Earth Hour – follow up

I sent the email below to the Vice Chancellor of the ANU, Professor Chubb, on 26 March. He hasn’t yet replied. Chubb’s email is a sad indication of the state of the University – supposedly a place of enlightenment.

Dear Professor Chubb

I read your letter (below) with concern. I always thought that a Church was the appropriate place for faith, not a University. What happened to the Enlightenment? The ANU is supposed to be a place of learning, not meaningless symbolism.

I can only imagine that you felt  “forced” to write this due for reasons of political correctness.

Kind regards

Samuel Jay

From the Vice Chancellor, ANU

Sent: Friday, March 26, 2010 11:28 AM

Subject: Earth Hour Celebrations

Dear Colleagues,

This Saturday evening, the 27th of March from 8:30 to 9:30pm, the world will be switching off its lights in recognition of Earth Hour.  ANU will join cities around the world in raising awareness of the issues surrounding climate change and energy consumption.

Accordingly, I ask each of you in the ANU community to do your bit by switching off all non-essential appliances and lighting before you leave your area for the weekend.  These are actions that we can take every day to reduce our environmental impact, but they have special significance this weekend as we demonstrate that individual actions do make a difference.

ANU staff, students and guests are invited to mark the occasion by enjoying a free BBQ, music, dancing, drumming performances and a fire show on Fellows Oval from 6pm.  Bring family, friends and a picnic blanket for a relaxed evening festival.  ANU Earth Hour is supported by ANUgreen and the Climate Change Institute.

For more information on Earth Hour and to find out how ANU is reducing its environmental impact year round, please look on ANU Billboard and at our Environmental Management Plan found on the ANUgreen website.

Best wishes,

Ian Chubb

Vice-Chancellor

About Samuel J

Samuel J has an economics background and is a part-time consultant
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103 Responses to Earth Hour – follow up

  1. sdfc

    Sounds like sour grapes why would he bother replying.

  2. Samuel J

    Yes I’m not surprised about not getting a reply! But his email was disappointing.

  3. “Accordingly, I ask each of you in the ANU community to do your bit by switching off all non-essential appliances and lighting before you leave your area for the weekend.”

    Shouldn’t “non-essential appliances and lighting” be turned off all the time?

  4. I didn’t do anything for Earth Hour, but i fail to see how encouraging people to waste less energy is evidence of blind religious faith.

    I got a similar email at the Uni of Canberra, my guess is that the heads of 90% of large institutions/companies in Australia sent out similar emails.

    We’d all be better off if people remembered & acted all year round, rather than just symbolically once a year.

  5. Abu Chowdah

    The same email was sent by department heads across the public service. Since climate change has become as much of an aggressive faith-based initiative as C.L.’s Catholicism and Homer’s Islam, I found it offensive to be lectured to by the department head on behalf of the government.

    So I left as much stuff running as I could.

    Fuck this anthropogenic climate change bullshit.

  6. JC.

    …but i fail to see how encouraging people to waste less energy is evidence of blind religious faith.

    And how do you assume they/we are “wasting” energy, Andy, you doofus. Keeping lights on at night so you don’t fall down stairs or run into a piece of furniture is what lighting is about.

    The mindlless exercise in personal aggrandizement that is dark hour is all about overt gestures of guilt because we’re using energy to make our lives better. There are some seriously sick puppies out there.

    The honest thing to do is to turn on all the lights in celebration of the miracle of man-made energy, not the other way round, Dumphy. That’s what earth hour should really be about.

  7. dover_beach

    We’d all be better off if people remembered & acted all year round, rather than just symbolically once a year.

    But why wouldn’t you turn- off “non-essential appliances and lighting” anyway, as a matter of course? This is symbolism of the lowest common denominator. Next, I suppose, we’ll set aside a day to promote the washing of hands after visiting the toilet or before a meal, and so on.

  8. jtfsoon

    So Samuel is objecting to the rebadging of something that should be done as a matter of course anyway? Sounds like a fanatic to me. And he expects Chubb to reply to this petty email.

    If I’m the last person to leave the office I turn off the lights. The ANU is taxpayer funded. I’d hope most taxeaters have a better sense of financial accountability to their masters than to get hot under the collar for being told to turn off non essential lighting

  9. Abu Chowdah

    jtfsoon: it’s the ideology behind it that’s offensive, not the objective of conserving energy.

  10. dover_beach

    So Samuel is objecting to the rebadging of something that should be done as a matter of course anyway? Sounds like a fanatic to me. And he expects Chubb to reply to this petty email.

    You don’t need the Vice-Chancellor to tell you what should be doing as a matter of course, and if it were necessary in an instance, the department head should be sufficient. It shouldn’t require the paraphernalia that this Day generates in terms of emails, posters, etc. or sausage sizzles on the Fellows Oval.

    And he expects Chubb to reply to this petty email.

    If the SJ’s email is petty, how should we characterise an email sent by the Vice-Chancellor to remind us to do what we largely already do as a matter or course?

  11. TerjeP (say tay-a)

    It is symbolism but it isn’t meaningless. And the point of symbolism is as much about creating meaning as it is about communicating it. You may not agree with the ritual but that doesn’t mean it isn’t in keeping with university tradition. Universities have always had rituals. They wear funny hats and robes on occasions that merely mean a certain quota of learning has been finished. They are home to statues and strange works of art. They have whole departments devoted to the study of obscure representative symbols.

    And also what Jason said. This is a voluntary activity to conserve energy. If you don’t like government initiatives then why knock volunatary personal initiatives that have no impact on you personally. Your participation is not required. Your email is childish and boorish. Do you go to supermarkets at christmas and yell “boo, hiss, you’re a fraud” at santa?

  12. Andrew Norton

    Use of Green ideology is a good way for universities to encourage staff to save electricity and reduce costs.

  13. Abu Chowdah

    This is a voluntary activity to conserve energy. If you don’t like government initiatives then why knock volunatary personal initiatives that have no impact on you personally.

    Voluntary? No impact?

    Just try expressing and maintaining a dissenting view on AGW at a branch meeting in the APS and see how far your career goes under the current regime. Political Commissars are listening, Comrade!

  14. jtfsoon

    That’s callsed social and peer pressure Abu. You guys are over-reacting to this stuff. It’s not as if you need to talk politics at work.

  15. Abu Chowdah

    You’re joking, aren’t you? The point is you better not express a dissenting view or you can forget the greasey pole.

  16. Peter Patton

    Turn off the lights, and enjoy a “fire show!” Party on ANU dudes!

  17. Abu Chowdah

    Andrew Norton: regards ideology. I suppose you would have no problem then with an Abbott government sending out an APB email to encourage people to go to church on Sunday for an hour of grace, in support of women staying home to raise children?

    I mean, it’s just a useful ideology to encourage good child-rearing after all, isn’t it? Hello? Hello?

  18. jtfsoon

    No I’m not joking. You were mocking Terje’s point about this measure being ‘voluntary’. It is. Classical liberals do not regard peer pressure as a form of political coercion. If you value political expression at work more than you value your career prospects that’s your perogative, and it may be unfortunate that your co workers have different veiws but there is no legislation or coercion involve. Frankly you and Samuel sound like a bunch of whinging lefties.

  19. daddy dave

    Use of Green ideology is a good way for universities to encourage staff to save electricity and reduce costs.
    .
    Sure. In that case, use of christian ideology is a good way to stop them stealing things from work.
    .
    Having said that, I tend to agree that Samuel over-reacted. The email was somewhat ideological in nature, but certainly not religious, and it expressed mainstream views. The recieved opinion is that global warming is a scientifically validated problem, and keeping awareness high is a step toward solving it.

  20. Abu Chowdah

    “whingeing lefties”?

    How ironic.

  21. JC.

    Terje is quite right, it is symbolic and they are perfectly at liberty to partake in these useless acts of hair-shirt wearing.

    They should be tolerated, but at the same time they shouldn’t expect any respect for this crap.

    The correct symbolic act ought to be to celebrate man-made energy and rejoice in the wondrous things it has done.

    It would also be a good thing if we also celebrated the people that brought us these miracles and perhaps the catholic church wouldn’t go too far wrong making dudes like Watt, Rockefeller etc into saints and putting them into the sainthood hall of fame as these people have saved and helped millions and millions of lives.

  22. Rococo Liberal

    Earth Hour is a political stunt. The Vice chancllor was out of line pushing his political views down the throats of the staff. End of story.

    Our firm got this same sort of email from our buiding owner and promptly left all lights and equipment on as a protest against the building owner trying to force a political issue down our throats.

    That’s the problem with green fanatics and our response to them. They think that they deserve to be heard as altruists and that dissent is somehow in bad taste. Too many ohers give in to the fanaticism of the greenies just to avoid their whining. It’s time we started giving these AGW arseholes the right metaphorical kicking that they deserve.

  23. Rococo Liberal

    “whingeing lefties”?

    How tautological

  24. dover_beach

    but there is no legislation or coercion involve.

    Really, what was the rationale for the banning of incandescent light bulbs? Earth Hour and the ban were not unrelated. And what of the long forgotten CPRS and the attempt to put a so-called price on the emission of CO2? Again, I suppose Earth Hour and the CPRS and also unrelated.

  25. Peter Patton

    Hold on. I get the impression that Chubb’s sermon was sent to the entire ANU “community” including every single student, most of whom live off campus. I’m with SJ. Tell the nanny to F*** Off, and mind his own bee’s wax.

  26. Abu Chowdah

    Bravo Rococo! Well put!

  27. Jack P

    Just for the record, I got this e-mail.

    Then I did nothing. I just ignored it. Then I sat around during Earth Hour doing what I normally do.

    That’s the great part about classical liberalism. It gives you the impetus not to give a shit.

  28. JC.

    Good comment, Roc. Well said.

  29. AndrewL

    Word, Rococo Liberal and Samuel J.

    Just to clarify – its OK to make a symbolic protest but not to encourage symbolic action.

  30. asf

    Don’t see what all the fuss is about – Earth Hour is purely voluntary and if you don’t want to participate then you don’t have to. You are even free to celebrate Human Achievement Hour in countenance by running all your appliances.

    Fine, you might not like the symbolism of Earth Hour, but you must acknowledge the right of individuals to participate and to encourage others to participate. If the Chancellor was reminding students to wear gowns at graduation ceremonies would we be getting upset?

  31. Steve Edney

    “its OK to make a symbolic protest but not to encourage symbolic action.”

    So long as we know the rules now.

  32. C.L.

    Someone should tell Christine Nixon about this:

    A Danish hotel is pioneering a pedal-power electricity generation scheme it hopes will catch on in other countries.

    The Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers, 15 minutes from the centre of the Danish capital and five minutes from Scandinavia’s main airport, is installing two exercise bicycles hooked up to generators.

    Guests will be invited to jump on and start pedalling – and if they produce enough electricity they will be given a free meal.

  33. C.L.

    “Earth Hour is purely voluntary…”

    Bullshit.

  34. Tillman

    Whingeing lefties LOL

    This whole thread is a whinge!

    “That nasty man sent me an email asking me to turn the lights off! This is fascism! I’m now going to post 30 comments about how upset I was at having to read that email.”

    What does the email actually ask of anyone?

    Accordingly, I ask each of you in the ANU community to do your bit by switching off all non-essential appliances and lighting before you leave your area for the weekend.

    So he’s asking people before leaving ANU premises to turn off non-essential electrical devices. He’s not telling people what to do at home. He’s not saying you must do your work by candlelight.

    He’s saying if you will not be on the premises, turn the lights off.

    Earth Hour or not, it’s just common sense. Turn off the fucking lights if you’re not using them! Does anyone with a maturity greater than a seven year old really think that is completely unreasonable?

    And yet somehow this is an example of “whingeing lefties”. Seriously folks, have a look at yourselves. Defending one’s right not to be asked to turn the lights off when they’re not being used is hardly up there with, you know, universal suffrage.

    Do you guys complain to the manager if there’s a sign in the toilets at McDonalds saying employees must wash their hands before returning to work?

  35. asf

    C.L. what does that prove? Should the public have to vote every time the Dept. of Defence wants to turn a light switch off?

  36. Infidel Tiger

    If McDonald’s staff are only washing their hands symbolically 1 hour a year on McHappy Day, then I’ll have to reconsider my purchases.

  37. Tillman

    CL, apparently you aren’t familiar with how the defence forces work.

    Very little that goes on in defence is “voluntary”. They don’t conduct a poll of the enlisted men before they decide to do something completely arbitrary, and often they do completely arbitrary things simply for the hell of it. That’s how it’s been since at least Roman times.

    So mandatory switching off of lights on naval bases is no more evidence of creeping fascism than say mandatory polishing of boots with toothbrushes.

  38. jtfsoon

    Exactly Tillman

    The ANU Earth Hour *is* voluntary and didn’t even involve turning off lights just for an hour for no reason. It was purely a reminder to turn off non essential lighting, something that any businesses with common sense do anyway.

    However some people are so upset by this that they would rather encourage taxpayer funded institutions to waste electricity as a protest against ‘political correctness’.

    Somehow in the minds of some catallaxy regulars, public sector employees have more rights than the rest of us. People here think they should waste our money on higher electricity bills while Sinkers wrote a whole post about how they should be allowed to browse porn at work.

  39. Tillman

    yes taxpayer funded indeed, Jason. Thank you.

    Sorry, whingers, but I DO NOT WANT TO PAY FOR YOUR LAZY ARSES NOT TURNING OFF THE GODDAMN LIGHTS.

  40. Infidel Tiger

    What’s the earth hour bullshit about then? Why not just issue a memo:

    All taxeating bludgers are to refrain from wasting the taxpayers money at all times. Cyanide pills are available upon request.

    The management.

  41. C.L.

    On the contrary, mandatory switching off of lights by the Defence Department is especially indicative of “creeping fascism.” It is a politically controversial – essentially religious – measure. For the armed forces to promote such ministerially enforced piety by diktat is disgusting. What next – RAAF jets towing health reform banners?

  42. jc

    Tillman:

    If saving money is the objective in the public sector and it damn well should be, fire 30% of the office schelps and and also have a strict lights off policy. That way we could kill a couple of birds with one stone.

    Downsizing would also help in keeping the light permanently off in some of those cob web riddled places.

  43. C.L.

    Other “voluntary” turn-offs – the ones that get most attention, as it happens – include the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, the Australian War Memorial and Federal Parliament. All of this is contrary to section 116 of the Constitution IMHO.

  44. asf

    C.L. – From further down the page on the link you posted:

    Small miracle opens World Youth Day procedings

    26 March – In what marked a small miracle befitting of Easter Monday, a storm suddenly cleared when the World Youth Day Cross and Icon was handed over to Bishop Max Davis, Catholic Bishop of the ADF, in front of the main gates of HMAS Kuttabul.

    The storm that had raged for several hours suddenly dispersed to allow 100 young Catholics in the ADF and Cadets to carry the Cross and Icon on a Rosary Procession around the base to the Naval Chapel.

    Bishop Davis said it was good to start the day with a small miracle.

    At the chapel, Bishop Davis led a World Youth Day-style Catechesis session which was attended by scores of RAN, Army and Air Force personnel, as well as their families.

    Bishop Davis said the liturgical focus was on “The Empty Tomb”, which reflects on the day after Easter Sunday when Mary Magdalene and the Disciples found Jesus’ tomb empty.

    The Catechesis session also included the Veneration of the Cross and Icon, testimonies of faith from those who serve in the ADF, as well as music and “praise and worship” songs….

    What was your point again?

  45. jtfsoon

    I don’t defend the turning off the lights for one hour bullshit. I never have, never will.

    The stuff about turning off non-essential lighting however is a no brainer, Earth Hour or no Earth Hour. it is the subject of this post.

  46. C.L.

    I think the question should be, what was yours?

  47. jc

    I agree, CL. The government should damn well stay out of religious matters as it’s uncostituional.

  48. Tillman

    Very good point, CL.

    It is fascism for the armed forces to enforce government policy.

    You are correct – the Defence Department should have no involvement in “politically controversial” measures.

    What next – RAAF jets flying sorties in Afghanistan and Iraq?

    Through the fucking looking glass.

  49. C.L.

    The stuff about turning off non-essential lighting however is a no brainer, Earth Hour or no Earth Hour.

    Nonsense. We’ve got enough coal in WA alone to last 2000 years. That’s before we even get into the yellowcake. We’ve got energy to burn and burn it we should. I’m surprised at you, Jason. Would you support the armed forces being used, promotionally, to sell Kevin Rudd’s stimulus or a campaign against fatty foods? Earth Hour is an appalling exercise in nanny statism and creeping secular mysticism.

  50. BirdLab

    “… while Sinkers wrote a whole post about how they should be allowed to browse porn at work.”

    WTF?

  51. Infidel Tiger

    Jason is pretending to be Homer.

  52. jc

    My concern is for Homer. I’m specuating (only) that the idiot turned off all the lights, tripped up and is now concussed in some hospital still out to the world.

    Earthly Hour may have put him in a deeper coma than he was in before.

  53. jtfsoon

    I don’t see why I should be defending public economy measures in a blog for fucking classical liberals of all people, CL.

    Private businesses turn off non-essential lighting when the last person leaves the premises. Government offices should do the same.

  54. jtfsoon

    ‘We’ don’t own the coal. Someone owns the coal, and we pay taxes which pay for governments to buy the energy.

    I don’t see anything objectionable about any measure which reduces the cost of government, whether this takes the form of lower energy bills or anything else.

    If you want to make a donation to the Tax Office so government offices can burn coal 24/7 do go right ahead.

  55. C.L.

    Sure, employees should be encouraged to do the right thing to keep bills under control. That’s prudent economising. But that’s not the same thing as the gubbermint and the washed up hippies at the Sydeny Morning Herald enocuraging us to turn off lights for religious reasons. Throwing the ADF into the PR mix is simply appalling. I don’t believe the lights should ever go out at the Australian War Memorial. Actually using the paramount memorial of this country’s war heroes to sell warmenism is totally disgusting.

  56. Tillman

    I would support the armed forces being used to promote efficiency, discipline, responsibility and good citizenship.

    Turning off the lights when they are not being used is a small gesture in support of those ideals.

    And however much coal we have, and regardless of the science of AGW, extracting and burning coal is not costless.

    I don’t want to pay to dig coal out of the ground in WA and burn it in NSW.

    So turn off the goddamn lights.

  57. C.L.

    Hilarious and, broadly, related:

    “Spanish scammers are collecting renewable energy subsidies by shining massive diesel-powered arclights at solar panels. The swindle was uncovered when investigators found that some solar suppliers were generating power after nightfall.”

  58. C.L.

    I would support the armed forces being used to promote efficiency, discipline, responsibility and good citizenship.

    Sieg heil!

  59. jtfsoon

    I didn’t express an opinion about the War Memorial.

    My point is simply that the directive for turning off non essential lighting in government workplaces is a good one, whether it is being justified for environmental or economising reasons.

  60. jc

    I agree with both Jason and CL and it doesn’t seem contradictory.

    In a perverse way having a bunch or idiots turning their lights off is sort of symbolic in another way which isn’t that complentary.

    If the bozos want to turn off their lights, encourage it.

  61. C.L.

    Tim Blair’s header for that last story is a classic:

    “THE FUTURE OF SOLAR IS DIESEL”

  62. dover_beach

    He’s saying if you will not be on the premises, turn the lights off.

    Apparently, staff at a university cannot be expected, of their own accord, to do this any longer; the most mundane actions now require their own ‘days’.

    Accordingly, I ask each of you in the ANU community to do your bit by switching off all non-essential appliances and lighting before you leave your area for the weekend.

    So he’s asking people before leaving ANU premises to turn off non-essential electrical devices.

    Talk about missing the point, it’s not as if Earth Day is restricted to the ANU. The point of Earth Day is to alter our practices not merely on the appointed hour or only at our workplaces but everyday and in our daily lives.

    yes taxpayer funded indeed, Jason. Thank you.

    Sorry, whingers, but I DO NOT WANT TO PAY FOR YOUR LAZY ARSES NOT TURNING OFF THE GODDAMN LIGHTS.

    The ‘whingers’ here already close the lights as we leave the room; we don’t need to be told to perform mundane actions but you’re happy to pay for their promotion.

  63. C.L.

    JC, will you be popping into that Danish hotel where you can peddle for your dinner next time you’re abroad?

  64. Tillman

    OMG! Creeping fascism of the George H.W. Bush administration

    http://www.uhuh.com/laws/eo12759.htm

    OMG! Creeping fascism of the George W. Bush administration

    http://www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/pdfs/ndaa_2007.pdf

  65. C.L.

    Apparently, staff at a university cannot be expected, of their own accord, to do this any longer; the most mundane actions now require their own ‘days’.

    Good point. ANU should inaugurate Flush The Toilet After A Poo Day immediately.

  66. Tillman

    Sieg Heil!

    Ok CL… you win. As in, you win the prize for being the first on this thread to call someone a Nazi.

  67. jc

    Hey Rog.

    Did Geoffrey have turn off the lights?

  68. C.L.

    Well, I’m sorry but, really…

    “I would support the armed forces being used to promote efficiency, discipline, responsibility and good citizenship.”

    *Advance Australia Fair*

    We interrupt this programme to bring all citizens a message from Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston…

    AH: Good evening, I want to talk to you tonight about the importance of getting to bed early, separating your recyclables and brushing your teeth…

  69. Tillman

    ANU should inaugurate Flush The Toilet After A Poo Day immediately.

    Yeah well believe it or not, CL, not long ago even doctors didn’t wash their hands between taking a shit and performing surgery.

    I’m sure you’ve never heard of Ignaz Semmelweis. He was what you would call a “whingeing nanny stater” (aka “creeping fascist”) who brow beat his fellow doctors into washing their hands:

    At the time, diseases were attributed to many different and unrelated causes. Each case was considered unique, just as a human person is unique. Semmelweis’s hypothesis, that there was only one cause, that all that mattered was cleanliness, was extreme at the time, and was largely ignored, rejected or ridiculed. He was dismissed from the hospital for political reasons and harassed by the medical community in Vienna, being eventually forced to move to Pest.

    But it’s all so obvious in hindsight, isn’t it?

  70. C.L.

    You’re comparing that to Earth Hour?

  71. Steve Edney

    “But it’s all so obvious in hindsight, isn’t it?”

    Apparently not.

    http://www.examiner.com.au/news/local/news/health/tasmania39s-dirty-doctors/1794502.aspx

  72. dover_beach

    Yeah well believe it or not, CL, not long ago even doctors didn’t wash their hands between taking a shit and performing surgery.

    Not long ago? We are talking about modern medicine in its infancy; they were still “bleeding” patients at the time.

    You’re comparing that to Earth Hour?

    Well, exactly.

  73. asf

    I still don’t get what this is about – you don’t like the ANU directive? Fine take your student fees elsewhere and feel free to tell them Earth Hour is a stupid idea while you are at it.

    As for defence, the use of defence for policy promotion purposes is nothing new.

    http://www.defence.gov.au/environment/

    IMO, it is inevitable to get policy creep such as this when government runs the military. Anyone got any good ideas how to stop that without having a Defence Force that becomes a law unto itself?

  74. Tillman

    Yeah I am comparing that to Earth Hour.

    Lots of social change that appears necessary and obvious after the fact get started by “whingeing leftie nanny staters” who were ridiculed and laughed at by contemporaries.

    Some examples that spring immediately to mind:

    - letting women vote
    - abolition of slavery
    - washing your hands after taking a dump

  75. jtfsoon

    Tillman
    You have been sensible on this thread until now.

    You’re on your own now.

    Earth Hour is one of the silliest ideas ever to take hold. It will do close to nothing for climate change and the idea of the whole population turning off and then turning on lights at the same time will probably have a marginally adverse impact on our grid.

  76. Tillman

    We interrupt this programme to bring all citizens a message from Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston…

    CL, where did I say the army should be lecturing people?

    I think the armed forces should lead by example, not by giving speeches. And turning off the lights at a naval base is a small way of leading by example.

    But somehow that makes me a Nazi. You are seriously irresponsible, and ridiculous. You stupid clown.

    To summarise, here’s CL’s argument:

    you disgusting piece of filth… you piece of garbage… sieg heil… you lose… I win….

  77. dover_beach

    I still don’t get what this is about

    That is obvious.

    – you don’t like the ANU directive? Fine take your student fees elsewhere and feel free to tell them Earth Hour is a stupid idea while you are at it.

    Earth Hour is ubiquitous; all universities, I believe, participated.

  78. jtfsoon

    Turning off non essential lighting isn’t an insight comparable to letting women vote and doesn’t need Earth Hour.

    My thrifty Asian background taught me that.

  79. asf

    Errr Earth Hour won’t save any lives. And if lives depend on it – turn the lights back on!

  80. Tillman

    Look, I think Earth Hour itself is a bit silly. And I don’t like being told what to do any more than the next person.

    But I think as a means of effecting social change it may be useful.

    I think ads for KFC are very silly and annoying also. But I don’t doubt that they shift burgers.

    I don’t think it’s impossible that in fifty years people would find it bizarre and primitive that we didn’t for example have devices that automatically power down when they are not being used. Or that there is any issue about turning the lights off.

  81. dover_beach

    Or that there is any issue about turning the lights off.

    There isn’t an issue with turning off the lights, etc. as we leave the room, that is the point. The email, in the sense that Jason defends it, is redundant. It’s of a piece with sending a reminder to staff to look right, then left, then right, before crossing the road.

  82. asf

    Dover – maybe all universities did participate, I’m sure they have their reasons.

    I think earth hour is a silly idea personally, but, I will defend the right of organisations and individuals to participate as long as they don’t expect me to also participate.

  83. sdfc

    You have to ask yourself what sort of jerks get so hot under the collar when a few people choose to turn off their lights for an hour.

    As for the dunderklumpens who turn all their lights and appliances on as some sort of “protest”, petty seems to fit pretty well.

  84. JC.

    SDFC:

    No I see here is getting hot under the collar with idiots wearing hair shirts.

    A lot of the comments here are making fun of the doofuses. As I said I encourage more of it.

  85. JC.

    OOps
    What I see is a lot of comments making fun of this religious event which seems a modern western version of the Haj. Instead of a bunch of people running around a rock we have a bunch of people turning off their silly lights.

    I find it highly amusing and entertaining.

  86. Infidel Tiger

    As for the dunderklumpens who turn all their lights and appliances on as some sort of “protest”, petty seems to fit pretty well.

    Yeah, sitting in the dark eating a tin of cold beans is the height of intelligence.

  87. dover_beach

    You have to ask yourself what sort of jerks get so hot under the collar when a few people choose to turn off their lights for an hour.

    But no one has got hot under the collar. The same cannot be said of those that have gone to all the effort of promoting a day in order to persuade the few that fail to switch them off to switch them off.

  88. sdfc

    It may be a bit dim in your eyes IT but then again so is wasting resources on such a pathetic protest.

  89. sdfc

    DB

    I would call those who choose to waste resources at their own expense purely out of spite as getting hot under the collar otherwise why would they bother.

  90. dover_beach

    sdfc, I think both reactions were a waste of resources.

  91. Tim R

    Nice letter Samuel.

    My work is constantly bombarding me with “green” crapola. eg/ We get a weekly update on how to be green. The thing that is most annoying to me is that I’m someone who prides myself on doing tasks as efficiently as possible. This means I have always done certain things that are now being called “green” such as turning the lights off, using the stairs (they’re quicker at my work), turning off scientific instruments not in use etc. Why? Because this type of thing saves time and money for my work which in turn benefits me. What’s really important is to be productive and efficient.
    So it’s annoying that being “green” is stealing in on this territory. The green movement is the antithesis productivity in reality because humans necessarily alter their environments and greenies are opposed to this.
    I find it annoying to think that people may be motivated to be “green” but not motivated to be productive and efficient.
    I also worry that being “green” will get confused with being productive/efficient in people’s minds and they will therefore find it harder to wake up to the anti-human nature of environmentalism.

    Earth Hour on the other hand has absolutely no merit and not even from the perspective of reducing CO2 emissions. I much prefer to see this type of clear stupidity without obsfucation from the environmentalist movement.

  92. sdfc

    DB

    How is turning off lights because you believe in a cause a waste of resources comparable to a petty spoiling event?

    I don’t partake in earth hour by the way, but then again my hypocrisy is another matter.

  93. I was in a pub when this silliness ensued. The mantle had a massive blob of wax that had to be cleaned up afterwards. Is burning coal really less efficient than burning enough candles to get the same effect?

  94. Abu Chowdah

    “My thrifty Asian background taught me that.”

    That joke’s getting tired. My Anglo-saxon culture of superior comedy taught me that.

  95. daddy dave

    Is burning coal really less efficient than burning enough candles to get the same effect?
    .
    absolutely!
    Provided you use candles that are made from whale fat.
    :-)

  96. Michael Sutcliffe

    I think it was a perfectly acceptable email, and of course the Professor won’t respond.

    The point of the email is that you are challenging a university policy, essentially a public policy, which isn’t on completely solid foundations. And so you should. Especially in a university.

    It’s kind saying “if this was as true as you imply it is you would easily be able to defeat my accusations in the email, but we both know you can’t and won’t”. And that’s exactly what we should be doing. A cheap shot but a worthwhile one; to play along is to sanction ‘truths’ founded on political correctness.

  97. Boris

    I think Rococo has nailed it. “Earth Hour is a political stunt. The Vice chancllor was out of line pushing his political views down the throats of the staff. End of story.”

    I have no problem with Earth Hour per se. And I always try to save energy. But I do not like managers promoting a particular political action. Even if the action itself does not bother me. I do not remember receiving anything similar from our VC, but then I have a setup where all emails sent to all staff are automatically redirected to a folder which I do not open very often :)

    However I do not like the wording of Saamuel’s email. I would rather frame it much more diplomatically and gently suggest that it is inappropriate for him to eoncourage an action of political nature.

    It is actually quite questonable whether this whole thing saves any energy, but even if it does, there are ways do this in non-political ways.

  98. dover_beach

    How is turning off lights because you believe in a cause a waste of resources comparable to a petty spoiling event?

    I’m talking about the resources employed to promote the event as well as the resources employed to switch off and then switch on, lights that otherwise would have been left on for whatever reason.

    Again, what you and others seem to assuming is that staff at the university are already leaving non-essential lights, etc. on when they leave which they very likely aren’t. Moreover, the only lights, etc. academic staff have power over involves those immediately in their offices, while the vast majority of the lighting, etc. at a university is managed by Building Services. The email was thus redundant.

  99. asf

    Of course Earth Hour is a stunt. It reveals the environmental movement for what it is – tokenistic, shallow and self absorbed. IMO it is the single worst idea of the entire movement. I thoroughly support their right to make themselves look stupid.

  100. JC

    Not only do I support their right to look stupid. I encourage it wholeheartedly.

    In fact there should be more of it.

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