Earth Hour: Reducing Emissions

Over the past day, I’ve seen people on both sides of the Earth Hour fence. I support earth hour. In my opinion, Earth Hour, through a very practical means shows what a difference we can make to reduce everyday energy emissions. As a landscape photographer, I want the landscapes that I capture to still be there in years to come!

The primary argument against earth hour seems to be the idea that the human input of CO2 into the atmosphere is minimal compared to the existing input of CO2 that the environment naturally creates. The conclusion: Earth Hour is pointless, climate change is inevitable.

Looking at some basic numbers of CO2 contributions to our atmosphere:

  • The earth naturally contributes 770 billion tonnes of CO2 per year
  • Humans have contributed an additional 29 billion tonnes of CO2 per year

The earth then absorbs around 788 billion tonnes of CO2 each year. The difference between emissions and absorption of CO2 is 11 billion tonnes.

All the scientific stuff aside, can you honestly not see the benefit of Earth Hour? Worldwide acknowledgement that we need to change the way we manage our power consumption. The acknowledgement of the fact that we release 29 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year.

Yes the numbers show that we only contribute 3.6% of total carbon emissions. But let me remind you that this 3.6% is still 29 billion tonnes. I’ll also point out that saving power, saves you money. It’s a win-win situation.

Climate change inevitable? Yes. We already know that we are experiencing a climate change cycle. 

Earth Hour pointless? No. If you’ve made a renewed effort to save energy (whether it’s to save money or the environment), it’s already had a positive impact.

Regardless of whether you’re for or against the idea of climate change, what’s the down side to saving energy and a few dollars at the same time?

An easy way to get involved

Saving energy isn’t a hard thing to achieve. Lets say you have 6 x 100w lights in your house that are on for 5 hours a day, you’re paying $13.8/month to run those lights. Converting those light globes to 25W (100W equiv) energy saver globes, you’ll be paying $3.54/month. Saving you over $10/month. (@15¢ per kWh)