Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« Toronto City Councillor charged with domestic assault | Main | Business getting costly in the West »

Friday, March 28, 2008

Will you celebrate the darkness?

In her post on “Earth Hour,” Western Standard blogger Andrea Mrozek warned readers that an hour of darkness will soon sweep the land as eco-minded Canadians participate in an international lights out event to raise awareness of global warming.

That hour is near.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May announced today that she will join in this event. Along with other Canadians, she will turn off her lights tomorrow night (Saturday, March 29, 2008) between 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM in a symbolic effort to combat climate change.

"I urge Canadians everywhere to spend an hour in quiet darkness on Saturday night," she said today. "Turn off your lights, unplug your appliances and you will be sending a clear message to Ottawa.

"As our country goes dark from coast to coast to coast, perhaps the minority Conservative government will finally see the light and stop obstructing real action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," May continued.

In response to this coming promise of darkness, Western Standard reader Richard Guenther sent this submission about Earth Hour:

Earth Hour

Not long ago Prime Minister Harper was in Estevan, Saskatchewan touring the Boundary Dam Power Plant. This is the facility that will be the recipient of Federal funding to refurbish a 100 MW unit to sequester carbon dioxide. The cost of doing this will be 1.4 billion dollars. The finished unit will be reduced in useable output to 60 MW. Presumably the other 40 MW will be used to extract the carbon dioxide.

This raises some troubling questions. We still need all 100 MW, not just the 60 MW that will be left. If this formula holds in the construction of new power plants and all the information I have says it will, this means for every 100 units of electricity we need in the future, we will need to build 166 units of production. This means an increase of capital costs of 66%. It will also mean that our fuel consumption (and by extrapolation, our operating and maintenance costs) will increase by 66% too.

These huge increases in electricity costs will have a very negative impact on our standard of living. These elevated costs will mean less wealth for your retirement, your healthcare, your children’s education, your vacation. It means you will have to drive a smaller, less safe car in the future or no car at all. It means less research for newer and better drugs in the future. It will reduce the ability of those at the bottom end of our society to afford even the basics. Less money will be available for charitable organizations including environmental causes. Less money will be available for highways. Less money for airports. Even less for big screen TVs.

At the same time the environmentalists want us to shut off our lights for one hour tomorrow night (March 29th) to demonstrate our dedication to saving the planet. All to placate the fears of people who have nightmares over cow flatulence and hot air. Remember, CO2 is not much more than plant food.

I think their idea of shutting off the lights is very indicative of their thinking. This irrational thinking with its huge costs will put us into a dark age, both literally and figuratively. 

I refuse to be a part of it. Rather than subscribing to the “we must all live in caves” theory, I prefer to celebrate our modernity. I want to live in the 21st century, not the 9th. So tomorrow night at 8pm I will turn on all my lights, computers and TVs to show my solidarity with the future of mankind, not to the prophets of doom and naysayers amongst us.


Thanks for that, Richard.

Posted by Matthew Johnston on March 28, 2008 | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Will you celebrate the darkness?:


SCAM! Anyone who buys into this nonsense is a fool.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-03-28 2:56:06 PM

Tomorrow night I will be sitting in an over-lit, electronic game filled casino, with slots ringing their protest to the eco-sham....haha!(Although that does mean my house lights won't be on...hmmm)

Posted by: prairie dog | 2008-03-28 3:31:05 PM

Isn't that nice? For the believers, please feel free to do so and enjoy the dark.

Posted by: Alain | 2008-03-28 3:33:14 PM

Living within spitting distance of Toronto, we have been bombarded with this propaganda for many weeks now.
In recognition of this holy hour, this family will illuminate all their incandescent lights and make certain the dishwasher and clothes drier are functioning to full capacity at that time.
I was also considering running the lawnmower during this period but opted for the snowblower instead. It is a Toro 2-stroke and has much more impact on the environment than the other gas-driven appliances.
I have been assured by friends that they are planning similar actions.

Posted by: atric | 2008-03-28 3:51:10 PM

Great commentary. I'll also turn on all the lights, comps and TV to celebrate the modernity Canada offers.

Posted by: winston | 2008-03-28 3:52:15 PM

This nonsense puts the generated electricity from this facility roughly at the same cost as home standby gas or diesel gen sets. Now that's progress the Greens can be proud of! Politicians unashamedly reacting to mass hysteria and destroying taxpayer's wealth in an orgy of political correctness. And these are supposedly the good guys! The public education system has become the moral equivalent of child abuse.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2008-03-28 3:53:54 PM

While I can't compete with this poster at Tim Blair-

"Thunderdome-style carbon footprint: Face the space heater and the air conditioner to each other. Switch both on. See which wins. Two go in. One comes out. Drink beer while cheering for your favorite."

I can fire up the self-cleaning oven - 800 degrees, long cycle.

Two birds, one stone - the oven gets cleaned and I do my bit to stave off the impending ice age.

Posted by: Kathryn | 2008-03-28 4:46:30 PM

We're turning on the christmas lights(still looks like it here)and watching the hockey game.
The leafs lights went out long ago....GO SENS GO!

Posted by: Duff | 2008-03-28 5:07:55 PM

I took the Christmas lights down from the the house in January, but they're still on the tree in the front yard. I'll be plugging them in tomorrow night.

Posted by: Chris | 2008-03-28 5:31:13 PM

Will you celebrate the darkness?

Posted by: JC | 2008-03-28 5:52:20 PM

I always thought Elizabeth May was kinda in the dark anyway.

Posted by: Carl | 2008-03-28 6:26:47 PM

I'm not 100% sure of this, I'm going to keep my eye on the clock this evening, but... here in Calgary, sunset isn't til 8:05 and twilight doesn't end til after 10 pm. Seems to me there isn't going to be this huge dramatic 'total darkness' everyone is anticipating. If I were looking for a dramatic effect, I'd have made it later in the evening or earlier in the year. But then, I'm not one of the brain trust having come up with this idea.

Posted by: annie | 2008-03-28 6:46:19 PM

Who will be the one to turn off all of the street lights, traffic lights and airplane landing strip lights? Who will pay for the car and airplane accidents due to no lights? The more I learn about the green party the more I like my dog and his co2 farts.

Posted by: Neil P | 2008-03-28 8:08:21 PM


This idea started in Australia. Sunset will be at 6:54 p.m. in Sydney so by 8 it should be fairly dark. Rather than adjust for local time, everyone latched on to the 8 p.m. start time.

It doesn't make sense, but then, pointless empty gestures seldom do.

Posted by: Kathryn | 2008-03-28 8:16:06 PM

If the environmentalists continue to veto every new electricity generating project, the resulting blackouts won't be by choice.

Posted by: Jerri | 2008-03-28 9:06:32 PM

If turning off the lights could solve "climate change", wouldn't that make North Korea the greenest country on earth?

That's the future kids = become like North Korea to save the planet. Please tell me you didn't see this coming - Suzuki, Gore and their pals all support such ideas.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-03-29 7:10:21 AM

Anyone who has ever paid a power bill knows to shut the lights off when not in use. This scheme was dreamt up by a bunch of little snot noses born in the 70s and 80s who have never really paid for anything - except in some cases, their cell phone bills. They have never done without, so perhaps this is a good exercise for them, except that the majority have ADD and will probably not remember their actions 12 hours hence.

Posted by: K Worchak | 2008-03-29 9:04:53 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.