Earth hour (Extremely important) (in Off-topic)

N0seBLeeD March 22 2008 7:45 PM EDT

I don't know how many of you have heard of this before. Last year Sydney Australia had an hour of the year where they turned off ALL of their energy (cars included) Now the whole world has decided to participate.

Over 173,000 people have signed up (on a website alone, obviously more will participate)
And over 11,000 businesses. for more info

The date is Saturday, from 8-9pm. Please don't insult the idea, and simply sign up. It takes 30 seconds. Let me know if you sign up please.

N0seBLeeD March 22 2008 7:55 PM EDT

Quick tidbit. Sidney alone in an hour, did the equivalent of taking 42000 cars off the road for a year.

QBRanger March 22 2008 8:01 PM EDT

I am sure those people on ventilators had a tough time holding their breath for the hour as ALL energy was turned off.

SuperHD March 22 2008 8:02 PM EDT

Thank you for registering your support for Earth Hour 2008 and committing to turning off your lights for one hour at 8pm 29 March 2008. Youメve taken the first step in showing the world that you care enough about global warming to take action.

i just sign up its cool thanks for letting me know n0sebleed you are great !

N0seBLeeD March 22 2008 8:03 PM EDT

Keep the essentials.. obviously.

QBRanger March 22 2008 8:03 PM EDT

Well my TV is an essential to me. So does that count?

Eliteofdelete [Battle Royale] March 22 2008 8:18 PM EDT

I don't see how this is important. What does it accomplish? We stop cars from releasing any "pollution" for 1 hour. However, man hardly adds any "pollution" into the atmosphere as it is. We add like 3-30 billion tons of carbon (taking the most conservative and liberal views) which might sound a lot but when compared to the 720 billion tons of carbon naturally occurring in the atmosphere our adding becomes so tiny and insignificant. Then you take the fact that carbon already makes up a very tiny percent of our atmosphere (less then 1%) and it become even more ridiculous. However, the fact that people think carbon is a pollution in the first place makes no sense to me. We all breath out carbon constantly. Plants use carbon to live, with more of it in the air they grow better (which means more food for us). So why do people think its bad?

Flamey March 22 2008 8:21 PM EDT

Ranger all energy isn't turned off. It's just an option. I'm pretty sure you don't have to turn everything off. They were advertising something like turning one appliance off that you'd normally use and having one less light on in the house.

N0seBLeeD March 22 2008 8:33 PM EDT

Okay Elite. Go start your car in your garage, and sit in it for a while. Tell me it's not harmful.

smallpau1 - Go Blues [Lower My Fees] March 22 2008 8:33 PM EDT

I dont believe in global warming... It's a hoax by Al Gore...

Eliteofdelete [Battle Royale] March 22 2008 8:53 PM EDT

The garage and the world are 2 very different things. Almost anything when taken in excess is harmful, but we are not adding and excessive amount of carbon to the earth and its not inherently harmful, so I still see no reason.

N0seBLeeD March 22 2008 8:55 PM EDT

We aren't harming the earth? Are you that unintelligent? Do you know what global warming is?

N0seBLeeD March 22 2008 8:57 PM EDT

And 42,000 cars on the road everyday for a year is excess, and harmful to the Earth. That taken away is benefitial. It will be more this year.

[LittleRed]Calynne March 22 2008 9:16 PM EDT

I dont believe in lemmings. *keeps her stuff on. she has energy-saving lightbulbs, doesnt own a car, and barely uses electricity to begin with, so she's helping the environment every day of the year. Woot.*

Eliteofdelete [Battle Royale] March 22 2008 9:28 PM EDT

Seems to me YOU don't know what it is. Have you done any research on this subject besides watching the news? Global warming and cooling has been going on ever sense the begging of the earth. And as of now, there is a lot more support on the idea of global cooling than global warming.

QBsutekh137 March 22 2008 9:33 PM EDT

I'd like to hear more of Ranger's helpful tone on this thread...

The "turning off" of things is symbolic. Obviously. And yeah, it's important. People notice things when they are MADE to notice. This is voluntary noticing. I had three days of involuntary noticing a while back when we lost power for a time... It was really good, actually. I noticed a lot of things, the things I took for granted, the things I could do better, the things I needed better backups for.

One day isn't going to change the world, no. But what represents when a change _starts_? A day? A year? A minute? A decade? I guess never, since as Ranger points out, we must keep the ventilators running! That's reason enough to scrap the whole idea, apparently. Change? Nah, who needs it. We're all doing fine.

8-9 on a Saturday? A long as I have some bourbon around, I might just make it TWO hours. *grin*

QBsutekh137 March 22 2008 9:35 PM EDT

Elite, whether or not global warming is real or not, conservation of energy is always a good idea. Where exactly do you think the energy is coming from? What exactly makes you think it will sustain?

You should really read up on thermodynamics and energy. That alone might make you take pause.

N0seBLeeD March 22 2008 9:40 PM EDT

Elite. You really are HILARIOUS. Even if global warming is a constant thing, humans speed it up. If you say that isn't true, you're the dumbest human being on the planet.

Eliteofdelete [Battle Royale] March 22 2008 9:42 PM EDT

Last I check the world get most of our energy from the sun, and once that runs out we are pretty much screwed anyways. :P

smallpau1 - Go Blues [Lower My Fees] March 22 2008 9:43 PM EDT

People are not going to change their ways, so global warming (which is not even true to begin with, which is why it's called global climate change worldwide now, because it fluctuates) is just here to tell us "Hey, you're gonna die, let us start early." So this hour is pointless, we will see power outages from people turning their lights/TVs/computers on at the same time more than what this "hour" is supposed to point out...

It's like trying to cure Breast cancer/Cancer: They might come up with a cure, but the government will surely take it off the market once it's out.

QBsutekh137 March 22 2008 10:29 PM EDT

Well, small, if you believe all that, then I hope (for consistency's sake) that you've just given up. Really, why do anything else?

And yes, Elite -- the sun... Do some math. Figure out how much that tiny arc of light the sun pounds into us. Calculate that wattage and see how long we have before even the continuing power from Sol can keep us going. I've run the figures... Anno Domini 3000, maybe 4000.... Yeah, it's a long way off. But not that long.

There's two ways to handle power consistency: Make more, or use less. Well, we can't make more. Our slice of starlight is all we have to play with (once what the starlight already made is gone...).

So, what then?

Yukk March 22 2008 10:48 PM EDT

Ranger we all know that you care for nothing but yourself. You've made that abundantly clear in the past. If you have nothing constructive to add, please do go back to watching your private 112" screen in your basement. I'm sure we'll all be very happy for you.

Eliteofdelete [Battle Royale] March 22 2008 10:48 PM EDT

In that case I suggest turning matter into energy, hopefully by 3-4 AD we would have sufficient technology to do that effectively so I still don't see a problem. =)

Obscurans March 22 2008 10:56 PM EDT

Earth has a higher chance of destroying itself by war than actually becoming a Type I civilization...

QBsutekh137 March 22 2008 11:11 PM EDT

Elite, agreed. Fission/Fusion is an option. However, we don't even actually have that much fissionable material around. Turing other matter into energy is not that easy. Think entropy. Then be sad. Then turn your damn light off. *smile*

QBRanger March 22 2008 11:14 PM EDT

Will do Yukk,

/me watching TV in my basement with all the lights on and all my cars running in the driveway just to waste gas/electricity.

Did I also say all my TVs were on and my oven was on with nothing in it?

InebriatedArsonist March 23 2008 12:22 AM EDT

<i>Fission/Fusion is an option. However, we don't even actually have that much fissionable material around.</i><p>

-Fission is certainly not just an option, but a significant piece of the energy puzzle. We (as in the United States) already use nuclear fission to generate somewhere around 20% of our grid energy, and the life of the fuel supply can be greatly extended through the use of existing recycling technologies, not to mention newer reactor designs. Fusion is still something of a theoretical solution, at least until a proven reactor design emerges. The ITER project is the currently the best hope, but construction alone isn't even scheduled for completion until the better part of another decade.<p>

Although I'm not completely sold on anthropogenic global warming, I'll concede that such warming may indeed be possible. The easiest way to reduce carbon emissions would be to shift more of the production burden from contributing grid sources, namely coal-burning plants, to non-contributing sources. State and federal bodies would need to cut down on NIMBY-driven opposition (I'm looking at you, Ted Kennedy) and create definite incentives for capital investment. Then again, knowing our state and federal governments, none of that is likely to happen.

j'bob March 23 2008 12:28 AM EDT

Ranger said:
/me watching TV in my basement with all the lights on and all my cars running in the driveway just to waste gas/electricity.

112" TV? Projection I'm guessing at that size? Wouldn't watching it with ALL the lights on wash out the picture a little?

j'bob March 23 2008 12:30 AM EDT

Sorry for the double up but...
if you're watching TV wouldn't you at least throw a pizza in that over???
I mean, leave it on afterward if you like but for pete's sake man, nourish yourself.

QBRanger March 23 2008 12:33 AM EDT


I am trying to waste as much electricity as possible. At least according to Yukk.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] March 23 2008 12:37 AM EDT

perhaps you should lie in your personal tanning bed whilst watching your telly then?

QBsutekh137 March 23 2008 12:43 AM EDT

Agreed, IA. I ran the numbers on what the Sun gives us, and also calculated the remaining carbon reserves (estimates) and Uranium reserves (estimate). Worldwide energy growth was also estimated, but judging by the fact that places like China and India have high populations and are reaching the "high" consumption rates of place like Europe and America, I don't think my estimates were too far off.

Those estimates showed that by year 3700 or so (I am going by memory), it would literally be lights out. Jack down the energy escalation estimates, and maybe we could hit 5000 or so.

Not sure why it surprised me so much, my education is mathematical and physical... But I always thought that 10,000 was a better estimate... that something better would come along. But it's a fact -- we get out energy from the sun. And the rays we get are limited. We've been running through what the sun has done for the past several million years (fossil fuels), and are now getting more into alternate sources: solar, wind, biomass... All of those alternate fuels are based on that sun base energy. That's it. There is no more. Could we raise huge solar sails and increase what we get? Colonize other worlds? Actually start converting mass to energy directly? Maybe. That last one is a long shot though -- something for nothing is generally disallowed as soon as thermodynamics has a word.

In any case, people can scoff. People can think "hey, it's 2000 years away..." We have places on the world that have been around longer than that, and they've thrived. To think we can't get another 2000 is pretty sad. Especially when we could all teach conservation if we really wanted to.

And yeah, Ranger, if it's my time, and a lot of power is being wasted on keeping my decrepit, pained body alive, then pull the plug. PLEASE. I am a firm believer in life with dignity and euthanasia rights. If I have time left, and need a vent temporarily, then yeah, let's try to keep it on. But it all comes down to making good power consumption choices. That's kinda the whole point of the OP.

QBsutekh137 March 23 2008 12:46 AM EDT

Ohhh, burn, Ranger. You're really turning a corner by letting Yukk brand you!

Still haven't heard anything constructive. Do you have anything? Ideas? Constructive criticism? Real value to add to the discussion?

N0seBLeeD March 23 2008 1:00 AM EDT

I think we're losing focus. Sign up or don't. This isn't a discussion thread.

QBsutekh137 March 23 2008 1:07 AM EDT

I'll discuss if I want, nosebleed. It's a public thread. Sorry, Hoss.

You want folks to just sign up for something, but not tolerate any actual discussion of the underlying topic? Get some perspective. If that's truly your thought process on world change, then I'm with Ranger.

QBRanger March 23 2008 1:12 AM EDT


This problem is quite multifocal and not easily solved/discussed on such a thread.

However, until we develop and use alternative forms of energy, and help developing countries do the same, the present cycle is going to continue.

This Earth Hour is nothing more then a nice publicity stunt. At least it is my personal opinion. While everything shuts down in Sydney for 1 hour, most businesses will need to stay open longer in the evening to recoup the loss of 1 hour of business. People will still need to drive home. The work still will need to get done.

Do not get me wrong, it is a nice gesture. But, it will, in all reality, not do much for the problem.

Until we get better public transportation in all cities, car pollution will continue to be a problem. However, in this economy, it is hard to find the money for the initial investment. Here in S. Florida, we have tried to put together a rail system only to run into money difficulties. It is the same almost everyone.

Nuclear power is a nice option, however the public is still scared due to Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. Unless the public perception is changed, that is not viable.

N0seBLeeD March 23 2008 1:45 AM EDT

If companies were intelligent enough to invest in some of the environmental ideas they would learn quickly that they wouldn't be losing money. Maybe short-term, certainly not in the long run.

QBRanger March 23 2008 1:51 AM EDT

That is great in theory.

However, it is not generally applicable for most companies.

In most cases companies and their shareholders are interested in immediate results. For a large expenditure to change to alternative power, one has to think in long term. Most companies think sort term, especially those in management.

N0seBLeeD March 23 2008 1:52 AM EDT

And it's people with attitudes like you that harm the Earth. Sure there's other things you could be doing. Sure it may not help a whole lot. But you have to start somewhere, and if you don't, you just have a bunch of people whining about pollution and such who won't get up and do something about it.

Wizard'sFirstRule March 23 2008 1:57 AM EDT

actually, corporate social resposibility is becoming more important topic among the managers. busniesses are adopting the triple bottom line (although I think its just what the customers want to hear), and environment+social consequences are being looked at, as well as maintaining a healthy profit.

(that would be a good introduction to my management accounting essay report, but I don't believe in a word of it).

N0seBLeeD March 23 2008 1:58 AM EDT

I know that too Ranger, but they're going to have to get with the program eventually. I don't blame them for thinking short term, but once a few companies start, hopefully more will follow.

Xiaz on Hiatus March 23 2008 2:08 AM EDT

Just out of interest, could you tell us what these 'environmental ideas' that companies could implement actually are?

AdminJonathan March 23 2008 2:12 AM EDT

I don't see why you're so pessimistic about getting fusion figured out by AD 3700 or so, Sutekh. 100 years ago we didn't even have fission, and the pace of scientific knowledge has only increased. (Or for a physics nerd, the second derivative of knowledge wrt time is positive. :)

Obscurans March 23 2008 2:13 AM EDT

Yeah, all the green is a ploy to lure more customers in only. Like how you see "BUY THIS AND WE'LL DONATE 10% TO THIS FUND"... where did the other 90% go?

In any case, the only (significant) net input of energy to the earth is solar irradiation. If the human population can harness a significant fraction of this (i.e. cover the world with solar panels... harnessable trees count), then they are truly type I.

Earth currently has an energy output total of some 14 TW, and the total solar irradiation is 174 PW, some 12 thousand times more than that.

If we could cover the earth, then we could certainly cover the moon, that gives another quarter boost or so.

And NB, social inertia is at work again. You need to not only promote publicity for "green"-ness, which gets lipservice from the companes, but to boycott those that aren't "green" enough, demand a large fraction of the profit to go towards more "green", and progressively raise the standard. And it only works if a significant fraction of the population does that.

Actually, only governments can truly look long-term and invest in basic research, but even governments are shackled by the "will of the people" - most don't care. What they do care is "teaching the controversy" and other BS, because they have good ad campaigns.

Obscurans March 23 2008 2:19 AM EDT

Jon, knowledge is not really quantifiable, and definitely not into a single-variate output function of time... and knowledge production most definitively fails continuity, shooting differentiation in the foot. I realize something, and the knowledge pool gets a bump. In that instant.

Plus, time infinite divisibility is limited by not being able to measure past the Planck time scale. And information propagation cannot feasibly go faster than light, so now "information" must have spatial dependence. And most likely has a random impulse forcing term distribution from the realizations, plus complicated transmission due to human interactions.

Lol. Math/physics/bio/psych/more nerd team strike.

AdminJonathan March 23 2008 2:27 AM EDT

> If companies were intelligent enough to invest in some of the environmental ideas they would learn quickly that they wouldn't be losing money. Maybe short-term, certainly not in the long run.

Capitalism is sort of the ultimate game of "survival of the fittest." If "environmental ideas" were really that powerful a competitive differentiation, someone would be using that to make a killing. Even if most are "too shortsighted," all it takes is one CEO to take a longer view and the game changes. Being shortsighted becomes a nonviable option.

The other facet is, capitalism isn't a closed system. If you really think that _everyone_ is missing this, prove them wrong. Start a company and eat their lunch. All you need to do is convince a venture capitalist that you're not smoking crack. This happens hundreds of times a year. (Far more small business get started that have no intention of growing bigger, but that's not really what we're talking about here.)

So I look at claims that "Everybody is too stupid to see that doing X would make them a ton of money" with a great deal of skepticism.

Similarly, "X would make a ton of money if Evil Corporations weren't suppressing it." Capitalism makes this basically impossible; Evil Corporation A, for instance, has to make electric cars if they are fundamentally a good idea, because if he doesn't, Evil Corp B _will_ and A will get the shaft.

Where you CAN have this happen is if the _government_ supresses something; then even if it's a good idea, it's illegal. Did you know that light bulb manufacturers lobbied hard for banning incandescent bulbs? They're less profitable than CFLs, but if GE, for instance, stopped making them, Philipps would get that market all to itself. So everyone has to make them. But if you can get the government to ban them, ahh, more profit all around.

lostling March 23 2008 2:30 AM EDT

i just hope jon doesnt sign it =x

AdminJonathan March 23 2008 2:30 AM EDT

> knowledge production most definitively fails continuity

Well, quantum mechanics is all about how _everything_ is really discrete, not continuous, and trippy things start happening at that level. But if you step back enough you realize that Newton still came up with some pretty damn useful approximations. :)

Obscurans March 23 2008 2:53 AM EDT

Well actually no, the state space (or spectrum) is discrete, but the underlying inner product space is continuous.

Similarly how the wave functions for one particle are simply functions in the (C^3, L_2) Hilbert space, but the only ones that are sustainable are the solutions to the Schrodinger.

Approximations have an error. Yours is arbitrarily large by considering someone else who uses the exact reverse of your definition of knowledge. :P

RVT March 23 2008 2:55 AM EDT

Thanks N0seBleeD....I'm in.

Xiaz on Hiatus March 23 2008 4:49 AM EDT

This issue is far too complex for any single solution. But ultimately creating a environmentally friendly/sustainable approach towards our energy consumption/production is something everyone should be considering.

You might argue that one person can do very little, but then again that one person being in a position to implement a positive change in there company/government will have a very positive impact.

Energy consumption is one issue, we are dependant on it for every aspect of our lives. In my opinion, campaigns such as earthhour should be more welcome. Obviously ceasing energy consumption all together is a ridiculous proposition, but then if this campaign promotes the 'turn off after use' idea, then it will do a lot of good. Energy wastage should be minimized where it can be.

Considering climate change, yes, it is a naturally cycle and the earth will warm and cool accordingly. Our greenhouse gas emissions may not be catastrophic, but using figures from a previous post, a 4% addition in carbon alone is substantial. And we can't deny that our contribution hasn't had an effect on the climate, however small this effect is.

There are a handful of energy sources, and I'm sure we all know them. I agree, funding is definitely a major factor when it comes to converting to another energy source. Solar energy is a nice alternative to the dominate fossil fuel driven forms of energy production, but initial costs are high and energy payback durations are lengthy. All energy sources have implementation costs and will cost resources.

Being a civil engineer in the making, environmentally friendly practices are definitely a crucial component in both existing and future infrastructure. So regardless of global warming or not, many construction companies and their clients are considering creating more sustainable infrastructure, in both the construction and post-completion stages.

Obscurans March 23 2008 6:36 AM EDT

Well, note that in the long run, there IS only solar energy. Anything else would simply be extraction from things on the earth itself, and by the second law, will end up with the earth a barren rock. Irradiation is the only significant source of extraterrestrial energy.

Fusion can lengthen the end since there is quite a bit of water, but even that will just run out and leave the earth a barren rock with a lot of helium. On human timescales right now, of course drilling for oil is a much better investment in terms of energy per buck, but unless it's fusion, or the other ways to harness solar-generated power (hydro, wind, they are all ultimately powered by irradiation), it will just run out in a couple of generations.

Tidal is insignificant overall, amounting to even less than the error in measuring irradiation per area on the earth.

Brakke Bres [Ow man] March 23 2008 7:08 AM EDT

Ah yes the age old question: Are we humans screwing up the planet?

Answer: Yes, in the last 100 years we created the gap in the ozon layer.
We raised the global average air temperature of Earth's surface to about 0.74 ᄆ 0.18 ᄚC (1.33 ᄆ 0.32 ᄚF)
We spent about 60% of the WORLDS oil reserves in such a matter that in the year 2020 83% of global oil reserves will be used up.
The USA and China are the main producers of greenhouse gases and are the main consumers of oil in the world. (no small wonder the USA wants to fight for every last drop)

So the make a long story short, we damaged the planet more in the last 100 years then it could naturally.

Obscurans March 23 2008 7:25 AM EDT

But if you believe that hypothesis, the asteroid theta smashed into the earth and ripped out a chunk the size of the moon, a full sixth of the entire mass of the earth, that's now floating some quarter million miles up in the sky. That's more damage than... any human bomb, or flat-out anything humans can do within the century or so. The impact took less than one year to pan out.

The average temperature of the earth over geological time scales completely eclipses whatever "we" did in the last 100 years. With significant meteorite impacts or volcanic eruptions, the amount of dust raised into the atmosphere can blank out the sun and drop temperatures by full DEGREES Kelvin within months. Oil reserves are rather uncertain, but yes we will have used it up at the current rate within the century.

The ozone gap exists, but up over Antarctica where there's not that much life, and nobody said less ozone means anything more than extra ultraviolet radiation reaching the earth. That's mainly what causes mutation, and in b4 horrible monster-creatures mutations are what caused humans in the first place, consider yourself a million-fold mutant bacteria.

Obscurans March 23 2008 7:27 AM EDT

Theia, not theta, and it is currently the most popular theory of the moon's origin.

Eliteofdelete [Battle Royale] March 23 2008 7:51 AM EDT

Henk Bres I would have to disagree with you. Although I will admit I have done very research on the hole in the ozone layer, I believe it has been there for quite some time and had very little to do with us, but I could be wrong. On your second point, I have done a fair bit of research and I have come to the conclusion that first oil is not a fossil fuel and second that there is a lot more oil then general public believes. I would highly recommend the book Black Gold Stranglehold
by Jerome R. Corsi, Craig R. Smith on this subject. It is very interesting.

Brakke Bres [Ow man] March 23 2008 8:00 AM EDT

elite, yes there is oil somewhere out there that we don't know about, probably somewhere in the ocean below 10000 feet's of water. But the current oil reserves are gone by the 2100. As long as we keep spending oil like we do now, we are not going to find the new wells before the old run out.
Ozone layer gap, yes it was always there but a lot smaller, true. Nature restores the gap in the ozone layer, true, but we made the gap a lot bigger and we kept it that way.

Ow and UV light, and all the other rays including IR, and ICE don't mix well causing it to melt, causing the sea levels to rise. Causing bigger storms and more flooding (see New Orleans.)

Brakke Bres [Ow man] March 23 2008 8:03 AM EDT

"But if you believe that hypothesis, the asteroid theta smashed into the earth and ripped out a chunk the size of the moon, a full sixth of the entire mass of the earth, that's now floating some quarter million miles up in the sky."

And this has what to do with global warming?
This happened when our solar system was created. The earth didn't even had an atmosphere.

Talion March 23 2008 8:22 AM EDT

"Last I check the world get most of our energy from the sun, and once that runs out we are pretty much screwed anyways. :P"

I wasn't going to butt in, but this statement just had to be replied to.

First EliteOfDelete implies that N0seBLeeD doesn't research stuff before posting it and then he posts something like this which is completely stupid. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

Why? The Sun is actually expending and will eventually just consume planet Earth. So planet Earth's last concern is seeing the Sun just wink out for lack of energy.

Obscurans March 23 2008 8:53 AM EDT

You were saying, we caused more damage to the earth than can be "naturally". That big rock did more damage than all humanity's nuclear weapons detonated at the same instant.

Obscurans March 23 2008 8:57 AM EDT

I was answering each of your three points saying humans are screwing up the earth.

Eliteofdelete [Battle Royale] March 23 2008 10:22 AM EDT

Henk Bres how do you know it will run out by then? They have been saying we will run out by the time of 1970 and onward, yet we still find more. Besides, the Russians are already drilling up to 6-7 thousand feet so an extra 3000 ft by 2100 shouldn't be too much of a problem =)

QBOddBird March 23 2008 10:48 AM EDT

And now, from OB's computer!

I'm watching people get very hostile - N0ser in particular, sorry bud - when their viewpoints are challenged.

Entertaining? Oh yes. :)

Carry on!

QBsutekh137 March 23 2008 11:47 AM EDT

Ranger, thank you for your points, and I agree -- this is all a tough nut to crack. Your explanatory tone is much, much different from your (seemingly flippant) previous tone.

Where we still differ is on the point of the hour (just differences of opinion). Yes, it is a publicity stunt, and yes, it will cause other issues. But does it help with awareness? Can a price be put on that? I didn't really care for Gore's "Inconvenient Truth", either (didn't realize it was just basically "The Al Gore Cult of Personality Variety Hour!"), but it was good for awareness too. Would I rather simply have better education to cover it, and not have to worry about people clamoring about Intelligent Design (just as one example)? Sure. Large-scale examples of better things like mass transit would be nice too, but you are 100% correct when you mention how hard it is to try to get those things going...

Obscurans has god points about the sun's power (and I can't find my old figures...) We only comparatively consume a fraction of the sun's light currently (1/12,000th). But when consumption grows like human things tend to grow, it doesn't take that long to eat through that. A basic "double every X years" only take 13-14 iterations to overcome a factor of 12,000. I know we probably aren't going to grow as much as we have in the previous 100 years since we started from essentially nothing, but even if we only double something on the order of every 200 years, that means we would have about 2600 years before we have maxxed out what the sun hits us with.

And that's with covering the whole earth... Trade-offs are going to make it tougher than that. Accessibility issues, food vs. fuel, living area vs. solar/wind/biomass fields... Population growth is kind of a tough deal to think through. I'm not sure why I didn't think about that previously... Definitely more fuel for that (heavy/heavier water) than fission (uranium, etc.). I guess if we get that rolling well enough, then we should be set. And yes, hundreds of years is a long time to get that problem cracked. *smile*

But overall, I think consumption reduction is good too -- just a general smarter way of living and designing things. It's actually time I put my money where my mouth is and started turning off my computers overnight. They are about the only thing I leave on 24x7... Maybe I just need to see how low the power consumption is when I fire up all the energy savings settings. *smile*

N0seBLeeD March 23 2008 11:50 AM EDT

I wasn't asking for everyone's opinions on solving the world's problems (which I seem to be getting) , I just wanted some people to sign up and help out. I've got what.. two? :)

smallpau1 - Go Blues [Lower My Fees] March 23 2008 11:57 AM EDT

Your giving your opinion by signing up or not, so why not talk about it? If you sign up, you believe the media and nothing else, IMHO.

Brakke Bres [Ow man] March 23 2008 12:09 PM EDT

really beside the point elite, if you're implying we can keep on spending oil like we do just because it won't run out in our lifetime is a bit selfish.

N0seBLeeD March 23 2008 12:32 PM EDT

Elite must not know what comes out of his mouth when he speaks. If he did, he'd realize how ridiculous his statements make him out to be.

Wasp [C and S Forgery Lmtd.] March 23 2008 1:00 PM EDT

Volcanoes actually add far more "bad stuff" into the atmosphere then people driving cars. Eitherway trying to not use energy for an hour is a bit pointless. Teaching ways of saving electricity throughout the whole year is more productive. Methane is more of a worry then CO2. It's a downward spiral when Methane, locked up in deep-sea ice, melts and released this methane in the atmosphere.

Chances are we would have all killed eachother by the time global warming becomes a problem. That'll save the planet!

N0seBLeeD March 23 2008 1:24 PM EDT

How many times to I have to say it. I didn't say it was the most efficient way, but it still helps.

colonel [penny pincher] March 23 2008 1:27 PM EDT

Perhaps we (the CB community) could help out. I suggest a no post day. That's right no new threads and no responses!!!!! All in favor . . . .

/me raises his hand.

SimplyNic March 23 2008 1:47 PM EDT

"Perhaps we (the CB community) could help out. I suggest a no post day. That's right no new threads and no responses!!!!! All in favor . . . ."

:D I agree with you completely. /me Raises both hands waaay high

Not high enough...

-Cuts off his left arm at the shoulder and raises his right arm while holding his left arm up in the air-

SimplyNic March 23 2008 1:48 PM EDT

*left arm off

Eliteofdelete [Battle Royale] March 23 2008 6:26 PM EDT

Henk Bres I actually believe that we wont run out of oil for a very long time. I have studied the nature of oil for my senior thesis class and came to the conclusion that oil is abiotic which means it is created deep in the earths mantel. It sounds silly at first but as far as I can tell it has a lot more evidence than oil as a fossil fuel. However, I understand I could be wrong so if you know of any books in support of oil being a fossil fuel let me know. I would also like to again recommend the Black Gold Stranglehold book which is very easy to read and lays down an excellent argument for oil being abiotic. Now this does not mean I am against conservation. I am just tired of hearing people saying the world is going to end over us running out of oil or the heating of the earth. And to Nosebleed would you please stop commenting on how stupid I seem to look to everyone; it is adding nothing to the discussion. I am simply giving everyone a different view point then what everyone gets from the media which you can either disregard or investigate. And also, Nosebleed I think is far more important that we first find out what the true problems of the world are before we start rushing around trying to fix every little thing the media tells us.

N0seBLeeD March 23 2008 6:29 PM EDT

Lol. This has nothing to do with media. It's a fact. The ice is in the arctic is melting.

smallpau1 - Go Blues [Lower My Fees] March 23 2008 6:40 PM EDT

Show me proof that the arctic is melting more today than it was 100 years ago, then i'll believe it's a fact. Oh, but wait, they didn't start doing recordings with satellite until 1976. And if it is a fact, why was Al Gore the first to bring it to our attention? I think he counted wrong.

N0seBLeeD March 23 2008 6:41 PM EDT

Okay. Stick with your conspiracy theories. Whatever... I'm so done with this.

smallpau1 - Go Blues [Lower My Fees] March 23 2008 6:46 PM EDT

Theories? Global Warming is a theory. Facts are facts.

QBsutekh137 March 23 2008 6:48 PM EDT

Relativity is a Theory... Do you think it is not a fact? Just asking...

Brakke Bres [Ow man] March 23 2008 7:37 PM EDT

"created deep in the earths mantel. It sounds silly at first but as far as I can tell it has a lot more evidence than oil as a fossil fuel. However, I understand I could be wrong so if you know of any books in support of oil being a fossil fuel let me know."

Are you actually saying that oil is created by the earth magically in the earths mantel? Now if you could explain to me how this happens you should win a Nobel price.

If you can't go back to your studies, look up the components of oil ,study on that for a while and tell me then me how again carbon gets locked up below the earths crust (a mantle is something else all together), because if all of your info came from just one book, you have a long way to go in your studies my dear friend.

"Show me proof that the arctic is melting more today than it was 100 years ago, then i'll believe it's a fact. Oh, but wait, they didn't start doing recordings with satellite until 1976."

Next up this piece of line, true they didn't had satellites before this time that could measure temperature, but they had an ingenious device called a thermometer and they had boots to sail around the world. And good captains had logs and with these so called "paper logs" (I know it isn't exactly digital but we are going to wing it) they recorded windspeeds, ocean currents and.... temperatures all over the world. Including the antarctic.

And now in this glorious age of computers they got all of these "paper logs" and got all the "data" from them and put them all together in a huge database so scholars could see the the history of our climate and temperature. Ow and they are drilling ye old big holes in the ice to see how temperatures thousands and thousands of years ago was on ye old planet earth.

To make a long story short: there was a time before computers and satellites were good old exploring did all the work.

And ye of narrow mind, the world doesn't begin, end or revolves around the USA. Al Gore wasn't the first to brought it up to "our" attention. He was the first to bring it to your attention. As we of the rest of the world (except China) already found this one and brought it under our attention in the Kyoto protocols, which hasn't been signed by USA or China. The lead to the Kyoto protocol happened in the time of Bill Clinton, Bill Clinton who also brought this up to your attention but was sidetracked by something called Monica, which you guys found more important then nature, the climate or even the world.

I for now will stop reacting to any post after this. Because I made my point: Global warming is being sped up by our actions in the last 100 years and before (but primarily in the last 10 years), because of rising global energy consumption and the rising output of greenhouse gases.

Brakke Bres [Ow man] March 23 2008 7:44 PM EDT

This (but primarily in the last 10 years) should read "in the last 100 years."

Cube March 23 2008 7:54 PM EDT

I tend to believe that more than just changing your attitude is needed to solve any problem.

Despite your claims, investing in environmentally friendly ideas is usually not profitable to be honest. If "big evil corporations" could make money as easily as you claim on environmental ideas they would. Based on Even the small solar cell which produces 1kw costs $9,000 before rebates. Even with all of the government incentives, $5,119. And even with this
"The sunlight intensity in your area is rated: Excellent" It would take about ten years to the unit pay for itself, and this only works because of government subsidies. Solar cells have to be kept clean to be efficient as well, so it's not exactly free to maintain. If you instead choose not to maintain them, then your efficiency decreases.

Other forms of solar energy harvesting that reflect light from many areas are much more cost effective. This is a clear example of how you can't just throw money at the problem without thinking.

Nuclear is definitely an option, but that definitely can't be done on the individual level. Nuclear power is clean and cheap, but it also has the drawbacks of fear.

So Nosebleed, don't try and say it's a simple problem because it isn't. It's not as simple as "Just do it".

Yes, Earth Hour is a nice idea. However, even best case scenario not counting displaced energy usage, it saves us 1 hour.

colonel [penny pincher] March 23 2008 8:39 PM EDT

OK, I like energy conservation because it saves me cash. I'm cool with that and I understand my motivation. What I don't know is whether there is a significant climate change or not and whether or not it is caused by humanity. I think there's been plenty of discussion on that. However with all that said, what I would like to know is what does this mean to me? Seriously, if the average temp is two degrees warmer than now that doesn't sound bad. If a little more ice melts and some blue hairs in Florida need to add pontoons to the sides of their wheelchairs is that all bad? How much could global food/crop production increase if more parts of the globe (e.g. Siberia) could be farmed by things being a few degrees warmer? I accept that things may be changing, but is that bad?? Could someone please point me to articles/research that clearly points out the good and bad of it? Note: The closer it is to layman's terms the better. Thanks in advance.

Yukk March 23 2008 8:40 PM EDT

{cb1}smallpau1 - There may not have been satellites for 100 years but there have been ships and many have tried to sail the NW passage, encountering only pack ice and icebergs. Last year was the first time the passage was open "in recorded history"
Here's the slashdot summary with a link to the real article:

Impassable Northwest Passage Open For First Time In History

Now this may be a fluke, but it's open again this year.
I think that's pretty incontrovertible proof that the ice has melted.

QBRanger March 23 2008 8:48 PM EDT

First time in our recorded history.

Not the first time in all of the earth's history.

Perhaps 500 years ago the passage was open but nobody was there to see it.

If a tree fall and no one hears it.......

colonel [penny pincher] March 23 2008 8:52 PM EDT

Well that's another good point I hadn't thought of . . . IF the ice cap does melt then it would be both cheaper and easier to ship Siberian oil to US markets . . . . That doesn't sound all bad either. Is a globe that is a bit warmer a good thing or a bad thing??

QBsutekh137 March 23 2008 8:59 PM EDT

Depends on how good you think the Dutch are at pump and dike technology. *smile* Alternately, it depends on how much you care about the Dutch in te first place! *smile*

Yukk March 23 2008 9:05 PM EDT

Oh, I'm not arguing that it was never open at some time in the past but definitely not 500 years ago:

Northwest Passage in wikipedia.
I know wikipedia is not an absolute authority but apparently since the 1500s people have actively been trying to find a passage there.

Rexozord March 26 2008 6:23 PM EDT

Energy conservation = good. Energy efficiency = better. Energy conservation as a means to environment conservation = disastrous. Allow me to explain. But I'll need to back up to some of the arguments offered previously. Let's start with some easy ones:

Melting Glaciers. Yes, glaciers melt. The next time you find ice that doesn't melt, tell me. Have you ever kept ice in your freezer for a really long time? If you have, you know that it gradually disappears "into thin air." What really happens is that the ice, instead of melting, turns directly into water vapor. This process is called "subliming." In any case, glaciers are melting/subliming. The good news is that the glaciers are also growing. How? As some of the glacial ice melts or sublimes away, more ice is frozen from precipitation or source waters. So we don't really have to worry about world-wide flooding any time soon. Also, allow me to point out that glacier melting is more a function of local temperatures than global ones.

Carbon Dioxide is harmful to the environment. Completely fallacious. Plants use carbon dioxide in photosynthesis. Without it, they could not exist. Also, carbon dioxide is involved in multiple chemical reactions important to the earth's environment. I believe Nosebleed brought up the example of exhaust fumes being dangerous. Very true. However, carbon dioxide is not the only thing in exhaust fumes. Other notable gases are nitrous oxides (the only gas in exhaust that is visible and causes smog)(NOx), sulfur dioxide (the gas from exhaust that smells the worst)(SO2), and carbon monoxide (CO) which is not to be confused with carbon dioxide (CO2). It is the carbon monoxide that is poisonous and dangerous (although you can suffocate from breathing carbon dioxide because you are unable to get enough oxygen (O2), but that's true of almost any gas). Allow me to point out that humans exhale carbon dioxide... if it was poisonous, then only hermits would remain alive.

Carbon emissions raise the temperature of the earth. This might be true, but the results of our studies have been terribly inconclusive, and even if it were true, the amount would be so imperceptibly small that it would be insignificant and produce no lasting effect on the earth. Also allow me to take this chance to point out that the earth has a natural temperature fluctuation. Currently, the earth is in a period of cooling...

About oil. Oil data is inconclusive. Saudi Arabia's oil reserves have consistently climbed since the 1970s. Other oil reserves have reported the same. Also, there are large (not vast, but large) untapped oil reserves that we know about (the OCS in the US for instance, especially the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic sections). Currently, oil production is not so much a problem as oil refinement. The oil refineries in the US are operating at about 95% capacity, meaning that the US can't make much more gasoline or diesel fuel, even if we had unlimited quantities of crude oil. This is the reason why the US exports a considerable amount of the crude it produces. It simply does not have the capacity to refine it.

Abiotic Oil. Yes, some theorize that oil is created from non-living substances and it would explain some odd placements of known oil reserves. As for how carbon would get locked up in the mantle, I ask how it would get locked up in the earth's crust or in the earth's atmosphere. It's exceedingly likely that the carbon in the earth's crust and atmosphere originated from the mantle. Also allow me to point out that volcanoes release massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. The carbon is released along with lava that originated in the mantle.

Now, to my main point. A crusade for the environment, if it ever happens like many environmentalists wish it too, would be the doom of all human progress on earth. Using technology to reduce waste is admirable (that's energy efficiency), but reducing technology to reduce waste is completely backwards. And that's essentially what this "Earth Hour" is. It asks people to eliminate their use of technology for an hour. But what happens when the hour grows to two. And the two to four. After ten periods of growth, that's 1024 hours, or nearly 43 days. After fifteen periods of growth, that's 32,768 hours, or over 1365 days. This could possibly lead to a rejection of technology. Yes, this is somewhat exaggerated, but to be honest, I like my computer. I like my cell phone. I like my various game consoles. I like my toaster. I like my refrigerator. I like my air conditioning. I don't want these things to go away. So I cannot honestly support this movement. I doubt anyone on this site can honestly and consistently support this movement. I'll end my little rant here.

P.S. Nosebleed, please try to refrain from insulting those who argue against you. To be frank, it makes you look desperate and quite rude. I doubt you are this way, which is why I mention it. I would hate for this to become a habit of yours.

P.P.S. A quick note on the sun: if the earth has been around for billions of years, that's billions of years of solar energy that has been stored in the earth. Of course, there would be some energy leakage from the system, but that's still a very considerable amount of energy. Have you taken that into your calculations of when our energy will run out?

QBsutekh137 March 26 2008 7:01 PM EDT

We were a rock for a while. A really long while. No energy storage there. What the sun gave us was fossil fuels. And no, not all sunlight for the duration translated into fossil fuels.

So no, I didn't account for billions of years of sun, because that energy was not all trapped. In fact, only an infinitesmally small amount of that was sequestered here. Instead, I went by estimates as far as the fossil fuels remaining and increasing energy demands of the human population.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] March 26 2008 7:17 PM EDT

i thought this was apropos.

Rexozord March 26 2008 8:25 PM EDT

I'm sorry, but energy is not stored solely in fossil fuels. Energy is stored as heat, plant-life, chemical bonding, etc. Even if the earth was basically a rock for a long time, it was still storing up heat energy and energy in chemical bonds. Once there was plant life, plants stored up energy too. Some of that energy is now stored in fossil fuels, some is stored in wind, some is stored in heat in various places, etc. The earth could not have simply bled out all of that heat energy into space, or even a majority of it. Allow me to remind you that heat/light radiation takes a much longer time to occur than direct substance-to-substance heat transfer.

As for the article linked, congratulations. You found an article showing how one ice shelf is breaking up. Notice that the article said nothing about how much ice had melted, only that the ice is cracking. Also, it admitted that this would not raise the sea level. Furthermore, any such cracking can be accounted for simply by local temperature change, which the article itself said vastly exceeded any global change. Thus its cause is quite likely to have been something other than global warming. If there was no apparent difference between the local climate and the global one, then there might be cause to worry. Maybe. Also notice that the article, beyond some empty global warming rhetoric, said nothing that would cause any concern whatsoever. I'm sure that as that ice shelf is cracking, another one is forming or growing.

QBsutekh137 March 26 2008 10:46 PM EDT

Rex, have you ever put a rock in the sun? What temperature is the rock later, when the sun goes away? Ambient? Yeah.

Sorry, Hoss.... Being hit by the sun does not mean all of that energy is stored. I stand in the sun all the time -- doesn't do a damn thing for me. I'm not from Krypton. *smile*

I understand your point, but getting silly doesn't help. The only energy storages the planet has long-term-non-renewable are:

- Fossil fuels. The plant life the sun created in the past, distilled into burnable form, sequestered in the earth.
- Tides and other gravitational things. These are transferable, but not technically renewable. They are also not directly from the sun, at least not the sun's radiation.
- Geothermal -- the heat from within. I don't know how much there is nor do I know the ramifications of tapping it.
- Fissionable materials. We're already using them, and they are limited.
- Fusionable materials. As I said to Jonathan above, this is a good source. Heck, it's what the sun does. So, it's natural...pure. And we have lots of material. Fusion has a lot of advantageous angles.

But don't tell me the sun shining on something somehow "charges" it up. That's ridiculous. If it weren't ridiculous, why would the creation of efficient, durable solar panels be so difficult? Apparently we can just set anything in the sun and then use it later as a battery? Let's try to keep common sense in this. The sun shining on us for billions of years doesn't mean we have billions of years of power down here.

QBsutekh137 March 26 2008 11:07 PM EDT

Oh, and Rex (sorry, I am a slow reader at times)... I don't think Earth Hour is about being backwards, or some kind of Luddite movement. It is about awareness. I'm glad you like your cell phone. And toaster. And air conditioner. But might not turning those things off once in a while help you with what you admit is important -- efficiency? When I turn off my A/C, I realize how well I can tolerate the heat via other means (I lived without A/C for years right after college). I keep my thermostat around 80 in the summer, because I know I can take it. I let the winter take the house down to 66-68 unless I have company. Isn't that a good thing? Testing my limits so I know HOW to be more efficient?

Sacrifice helps with understanding all kinds of things we might otherwise take for granted: fresh water, energy, time, space... Understanding these issues on a personal level is paramount.

N0seBLeeD March 26 2008 11:25 PM EDT

Ty suk. Well said.

QBsutekh137 March 27 2008 9:18 AM EDT

Hey, I do not "suk"! That's "sut"! *smile* (I know it was just a typo...)

AdminNightStrike March 27 2008 9:44 AM EDT

If it makes you feel any better, Nosebleed, I'll be powering down for that hour (and that includes all of my power-hungry processing rigs).

Interestingly enough, so will the sears tower, wrigley field, the golden gate bridge, and a few other noteworthy landmarks. It's a shame it isn't two hours :)

I'd like to see the satellite photos of our country when it goes dark. I think it'd be fascinating to really see the power of grassroots initiatives.

smallpau1 - Go Blues [Lower My Fees] March 27 2008 10:45 AM EDT

I'd like to know the number of power outages at 1 minute after the hour.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] March 27 2008 8:48 PM EDT

Sute, Geothermal energy. ;)

Oh and if by the time the Sun is no longer enough to sustain us, and we haven't masters cold fusion, start trek anti matter replicators, or magic, I fully expect us to be ravaging materials from other bodies in space to fuel our needs. ;)

Mars, I'm looking at you. ;)

Oh and as for the damage/pollutants to the atmospsher, forget asteroids smashing into us, just look out for the next Volcanic Erruption. Back in your box Canary Islands! You're not allowed to blow unless you promise to make a Mega-tsunami that will destroy East Coast America (and flood London in your back wash).

WooT! Nature FTW! :D

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] March 27 2008 8:53 PM EDT

Gah, you already mentioned Geothermal. :(

QBsutekh137 March 27 2008 11:47 PM EDT

GL, enjoy your sleep. *smile* I think fusion is the realistic and most powerful answer, at the mo'...

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] March 28 2008 4:05 AM EDT

Hehehehehe. I needed it. ;)

drudge March 28 2008 2:45 PM EDT

thats why god gave us acoustic guitars and battery powered amps! yay hippy earth day

N0seBLeeD March 28 2008 3:10 PM EDT

As a reminder, Earth Hour is tomorrow, 8-9pm

I'm not asking for you to turn off all your stuff, anything is a contribution. Maybe turn your lights off for an hour. Whatever you can. Thanks guys.

drudge March 28 2008 3:40 PM EDT

ill be sure to keep my car off and all the lights off from 3am til 9am ...thats way longer than just a hour

Marlfox [Cult of the Valaraukar] March 29 2008 3:47 PM EDT

I'll make sure to turn off PSP.

AdminNightStrike March 29 2008 7:40 PM EDT

Powering down my house now for an hour... see you guys at lights up!

N0seBLeeD March 29 2008 9:04 PM EDT

Thanks everyone.

AdminNightStrike March 29 2008 10:24 PM EDT

Well that was pretty cool... had a lot of fun with the friends and family enjoying each others' company in the candlelight....

smallpau1 - Go Blues [Lower My Fees] March 30 2008 1:11 AM EDT

Which is why i think we should all just live with it, nothing's going to change, especially random media frenzy bull crap. I was out and about all day today, so my house didn't have power (obviously), but every other business was powered up.

AdminNightStrike March 30 2008 1:35 AM EDT

Smalls, are you really that daft that you don't understand that the purpose of the event is to raise awareness? Heck, just read google's explanation of their black homepage.

smallpau1 - Go Blues [Lower My Fees] March 30 2008 1:42 AM EDT

Global Warming is like a presidential debate, they both bring awareness to a subject that will never come true.

AdminNightStrike March 30 2008 1:45 AM EDT

I'll take that as a yes.
This thread is closed to new posts. However, you are welcome to reference it from a new thread; link this with the html <a href="/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=002O2v">Earth hour (Extremely important)</a>