at 2:12 PM

They can take my electricity away at their pleasure, but my nut sack still belongs to me!

leanright on March 29, 2008 at 2:14 PM

I won’t press charges if between the hours 10 pm and 11pm tonight you go to a yuppie bar and sock a wimp-ass beta male in the face.

leanright on March 29, 2008 at 2:18 PM

You know what the real stupidity in all this is? If the entire city went dark it was maybe a once in a life-time chance to see the night sky like they’ve never seen it before (light “pollution” prevents us from seeing most of the stars in the sky). A lights out/star gazing party could have been a cool thing. Instead they lit bonfires (which, duh!, emit carbon) and watched movies? How is that embracing mother nature? It’s not about the environment for these people, it’s about anti-capitalism and socialism.

Spolitics on March 29, 2008 at 2:21 PM

Did that blackout include rechargeable battery operated apparatus? What did the poor lefty beta wing nuts do for sex for that time period?

leanright on March 29, 2008 at 2:22 PM

In honor of this glorious day, I’ve turned on all my lights even though it’s daytime, replaced all my bulbs with incandescents, left my refrigerator door open, turn on the air conditioner and opened all the windows in the house, set the furnace to full blast, left my car idling in the garage and funneled the exhaust into the yard.

Ahhhhh, I breath easier now!

Kini on March 29, 2008 at 2:28 PM

Earth Hour seems pretty cool to me. I’m going to read by candlelight from 8pm to 9pm. And while I’m not sure about Global Warming, I do think most of the actions so far have been positive. I like that computer component makers are now emphasizing green issues rather than faster machines. Admittedly, it’s much easy to do that now that computers are fast enough for about any purpose but 3-D game playing.

thuja on March 29, 2008 at 2:30 PM

That update link to Harper’s links to some page about Hillary.

Viscount_Bolingbroke on March 29, 2008 at 2:36 PM

what would Obama do?

he won’t wear a flag pin because that would be, what? fake?

will he be sitting in the dark staring into the eyes of his spiritual leader over candlelight to show his support for loonie left-wing anticapitalists?

news at 11… not!

TheCulturalist on March 29, 2008 at 2:37 PM

Back in 2004, I wrote a letter to the WSJ, which got published and spread around, but then got hammered in print by several old retired idiots who used to run the CIA or something and who were then involved in some tax-funded scheme to turn “turkey offal” into fuel oil. That’s the level of thievery our bureaucratic and political class has sunk to. – Making desperately energy-dependent taxpayers pay out millions of profits to shovel turkey crap..

TexasJew on March 29, 2008 at 12:00 PM

I’m in the corn belt and watching the whole ethanol scam play out has been painful. Corn is now over $5.00/bushel which is unheard of, farmers are ecstatic, investors are throwing money into ethanol plants, livestock feed, fertilizer, machinery and ag chemical prices have gone up as a result, etc. One card is carefully being placed on top of another as the house gets built, but it is unsustainable unless the government props it up. Indirect food costs to the consumer will only continue to increase. Think of it as another hidden tax.

a capella on March 29, 2008 at 2:39 PM

Global-warming advocates showed a hint of how they would run the world

Here’s another hint of how greens would run the world – this is what The Canadian Green Party is telling it’s mebers:

“Tonight, however, I’ll be looking at my neighbours’ windows to see which ones are participating in Earth Hour … if you’re out for a walk tonight while your lights are out, take note of who else has their lights out.”

rjjago on March 29, 2008 at 2:40 PM

I’m in the corn belt and watching the whole ethanol scam play out has been painful. Corn is now over $5.00/bushel which is unheard of, farmers are ecstatic, investors are throwing money into ethanol plants, livestock feed, fertilizer, machinery and ag chemical prices have gone up as a result, etc. One card is carefully being placed on top of another as the house gets built, but it is unsustainable unless the government props it up. Indirect food costs to the consumer will only continue to increase. Think of it as another hidden tax.

a capella on March 29, 2008 at 2:39 PM

cards fall after the election is over. no longer any need to buy farm land votes. ethanol will suddenly be seen as the waste of money that it is.

TheCulturalist on March 29, 2008 at 2:43 PM

Sooo…ok…dark Google…yeah…ok…sooo…the new dark Google page is REALLY annoying, sooo…I used Yahoo Search instead…after I turned on ALL the freaking lights in my house!

Whatta bunch o’ crap!!

grumpy_old_soldier on March 29, 2008 at 2:44 PM

“Tonight, however, I’ll be looking at my neighbours’ windows to see which ones are participating in Earth Hour … if you’re out for a walk tonight while your lights are out, take note of who else has their lights out.”
rjjago on March 29, 2008 at 2:40 PM

scary… reminds me of a movie scene where some beings that are part of a collective mind discover non-memebers in their midst. they all point and scream in unison. i’m sure that was done on star trek… how very prophetic of them.

TheCulturalist on March 29, 2008 at 2:49 PM

calbear on March 29, 2008 at 2:12 PM

Oldnuke on March 29, 2008 at 3:06 PM

calbear on March 29, 2008 at 2:12 PM

Hmm, that was odd. Let’s try that again.

Maybe I missed your point somewhere. How does limiting your energy use make it cheaper?

Oldnuke on March 29, 2008 at 3:08 PM

cards fall after the election is over. no longer any need to buy farm land votes. ethanol will suddenly be seen as the waste of money that it is.

TheCulturalist on March 29, 2008 at 2:43 PM

I wish it were that simple, but it isn’t. Farm votes aren’t the only ones being bought, the more significant vote numbers are in the global warming camp who insist something be done, no matter how inefficient or costly. There will be a shift in farm lobbying funds toward the most receptive legislators, which ensures it won’t just go away.

a capella on March 29, 2008 at 3:11 PM

A couple things come to mind. First the Thomas Sowell quote: “self congratulation as a basis for social policy” as in, for example, “I’m SOOO caring and concerned for my environment, let’s make everyone read by candlelight”. And then the monomanical control freak Ira Einhorn, co-founder of Earth Day, who killed his girlfriend and kept her in a trunk in his closet. Hey, as long as he kept the closet light off, he’s cool.

Paul-Cincy on March 29, 2008 at 3:12 PM

Did that blackout include rechargeable battery operated apparatus? What did the poor lefty beta wing nuts do for sex for that time period?

leanright

What they usually do. Sing Kumbaya and fill out some petitions.

William Teach on March 29, 2008 at 3:42 PM

How does limiting your energy use make it cheaper?

Well, clearly if you use less, you pay less, at least in the short term. In terms of marginal cost, that’s true as well, since the marginal energy is by definition the most expensive; otherwise, they’d use something else. Some would argue about economies of scale making things cheaper eventually, but given the highly regulated nature of energy and the already-large scale, that doesn’t really work out.

calbear on March 29, 2008 at 3:45 PM

Did a quick search on the internet, but couldn’t find it…

Just how much “Carbon” does it take to manufacture, transport, sell, buy, and then burn a Candle?

Because the entire Carbon footprint for a candle would be consumed in that hour or two that it burns…

While an incandescent bulbs footprint would be spread over a much longer time frame…

Although it appears that 84% of the power here in Colorado comes from Coal… which is pretty silly seeing as how we have the stinkin Colorado River, and Platte River right here.

Romeo13 on March 29, 2008 at 3:55 PM

calbear on March 29, 2008 at 3:45 PM

Sorry, it does not work that way.

The fuel cost of electricity generation hmmm… nationaly…

Utility Operating Revenues 277,142 MILLIONS of Dollars…
Cost of Fuel 38,158 Millions of dollars…

so, only about 13.7% of total energy cost comes from the Fuel needed…

Romeo13 on March 29, 2008 at 4:01 PM

Turning on all the lights in the house tonight for one hour. The light will blind the Liberal neighbors and help them see in the dark.

Ragnarok on March 29, 2008 at 4:06 PM

calbear on March 29, 2008 at 3:45 PM

I see what you’re driving at but your terms are not quite accurate. You are correct in that if you use less you’ll pay less. That doesn’t make it cheaper. Cheaper would be using the same amount but paying less for it. Does driving less make gasoline cheaper? No, of course not gas is still x$ per gallon. Same with electricity although most people don’t look at it that way. Electricity is so many cents per kilowatt hour. If you use less you pay less but the price is the same.

I am assuming that by marginal energy you are referring to the energy needed to make up for short term high loads. In the industry that’s called peaking power. Peaking power is usually the most expensive power to produce and is the last thing to go online. You keep your base load units online at full capacity as much as possible and then bring the more expensive stuff on as needed saving the peaking for last. A peaking plant would typically be something like a gas turbine, something that can be called upon to come on line quickly to supplement during times of peak demand. Where some real money is made is emergency power. That’s where some utility such as Southern California Edison has a problem and can’t make load. They call for emergency power and other utilities will supply them but at a premium and I do mean premium. Emergency power costs a bunch. In the case of a residential customer you pay so much per kw-hr. It may fluctuate from season to season and some areas will charge more if you go over a set kw-hr amount but typically using less doesn’t make electricity cheaper.

Oldnuke on March 29, 2008 at 4:10 PM

I wish it were that simple, but it isn’t. Farm votes aren’t the only ones being bought, the more significant vote numbers are in the global warming camp who insist something be done, no matter how inefficient or costly. There will be a shift in farm lobbying funds toward the most receptive legislators, which ensures it won’t just go away.

a capella on March 29, 2008 at 3:11 PM

perhaps i was over simplifying… i didn’t mean to imply that all ethanol production would vanish, it has been there for years and will continue to be there. i’m talking about the frenzied level it has reached. just as in the dot-com stock bubble days, the housing mania, the recent spike in gold/silver (the run on commodities isn’t done yet though, just resting) etc. the more anything reaches a fevered pitch, where EVERYONE says it is time to jump aboard, that is the time to think and do the opposite.

the manmade-global-warming topdogs like Gore need to solidify the carbon credit markets into the global financial and political system to ensure that future billion$ will flow into their accounts before enough people realize what they are doing. it’s easy to dupe the ignorant but well-intentioned masses into playing along with shiny objects like a floating global blackout.

we’ll make sure the evil, polluting, earth-hating capitalists don’t destroy the planet… for the children… just let us force them to buy/sell carbon credits on our London based exchange and you can rest easy knowing you did your part. nevermind that the money used to buy those offsets will come out of everyones pockets.

nothin’ to see here folks, just move along now…

TheCulturalist on March 29, 2008 at 4:13 PM

I was going to turn out the lights and go outside as it’s a beautiful day but now I’ve changed my mind. I’m sitting here with both laptops running and thinking about taking a long drive around Denver in my SUV.

Who celebrates in the dark anyway…? It’s oxymoronic.

CliffHanger on March 29, 2008 at 4:13 PM

calbear on March 29, 2008 at 3:45 PM

Problem is the intermediate and long terms. San Diego CA had a water conservation program in the 90′s that work so well that the city saved 30% ove the previous year. What happened was the water company pleaded for and got a rate increase to make up for the lossed money form all that conservation.

Conservation will not solve a scarcity problem and it will cause price increases. Basic economics.

BTW, I’ve rented two search lights and am having them put on the roof right now. I plan to keep them on all night.

opusrex on March 29, 2008 at 4:16 PM

how they would RUN the world? or
how they would RUIN the world?

*dramatic silence*………………

Drunk Report on March 29, 2008 at 4:21 PM

I can stop breathing for 10 minutes just after a suffocate a few kittens in a swimming pool and this should also reduce carbon emissions by 10%. I never would have believed that we would actually be taxed for the air we breath. Boy was I wrong.

Egfrow on March 29, 2008 at 4:42 PM

Jim Treacher, can I use your TV for that hour? Also your Internet connection, microwave, and garage?

It’ll definitely be on! There won’t be anything good on TV, but it’ll be on anyway. Along with every light in the house. I’m calling it Mirth Hour.

Jim Treacher on March 29, 2008 at 4:47 PM

We really are reverting to the Dark Ages.

mojojojo on March 29, 2008 at 4:49 PM

We really are reverting to the Dark Ages

yes, it’s pathetic.

j0 on March 29, 2008 at 4:50 PM

Wow. Anyone ever read Ayn Rand’s Anthem?

It’s set in a dystopian (read: communist) future, where the words “I,” “me,” “my” have been eliminated. Everything is collectivist, and people aren’t even allowed their own names.

Gunhaver on March 29, 2008 at 12:28 PM

thanks for the suggested reading. found it online at manybooks.net here is a link to Anthem.

TheCulturalist on March 29, 2008 at 4:59 PM

Temperature Monitors Report Widescale Global Cooling

MB4 on March 29, 2008 at 5:07 PM

Wow, that was quick. They just started shutting off the lights a few hours ago. Someone better pull the plug on that deal before we all freeze to death!

TheCulturalist on March 29, 2008 at 5:17 PM

TheCulturalist on March 29, 2008 at 5:17 PM

lol.

MB4 on March 29, 2008 at 5:21 PM

Sustainable living is an admirable goal, and the hypocrisy of anyone who advocates for it and does not practice it does not diminish that goal. We could live comfortably using far less energy and resources than we do now, why not do that?

Google has become a virtual, no pun intended, utility, that is heavily used and reliable performance is expected from it. Therefore, it does require reliable energy, but it is disappointing that Google is not making more of an effort to get the energy from the least eco-damaging and most renewable source.

greenLibertarian on March 29, 2008 at 5:25 PM

“Sustainable living” is typically a codeword for medievalist fantasists who think everyone should grow their own food and live in tents.

Mind you, progress in science, society and technology would have to be eliminated and you’d probably have to murder 80% of all humanity to make it feasible, but hey, it’s an admirable goal.

Oh, sorry, I meant it’s NOT an admirable goal.

How about we take a look at societies that have made the greatest strides in rights, standards of living, and technology, and maybe do what they did?

Oh, wait, that’s us. My bad.

Merovign on March 29, 2008 at 5:35 PM

Oh, and for emphasis, we’ve made the most progress on the environment as well, at least by reasonable comparison, and we’ve managed to do it without shivering in the dark.

Merovign on March 29, 2008 at 5:36 PM

And you feel that people must be part of a mindless lemming like event in order to do what you term as “cool”?

TheCulturalist on March 29, 2008 at 12:36 PM

Sounds to me like they put a lot of time and effort into this. Now lets count all the “I’m going to turn on all my lights! That’ll show them!” posts in this thread to see who the lemmings are.

tlynch001 on March 29, 2008 at 5:41 PM

greenLibertarian on March 29, 2008 at 5:25 PM

Sustainable living? What the hell does that mean? In any case,

Go ahead, is anyone trying to stop you? Live how you want, just don’t try to force your ways onto me. Especially don’t do that by making up your own fallacious psuedo-facts. Not to imply that you in particular are doing that.

Oldnuke on March 29, 2008 at 5:43 PM

Temperature Monitors Report Widescale Global Cooling

MB4 on March 29, 2008 at 5:07 PM

Seee!! SEEEEEE!!!! Offsets are working!

/takes off his tinfoil hat.

Romeo13 on March 29, 2008 at 5:50 PM

Sounds to me like they put a lot of time and effort into this. Now lets count all the “I’m going to turn on all my lights! That’ll show them!” posts in this thread to see who the lemmings are.

tlynch001 on March 29, 2008 at 5:41 PM

people put lots of time and effort into playing computer games, that doesn’t make it productive.

and, personally, i don’t plan on turning on any more than the usual number of TV’s, computers or lights at my home tonight. but i sure as to hell won’t be sitting smuggly in the dark either.

TheCulturalist on March 29, 2008 at 5:51 PM

Sustainable living is an admirable goal, and the hypocrisy of anyone who advocates for it and does not practice it does not diminish that goal. We could live comfortably using far less energy and resources than we do now, why not do that?

Google has become a virtual, no pun intended, utility, that is heavily used and reliable performance is expected from it. Therefore, it does require reliable energy, but it is disappointing that Google is not making more of an effort to get the energy from the least eco-damaging and most renewable source.

greenLibertarian on March 29, 2008 at 5:25 PM

perhaps Google could round up thousands of hippies and put them in a huge hamster wheel farm to run their server farm? how green would that be?

how do you crowbar together the totalitarianism of the green movement with the basic hands-off tenets of Libertarianism?

just wondering….

TheCulturalist on March 29, 2008 at 5:59 PM

Please excuse me for being stupid; but, I simply do not understand why 8-9 pm was chosen instead of some daytime hour. How many businesses have you entered to find the lights on while that big ball of gas 93 million miles away is providing excellent illumination?

ttevolla on March 29, 2008 at 6:00 PM

Algore did not invent the internet. He did invent global
warming though.

Vanquisher on March 29, 2008 at 6:09 PM

Please excuse me for being stupid; but, I simply do not understand why 8-9 pm was chosen instead of some daytime hour. How many businesses have you entered to find the lights on while that big ball of gas 93 million miles away is providing excellent illumination?

ttevolla on March 29, 2008 at 6:00 PM

this is a nobrainer… your first and only mistake was thinking. stop that and it will all make sense.

next…

TheCulturalist on March 29, 2008 at 6:11 PM

Sustainable living is an admirable goal, and the hypocrisy of anyone who advocates for it and does not practice it does not diminish that goal.

Then again, the admirability of sustainable living does not diminish Google’s hypocrisy.

Now lets count all the “I’m going to turn on all my lights! That’ll show them!” posts in this thread to see who the lemmings are.

What do you have against people having fun?

Jim Treacher on March 29, 2008 at 6:17 PM

Ttevolla, they chose a night timespot to do this silliness again because of it being simply a demonstration, which the 5 people on Earth who haven’t heard about climate change might not have noticed :)

William Teach on March 29, 2008 at 6:21 PM

Instead of handling legitimate scientific criticism as scientists

OMG, if if weren’t for the global warming truthers, I wouldn’t know scientific journals have stopped accepting manuscripts on climate change and all talks on relevant topics have been cancelled.

Thanks Ed! Always at the forefront of news delivery.

freevillage on March 29, 2008 at 6:25 PM

In other news, Sydney reports there were over 50 serious accidents, 75 robberies and 30 assaults during last night’s blackout.

Is there a link to this?

Richard Romano on March 29, 2008 at 6:25 PM

We are using candles here at work. I tried to connect them to the computer, but it will not start up and I am getting wax all over the keyboard.

Johan Klaus on March 29, 2008 at 6:38 PM

Richard Romano on March 29, 2008 at 6:25 PM

Tongue in cheek.

Johan Klaus on March 29, 2008 at 6:42 PM

Okay, thanks :)

Richard Romano on March 29, 2008 at 6:45 PM

freevillage on March 29, 2008 at 6:25 PM

Have you read any of scientific journals on the make-up of Saturn and Uranus, before our probes proved that most all of the accepted beliefs were wrong?

Johan Klaus on March 29, 2008 at 6:49 PM

Hmm. Nice fireworks in Sydney, there…..

How many pounds of greenhouse gas did they release to celebrate not releasing greenhouse gas?

HBowmanMD on March 29, 2008 at 7:32 PM

so, only about 13.7% of total energy cost comes from the Fuel needed

Plants can’t just produce an arbitrary amount of energy with more and more fuel. If you want to produce 50% more energy, not only do you need 50% more fuel, but also 50% more plant capacity. Your analysis implicitly assumes that that 50% comes for free. It does not.

marginal energy you are referring to the energy needed to make up for short term high loads

Not really; I meant the type of energy that would be used in the long term to get more energy. With the current climate of regulation and NIMBYism, you’re not going to get that out of a nuclear plant or hydro. I guess I’m not 100% sure where the best place to get it from would be, but the fact that we’re using all these forms of energy, all of which have different costs, seems to indicate that the most expensive form of long-term energy used would be the one which hasn’t yet been used to its full capacity. There may be some wrinkle I don’t see, but that’s what the economics of the situation, should be, in theory. Like I said, though, it’s highly regulated, so if someone would correct me on that, I’d withdraw that assumption. Ironically, all this emphasis on global warming might mean that cheap energy, e.g., nuclear power, will get more of a shot in the arm. But I’ll believe that when I see new plants go online.

calbear on March 29, 2008 at 7:42 PM

As an amateur astronomer, I’m all for darker skies, but for the purpose of improving night time transparency for my telescope sessions. I seriously doubt we’ll reduce so-called global warming by darkening the skies, but I’ll certainly benefit from the efforts. =)

jediwebdude on March 29, 2008 at 7:50 PM

I just want to say that this is killing me. I’m 1/4 Scottish, 1/4 Dutch, my parents are children of the Great Depression and I’ve got the heat on and darn near every light on. If the touchy-feely warm fuzzy do-gooders hadn’t said anything I would have my normal two – three lights on and wouldn’t be watching tv with the computer on too.

rbj on March 29, 2008 at 8:09 PM

How can I watch the Google event without electricity to power my computer?

Say what they will, I will NEVER put one of those butt-ugly, trashy, tacky solar panels on my house. They’re uglier than a mud fence.

Capitana on March 29, 2008 at 8:20 PM

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