Monday, March 23, 2009

Earth Hour: Symptoms of Our Bad Energy Policy?

Does a call to suspend our electrical energy use for one hour can mean a vote against the policy maker’s bad and environmentally unsustainable energy policies?

By: Ringo Bones

Saturday, March 28, 2009 has been earmarked as this year’s Earth Hour as the 80 or so countries around the world pledge to make a stand against global warming. Whatever time zone your country belongs to, when it hits 8:30 in the evening, you have the option to show your solidarity to protest against our policymaker’s bad and environmentally unsustainable energy generation policies. By switching off your domestic lighting – or other high-powered electrical appliance – by one hour, you can vote in favor of our environment and the adoption of alternative energy programs. But is this all in the end just an exercise in futility?

During the 2008 US Presidential Elections, the American people voted for Barack Obama and the Democratic Party due to their more environmentally friendly energy policies. Americans probably got fed-up with the strong-arm lobbying tactics of the coal and crude oil / petroleum industry in Capitol Hill that the voting results of the 2008 US Presidential Election’s showed a “green theme”. Politicians who promised environmentally sustainable energy policies won over those who favored profits and short-term gains. If this trend continues, then this year’s Earth Hour could be an overwhelming success.

Even though I have a 10,000 watt-capable solar photovoltaic / rechargeable lead-acid battery power generating system. It only serves as an energy bill saving measure. Since our local mains electricity is still unfortunately 100% coal-fired – or other forms of greenhouse gas generating fossil fuels. Even though it is – according to the utility company – clean coal technology, it doesn’t produce acid rain anymore (?). There are still concerns that it produces billions of tons of carbon dioxide annually that our local electricity consumption’s contribution to global warming and climate change can’t simply be overlooked.

As the energy conservation side of curbing our civilization’s greenhouse gas generation, Earth Hour could serve to remind us about the inconvenient truth behind our strives for an ever more convenient lifestyle using our current carbon dioxide emitting infrastructure is not doing our planet any good at all. Even the hype behind carbon capture and sequestration now looks suspect if we won’t take steps now in outgrowing our greenhouse gas emitting technological infrastructure.