Sunday, March 28, 2010

"Earth Hour" Bust

I wrote about "Earth Hour" a few days ago, see here. While praising The Wichita Eagle's sports coverage in the KSU posting below, I was disappointed that they ran a puff piece on the subject in today's paper, implying it was a big success:

Millions of people were turning off lights and appliances for an hour from 8:30 p.m. in a gesture to highlight environmental concerns and to call for a binding pact to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

"We have everyone from Casablanca to the safari camps of Namibia and Tanzania taking part," said Greg Bourne, CEO of World Wildlife Fund in Australia, which started Earth Hour in 2007 in Sydney before it spread to every continent.

Everyone? If "everyone" and "millions" were turning out their lights for an hour, it would have an effect on electricity consumption, right? It appears that was not the case. Anthony Watts documents that there was zero effect on electricity consumption in California. Click here to read his report.

So we would have more than one nation represented, I took a look at Ontario's electricity demand from yesterday.
If anything electricity usage went up during "Earth Hour" (the upward spike in the light green line) and was greater than projected demand!  It looks as if there was an Earth Hour backlash.The raw data is here.

While California and Ontario do not represent the entire world, the claim that "millions" turned out their lights for an hour appears to be dubious, at best.

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