We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

People who see virtue in doing without electricity should shut off their fridge, stove, microwave, computer, water heater, lights, TV and all other appliances for a month, not an hour.

Ross McKitrick abhors Earth Hour.

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18 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • John B

    It needs to move from the trendy phase to the reality.
    Our capacity to operate at arms length from reality and pretend it is the truth is amazing.
    That it takes a catastrophe, or starvation, or whatever, to get people to face the truth, clearly indicates we do not operate by reason but by whatever makes us feel reasonably comfortable.

  • llamas

    Several hundred thousand people in Japan are currently participating in what you might call Earth Life. Let’s go and ask them what they think about it, shall we?



  • Turning off your fridge and water heater will make negligible difference unless you also turn lower the thermostats in the following period. Otherwise, usage in the following hours will just make up the vast majority of any saving in ‘Earth Hour’.

    In addition, if your house needs heating at the time, more heating (electricity or gas, oil or other fuel) would be used to compensate for the loss of heating from all heat-emitting electrical appliances in the house (ie pretty much all of them). This might save you money (eg substituting gas for electricity) and it might save a bit on electricity transmission losses, but there will be extra transport costs for oil, non-piped gas and solid fuel, etc.

    It would, indeed, be better to turn down, longer term, your heating thermostats and put on a pullover (colder dates/times) or turn down your air-conditioning thermostats and spray each other with cold water (hotter dates/times).

    If you really care (about saving your money; who cares about the CO2), overall you’d save vastly more by walking, rather than driving, to the shops; or doing more shopping on each trip and less trips, if such driving is necessary for you.

    Best regards

  • Turning off your fridge and water heater will make negligible difference unless you also turn lower the thermostats in the following period.

    Let them turn them off nonetheless? Preferably indefinitely.

  • Roue le Jour

    Worth bearing mind that older UK housing stock needs to be heated, to drive the rain water out of the porous brickwork. That why abandoned houses (and garden walls) fall down while occupied houses are still standing.

  • Paul Marks

    As stated vast numbers of people in Japan are not in an enforced “Earth hour” and have been for some time.

    Ayn Rand was right – people who hold that this is a good thing are not intellectually mistaken, they are evil.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    So, start an internet rumor that the power suppliers are going to monitor useage and keep Earth Hour participants on a list of those who’ll be cut off first if there’s a power shortage.

    Easy enough to do. Just ask innocently on a popular forum ‘Say, have you heard…?” and get a few friends to do likewise elsewhere.

  • Jerry

    ‘unless you also turn lower the thermostats in the following period.’

    This is EXACTLY the direction being taken in California (soon to be the rest of this country if not stopped ) where someone else will decide whether or not you ‘need’ your current electrical consumption (no pun intended ) based on grid loads, temperature etc, monitored in real time by the minute.
    If you are ‘using too much’ they will STOP YOU and there will not be a damn thing you can do about it.
    It all starts out innocently ( if you believe in the tooth fairy ) enough with – ‘we’re balancing the load’ and ‘this will make us more efficient’ and ‘using this approach, we can run EVERYTHING on windmills and solar panels and butterflies and rainbows and and and……)
    ‘Environmentalists should be …………………………
    never mind

  • Hmm

    “Environmentalists should be …………………………”

    ….macraméd ?

  • If we don’t nip these thugs in the bud, and do something to make them wake up and pay attention to the fact that we notice their wickedness for what it is, then the follwing will happen.

    !Earth Hour” will become “Earth day”, then “Earth Weekend” – they are carefully boiling frogs, remember, and they know it – then “Earth Week”, at which point the UN or some load of scumbags will make it “voluntary but also monitored”. Then, “regionally-rotating Earth Months” will come in, with the grid turned off for the duration as it will now be voluntary to participate. Then, large sections of the grid will be “temporarily shut down for technical reasons”….

  • Indeed, David.
    “Things getting colder, and stopping.”
    That’s from Ayn Rand, too.

  • Mike Lorrey

    Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle’s novel “Fallen Angels” is a greate depiction of the inanity of the gaiaist cult hugging their ideology for warmth when the Earth decides to start the next Ice Age in spite of them. It’s a free download on the Baen Free Library.


  • On Earth Hour the Earthists want us to turn out our lights to show support for their rejectionist agenda. This is an insult to all the other planets, moons asteroids , comets and other objects in our solar system.

    Especially Pluto, now is not the time to rehash the arguments over whether Pluto is or is not a planet, a dwarf planet, a plutoid or just a lowly Kuiper belt object. Whatever it is this body deserves our support. Therefor we , the supporters of the WHOLE solar system need to turn on all our lights!! All of them, this shows our support for all the objects in the solar system and shows that there are people on Earth who care about the whole of the solar system and are not just worried about our selfish planetary needs.

  • John B

    It’s more to do with being taught to accept control than a genuine concern for our survival on Earth, anyway?
    When our political and social elites (the establishment, the ruling class?) can learn to do without the expensive (thus energy consuming) infrastructure required to maintain their ways of life, I might begin to take something they say with less than contempt – if it made sense.

  • Jerry

    ‘”Environmentalists should be …………………………”

    ….macraméd ?’

    Actually, I was thinking of other processes that involve sharp implements or small explosive charges …………….
    or both !!!!!

  • A Liberal in Lakeview

    If the Earth Hour loonies were serious about their environmentalism, they would be campaigning against government sponsorship and subsidization of power generation and distribution.

    So also would they campaign against government construction of vast multilane divided highways, which became popular in the 1930s. Without that statist construction binge, where would the great demand for gasoline and diesel have come from? A free market? Fat chance. When you subsidize something you get more of it.

    Those roads were built with extorted money, often on land seized under eminent domain. Without governments’ aggression, entrepreneurs would have had to pay market price for land, if they could get it at all in the long contiguous sections they’d need. And they’d have had to entice drivers to pay enough to support the rapid development of the network of roads…and all that expensive maintenance.

    A free market in power gen and road building would have yielded much slower increase of fuel consumption AND thus much less usage of fuels during the period in question. There’d be less anxiety about peak oil, too, for example, for there’d be so much more oil left in the ground.

    As with government intervention in power generation, subsidization of roadbuilding has led to conditions that the Earth Hour loonies are only pretending not to want. Let’s not hold our breath in hope that they wisen up. They’d have to throw overboard their love of high taxes, government meddling in commerce, pushing people around, empty gestures, and so on.

  • Alasdair

    Hmm at March 17, 2011 11:34 PM – and for just how long have *you* been a practitioner of SadoMacramé, then, to be volunteering for the task ?

    (innocent smile)

  • Hmm

    Alasdair: heh! “SadoMacramé”!

    I just know that if I’m not tied down later I’ll be bound to google that! 🙂