Lights go out today

  • #1
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http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jTPC5ic6tJh9PiHscwgOANkJ17-wD9EN05NO0 [Broken]

I don't think a lot of energy will be saved, but perhaps the sky will be a bit darker, perhaps allowing us to see such things like the zodiacal light:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zodiacal_light
 
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  • #2
mgb_phys
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I don't think a lot of energy will be saved,
Gets discussed here every year, arguments about whether turning all the stuff back on means starting up a load of gas fired peak response stations and how much extra CO2 that generates - rather than just reducing the baseline load by turning off more lights all the time.

but perhaps the sky will be a bit darker, perhaps allowing us to see such things like the zodiacal light:
That would be good
 
  • #3
Borek
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My plan is to put all the lights on to counter the negative effect. Someone has to take care of the environement.
 
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  • #4
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People are so wasteful in so many other ways. They need to educate everyone so that people can conserve energy every day. Most people probably don't even know what energy is, much less how to conserve it.
Consider the people who speed up to a train crossing, as if the train will magically disappear by the time they get there.
We should also get rid of Nascar. What a waste that is. Or you could just have them go around the track 40 or 50 times. What's the difference between that and 500 times?
 
  • #5
Moonbear
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I think a lot more CO2 is expelled into the atmosphere from the people blabbing on about this every year. :biggrin: Someone sent me an invitation to this thing on Facebook, and I responded with a resounding "no."

Though, I promise I won't run my dishwasher during the Earth hour this year (I usually wait until Earth hour to do laundry and dishes, just to rebel against the stupidity of the idea). My dishwasher died yesterday. I started shopping for a new one today, but need to do more comparison shopping before I commit to one. So, instead, I'll be wasting more water than my dishwasher uses to hand wash all my dishes tonight. :rolleyes:
 
  • #6
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I don't think it matters how much energy is saved... that's not the point really. The point is sending a message to the leaders of the nation that WE CARE about our planet and global warming.
 
  • #7
OmCheeto
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I think a lot more CO2 is expelled into the atmosphere from the people blabbing on about this every year. :biggrin: Someone sent me an invitation to this thing on Facebook, and I responded with a resounding "no."

Though, I promise I won't run my dishwasher during the Earth hour this year (I usually wait until Earth hour to do laundry and dishes, just to rebel against the stupidity of the idea). My dishwasher died yesterday. I started shopping for a new one today, but need to do more comparison shopping before I commit to one. So, instead, I'll be wasting more water than my dishwasher uses to hand wash all my dishes tonight. :rolleyes:
I have a spare dishwasher on my back porch. It only leaks slightly. As long as your kitchen floor is well sealed, it's great at reminding you that you should mop the floors more than once every 5 years.

Yours for free. :smile: U-haul.
 
  • #8
Moonbear
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I don't think it matters how much energy is saved... that's not the point really. The point is sending a message to the leaders of the nation that WE CARE about our planet and global warming.
I think that's better done by consistently conserving than to participate in one symbolic gesture for one hour of the year. A lot of people will turn their lights off for that hour, but continue to waste tons of energy throughout the year, making it a completely meaningless gesture.
 
  • #9
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I think that's better done by consistently conserving than to participate in one symbolic gesture for one hour of the year. A lot of people will turn their lights off for that hour, but continue to waste tons of energy throughout the year, making it a completely meaningless gesture.
This is very true but the fact that so many people do participate for the hour still shows that people do in fact care, regardless of their other wasteful habits. Now just because they show they care also doesn't mean that they would be prepared to give things up. :tongue:

I remember working at McDonalds and we were told to turn off specific parts of the stores power for the duration. We noticed that it included some of the lights, so people outside thought we were closed. Hahaha, so instead of turning them back on so we would have to work we kept them off for close to 3 hours.
 
  • #10
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I read this just in time to get on the roof and see much of Manhattan darkish.
 
  • #11
Evo
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No lights went out here, but then I heard it wastes more power to do a blackout than not, so maybe that's a good thing.
 
  • #12
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... I heard it wastes more power to do a blackout than not, so maybe that's a good thing.
Seems contrary to the obvious. How does that work? Can you please explain?
 
  • #13
Borek
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Switching on requires more power than continuous work, that's first reason. Second one - power stations have rather large "inertia" (not sure if that's correct English word in this context) - and when there is a fast change in power requirements they waste energy working ineffciently till they again achieve balance between power required by the net and power produced. I don't know exact details, but being son of EE specializing in power flow estimates I have heard enough as a kid to know that's the way it is.

It doesn't necesarilly mean that net effect is negative, but for sure the result it is not as obvious as it may seem. The shorter and deeper the blackout, the worse it is.
 
  • #14
Monique
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I really don't get the point of switching off the lights for an hour when it's dark. My house is fitted with LED lights, that's showing more care for the planet than sitting in the dark for an hour.
 
  • #15
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Overall I think this is pretty stupid. Everyone knows how people feel about global warming and even if this safes energy it's very little. In my experience the people who feel strongly about these kinds of events are the ones who don't think about this kind of stuff on a daily basis.

Around here they actually turned the street lights off (except on some highways). I was driving on a 50mph road through a forest and suddenly they just switched off the lights. This is dangerous and stupid.
 
  • #16
russ_watters
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My plan is to put all the lights on to counter the negative effect. Someone has to take care of the environement.
I'll put on my heat and air conditioning simultaneously to do my part!
 
  • #17
Moonbear
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I really don't get the point of switching off the lights for an hour when it's dark. My house is fitted with LED lights, that's showing more care for the planet than sitting in the dark for an hour.
That's pretty much my point too. Making changes to continually conserve is far more important than spending an hour sitting in the dark. I already contributed my hour of sitting in the dark about a week ago, when we had a power failure. :biggrin: I don't think anyone considers it conservation to handwash dishes by candlelight.

On the other hand, my exterior lighting along the walks to my house are all solar-powered LED lights. It's not perfect; they don't last very long in winter when we have gray days, but they last long enough to light the sidewalk when I am arriving home from work without having to leave a porch light on all day long when I only need it for the minute or two it takes to walk from the garage to front door and unlock the front door (it's too dark here not to have any light at night to find the door lock).

People also don't avoid using any and all power during that hour...they just turn off the lights. I'm sure they still have all their clocks plugged in, their furnaces and hot water heaters running, the refrigerators and freezers plugged in and running. These are the big energy users in a house, not the few lightbulbs to light a room.
 
  • #18
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Switching on requires more power than continuous work, that's first reason. Second one - power stations have rather large "inertia" (not sure if that's correct English word in this context) - and when there is a fast change in power requirements they waste energy working ineffciently till they again achieve balance between power required by the net and power produced. I don't know exact details, but being son of EE specializing in power flow estimates I have heard enough as a kid to know that's the way it is.

It doesn't necesarilly mean that net effect is negative, but for sure the result it is not as obvious as it may seem. The shorter and deeper the blackout, the worse it is.
Could you elaborate more please? All Google links on this topic turn up in favor of Earth hour.
 

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