OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Being a dick about Earth Hour

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  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Should say, frequency is important to my neurological pathways.Otherwise I'm fucked in the head :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I think a dimmed conventional bulb would only save power over CFL if you ran it at less than 20% brightness all the time. In which case, you could probably use a lower power bulb and save even more power.

    These people have dimmable CFLs

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Ethan Tucker,

    Apropos Nanny State vs Boot Camp: the advocates of both expect that other people will be nannied/booted, while detractors fear the boot/nanny coming for them.

    Otherwise known as a Bootenanny?

    Wellington • Since Apr 2008 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • Daniel Ambler,

    1. Legislation was also supposed to help bring the price of CFLs down due to economies of scale.

    2. It would help if government (central and local) would get on board with the recycling of CFLs. Better methods of disposal of broken bulbs (mercury risk) would be helpful and would counter some of the arguments against their use.

    3. We have installed a bulb in our lounge which gives the same warm light as the softone incandescent beside it.
    We accidentaly bought a cool white for the bathroom which is OK for that use but make sure you look at what you're buying. So far all are working fine. Previously we've experienced quality issues with some bulbs.

    4. I'm having a house built at the moment and have endeavoured to make it as energy efficient and sustainable as I can. The design features solar hot water complemented by a woodburner with a wet-back for sunless winter days. I will source the fuel from my own land (trees, trees, lots of trees) Question: is this carbon neutral? will the emissions be greater than the equivalent power taken from the national grid? Your criticisms are welcome

    Manukau • Since Jul 2008 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    What the Aussie ban did was suddenly lead to an explosion of choice in CFL bulbs here.

    Just over a year ago it was impossible to get anything other than the standard incandescent replacement. Anything small or spotlight-like had to be frigging halogen (which have been banned in Ausie because they are so dangerous).

    Fast forward and suddenly we can have recessed spots, small lighting and the works. Banning, can increase choice.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Great post Keith. I'd been too distracted by talk-like-William-Shatner Day to even buy presents for Earth Day.

    These were cheap, immediate, effective and economical policies. They paid for themselves and had no downside. And they're history. So what's the point in talking about the kind of climate change action that is expensive, that will spread the cost throughout the economy, that will slow down growth, that will hurt households?

    Earth Hour talks a good game, but we need to get real here: We're pretty fucked. The front on climate change action in New Zealand has collapsed. Our political environment is so toxic to rational debate that the simplest, cheapest, easiest measures can get defeated by dimmer switches and pseudo-liberalism. Solidarity of the human race and global action to save the planet is all well and good... but it's perverse to talk in those terms when we can't change a lightbulb.

    That's tops.

    Since Nov 2006 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I'd suspect you are talking about Fluorescent lighting affecting suffererizerers of epilepsy

    They do affect some autistic people too.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Question: is this carbon neutral? will the emissions be greater than the equivalent power taken from the national grid? Your criticisms are welcome

    Assuming the wood comes from trees that would not otherwise have been planted, yes.

    If you burn wood and then plant trees, then you'll be carbon positive until the tree has soaked up an equivalent amount of carbon. Like incurring a debt and paying it off.

    My advice - plant plenty of trees and you'll be right.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Bruce Wurr,

    <quote>My beef is, how can we tolerate a media/political environment that is so toxic, and so completely off its nuts irrational, that the dumbest and craziest arguments can come from left field and sink these basic energy efficiency measures.<quote>

    Couldn't have said it better keith. Toxic sums it up completely. Forget about science and rational debate - just go with who shrieks the loudest.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 97 posts Report Reply

  • Bruce Wurr,

    that's why you should always preview first....crap!

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 97 posts Report Reply

  • Paully,

    I read at worldchanging.com some time back that changing lightbulbs is great and all but is completely good work is undone by people using their savings on the power bill to buy a plazma tv which sucks up way more than any old light bulb.

    Isn't this going to be the next big challenge, the rise of bigger and bigger power demands of people's entertainment? Should we slap energy standards on home electronics like that? Think of all the xboxs and so one too...

    Palmerston North • Since Mar 2009 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Just in: John Key doesn't want anyone hugging polar bears. Has he been chatting to Sarah Palin?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    Isn't this going to be the next big challenge, the rise of bigger and bigger power demands of people's entertainment? Should we slap energy standards on home electronics like that? Think of all the xboxs and so one too...

    Yeah. I, uh, have this friend who kept their PS2 when they got a PS3 because they did measurements and found that the latter sucked way more power. So wherever possible, the PS2 gets used.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Polar bears are dangerous and unpredictable carnivores. I applaud the common sense of our Prime Minister in this matter.

    Also, those polar bears should be sent to boot camp and bunked two to a room. Perhaps then they'll learn to stop lounging around ice floes and make themselves useful for a change. We shouldn't be wasting tax payer funds on ice floes for polar bears until we've dealt with more important priorities like a motorway through Transmission Gully.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    There won't be any polar bears to hug soon, thanks to global warming.

    So a sensible move by the PM. Why invest in programmes that won't be sustainable over the long term?

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Hugging polar bears would involve significant air miles. So he does have a green heart after all.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Garth Bray,

    I was working in Sydney when Malcolm Turnbull announced (as Environment Minister in the Howard government) that incandescent bulbs were to be phased out and banned from some date in 2009.

    There was ZERO agitation - well, none that broke above the line to someone who spent a good portion of his day from 6am scanning every Aussie news website, tv bulletin and as much takback as one can stand driving to jobs.

    Returning to NZ just prior to the election to hear banning bulbs was a nanny-state call felt like stepping into a playground and hearing people demanding the right for their kids not to slip slop and slap to avoid melanoma. Boneheaded and kind of scarily trivial.

    They may be obsessed with NRl and even more arcane ballsports, but the ockers definitely demostrate a more level attitude to these kinds of small-scale initiatives to cut emissions and save a few quid too.

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since Dec 2007 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Oh, and another reason to say fuck off Earth Hour: Can't big polluters like Rio Tinto make their own greenwash?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    @Sofie

    I'd suspect you are talking about Flourescent lighting affecting suffererizerers of epilepsy which does happen.

    There's a belief that about half the people on the autistic spectrum are also distressed to some extent by fluorescent lighting, but unfortunately, only a little research into it.

    I asked Leo about it, and he's never had a problem, but I can see how it could occur. Autists process sensory input quite differently to the rest of us. This commonly manifests in the case of hearing or simply in the "human noise" of a full classroom, which can be overwhelming. Their brains aren't smoothing it over and picking out the important stuff.

    People affected report being able to see the flickering of a 60Hz lamp, which I imagine would be irritating at the least.

    So it's a neurological issue, but a different flavour to yours.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • uroskin,

    Here on Waiheke Island we have regular Earth Hour blackouts (about one a month over winter) due to the poor lines infrastructure (one car crashing into a power pole in Clevedon puts us all in the dark) so we don't have to switch off on Saturday.

    Waiheke Island • Since Feb 2007 • 178 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    So it's a neurological issue, but a different flavour to yours.

    And, while I realise it must be awful to suffer through it, quite an interesting one. The fact that those of us "off" the spectrum presumedly receive the sensory information in the same way (there being no difference physically in our sensors) yet somehow ignore the flickering, strobing etc at a neurological level is quite fascinating.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    As that pinko leftie newspaper The Economist so neatly summarises

    "This week, the European Commission formally adopted new regulations that will phase such bulbs out in Europe by 2012. America will do so by 2014. Some countries, such as Australia, Brazil and Switzerland, have got rid of them already."

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Sometimes we only lead the world in fucking things up.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Clemo,

    best. post. ever.

    ever. Good to see a rational breakdown of what was a rational (but ultimately mislabeled) policy. Following from that, make the benefits clear to people and they will decide for themselves.

    Since Mar 2009 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And, while I realise it must be awful to suffer through it, quite an interesting one. The fact that those of us "off" the spectrum presumedly receive the sensory information in the same way (there being no difference physically in our sensors) yet somehow ignore the flickering, strobing etc at a neurological level is quite fascinating.

    There's no shame in being fascinated by it -- it is bloody fascinating.

    The lesson is how much of our senses have little to do with the sensory organs themselves, but with the way out brains process the input they capture -- they do a lot of user-friendly stuff that aids our progress though the world. Some way back, I realised that my kids actually experience physical reality in a profoundly different way than I do.

    It's a helpful insight into human difference in general, actually.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

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