Jump to content

"The feast of ignorance and backwardness." What's the point of "Earth Hour"?



On the evening of March 30, the planet plunged into darkness: activists from all over the world turned off the electricity in honor of the "Earth Hour". Every year the action is discussed more and more... and criticized. Society is debating whether it's any good or just a show. We understand together with engineers and ecologists.

Earth Hour

Common home

Earth hour is an annual event of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). On the last Saturday of March, activists urge concerned to cut off all sources of electricity from 20:30 to 21:30. So earthlings demonstrate involvement in solving environmental problems.

It all started in Australia when in 2007, two million Sydney residents symbolically plunged their homes into darkness. A year later, another 100 million people on seven continents joined the event. Including Antarctica: at least Australian stations in 2008 de-energized "unnecessary" lighting and lit candles.

Every year Antarctic stations of other States joined the action and lights of sights were switched off as a sign of ecological solidarity of the countries. Began to cut down street advertising and brands. The initiative was supported even in space — the ISS crew in 2018 left only the necessary equipment to work.

Earth Hour

Last year, 188 countries took part in the action. Russia also does not lag behind the Western trend: in 2018, the Earth Hour was held in 700 settlements of our country. According to WWF statistics, more than 20 million compatriots joined the event.


Now millions of people know about "Earth Hour". But with popularity came and conflicting assessments of experts. We figured out whether the action is beneficial and whether there is no harm from it.

Theory and practice

The main claim of skeptics — General power outage damages the infrastructure. Imagine: a bunch of lighting equipment goes out at once, to an hour as a crowd to break out. This is a serious load on the electrical system. Valery Litvak, Professor of the Department of nuclear and thermal power plants of the Energy Institute of Tomsk Polytechnic University, explained why "earth Hour" brings one harm:


This action, in my opinion, is based on the belief: turned off the light — so good. In fact, this is not so. Power systems work well under constant load. The smoother the graph of the load, the more economical production of electricity. (...) It turns out that we first unloaded the generators, and now we load them again. To put it mildly, it is a great stress for the entire electric power complex.

Valery Litvak 

Professor of Tomsk Polytechnic University Energy Institute

Earth Hour

In theory, it is. Turning hardware on and off EN masse is a heavy load on the infrastructure. However, such situations are foreseen in advance in the schedules of electric networks. In the mornings and evenings, too, there is a sharp jump in energy consumption, but the equipment does not fail. We talked with a specialist TSNII "Elektropribor", Vladimir Lakisova. It turned out that in practice, "Earth Hour" does not threaten any extreme loads on the infrastructure:


The scale of the power outage that is expected to occur will not affect the power supply systems. For such systems, it is dangerous not to turn off the external lighting or light in residential areas, but to turn off large and powerful consumers of electricity, for example, a one-time shutdown of all urban electric transport – metro and trams, or the suspension of large industrial enterprises, but this is a utopia.

Vladimir Lakisov

Specialist TSNII "Elektropribor"

Our interlocutor also noted another plus of the action: "the People who joined it will once again think about the need for everyday reasonable spending of the planet's resources. And from the point of view of urban infrastructure, I do not see any dangerous consequences." However, here lies the second problem — how fashionable hobby really helps the environment?

Earth Hour

Ecologist hour

Even environmentalists doubt the effectiveness of "Earth Hour". According to experts, this is a fiction: one day of the year people for 60 minutes plunged into darkness, wrote about it on Facebook, thought about the problems of man-made influence, and then turned on all electrical appliances and went on to throw away batteries.

Anastasia compares this with petitions: a person signs an electronic paper, and then thinks that he saved the world. That is why the organizers of the "Earth Hour" one action is not complete: in parallel, arrange other events. For example, in Brazil, people gathered in national parks to look at the stars, and in Russia, organized bike rides as a sign of the struggle for a clean planet.


How does it work?

Roman Sablin, the founder of the Green Driver platform, told that the results from Earth Hour are actually there. According to him, the action not only makes people click the switch but also to think: what next? "Each year a growing subscriber base, WWF, people begin to receive mailings and in some way to help. From personal experience, I realized that the development of eco-thinking is not a fast process. It may take several years for a person to move from some first small stroke to real actions," the expert explained.

Earth Hour

Moral ecology

There is criticism on the other hand — they say, "Earth Hour" calls on the people to abandon the benefits of civilization and return to the stone age. Ross Mckitrick, a Canadian economist and an opponent of global warming, characterizes the action as "a celebration of ignorance, poverty, and backwardness."

In his opinion, the reason for human progress in the XX century is the spread of cheap and reliable electricity. Any rejection of such benefits is unproductive: "Ashamed to sit for an hour in the dark, as if punished for some fault children — means to accept the point of view that emissions outweigh all the benefits of electricity." However, we note — the Fund has never campaigned for a complete rejection of light bulbs and household appliances.


Finally, the authors of the action are caught in a kind of hypocrisy.

The caveat is that WWF encourages various activities that are carried out in parallel with the "hour of darkness". Their organizers are often used to heighten the effect of lanterns and candles. The first, as you know, run on batteries, and those — terribly pollute the environment. With candles, too, not all right: one thing for one hour emits about 10 grams of carbon dioxide. Save the planet with batteries, and carbon dioxide?

Earth Hour

However, experts have an explanation. In a conversation, the representative of the environmental movement "Separate Collection" cited as an example the production of posters: "it is obvious that a certain amount of wood or secondary raw materials was spent to create paper, but often the idea that is conveyed with this tool is much more valuable."


The result? "Earth hour" does not bring instant results here and now. You can't make the planet cleaner if you turn off the TV for 60 minutes. But this action raises the problem of ecology — at least once a year we remember the universal house. It's started.


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Blog Entries

    • By M. Konwar in Film
      Square Enix published a translation of the session of answers to investors ' questions about its financial results in the first half of the current fiscal year. Chief Executive Yosuke Matsuda confirmed that sales of "The Avengers" were below expectations and that the action role-playing movie has not yet paid off its production budget.

      Earlier it became known that Square Enix sold only 60% of the planned circulation of "The Avengers". It is estimated to have a budget of between $170 million to $190 million, with initial sales of only about 3 million copies. Because of this, the company's HD division lost approximately $ 62 million in the second quarter.
      Matsuda noted that if The Avengers hadn't been released last quarter, the HD division would have remained in the black. However, the losses were caused not only by the non-recouped development costs, but also by the marketing campaign, which suffered due to delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
      That being said, Square Enix still intends to make it profitable with post-release support. Last week, the developers announced that Kate Bishop will appear in The Avengers on December 8th.
    • By M. Konwar in Film
      At a recent panel dedicated to "Rick and Morty," the authors revealed that they are already working on the seventh season of the animated series.
      According to writer Dan Harmon, he can no longer clearly track plot milestones — he even threatened to unwittingly reveal spoilers for the fifth or sixth season. Harmon also hinted that the" space version " of Beth will return in the future and somehow affect the overall plot.
      Previously, the Adult Swim channel swooped in on 70 episodes of the project from the creators, and so far the show has just reached the season 4 finale - this happened at the end of May.
      There is no exact date for the premiere of the sequel yet.
    • By M. Konwar in Film
      In a recent interview, Zack Snyder said that for his version of "Justice League" in total, no more than 4-5 minutes were completed.
      Specifically, we are talking about new scenes, for which the director attracted most of the original cast. The numbers were so small because all the other material needed to complete the tape was already in the hands of the director - it only needed to be finalized. Simply put, the film's running time will still be four hours.
      He also revealed that this time there was no "focus group", and the tape will be made without any interference with the author's vision. By the way, in his version of the Joker, to the image of which Jared Leto returned again, will be slightly different from the image from "Suicide Squad".
      Snyder's Justice League will premiere on HBO Max in 2021.
    • By M. Konwar in Health
      Distortion of science for political and economic ends has prevented the allocation of needed resources to stop the spread of dangerous pathogens. This places all of society as a whole at risk, but exacting an insufferable toll of death and disability on our front-line healthcare workers, along with our most vulnerable populations. COVID-19 has demonstrated how dangerous this scenario has become.

      We have seen the United States top officials publicly flaunt the wearing of masks and use substandard infection control practices.  A super-spreader event was even created at the White House’s Rose Garden when rapid testing was used to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2. This type of test is known for high false negatives especially with trying to detect asymptomatic carriers. And a security guard for the president was seen wearing an N95-mask with an exhalation value, a setup for spreading the disease.
      There also have been reports that the federal government has impeded or mitigated CDC recommendations for cruise ship No-Sail orders, and to pressure the CDC regarding school openings.  Having consistent scientifically based messaging on a national level is of utmost importance. The messaging in the United States can be characterized as nothing short of bizarre.
      The CDC has flip-flopped on guidance regarding the use of masks on public transportation, the testing of asymptomatic carriers, and was late to stress the importance of spread with viral aerosols – too many of our buildings are not healthy. Significant infrastructural changes are needed to allow for proper social distancing, increase in ventilation, and air sanitization. Infrastructure upgrades are expensive and so far the United States does not have the political will to actualize these changes.
      Needless to say, it is a warning that the abandonment of scientific evidence-based recommendations has all but stymied effective public health responses in the United States.
      Health Care Worker and Patient Safety is of Paramount Importance
      One of the worst aspects of the United States’ response is the failure to provide adequate personnel protective equipment (PPE). The United States’ federal government has not invoked the Defense Production Act to assure an adequate supply of N95-masks for our workers. These masks require a key ingredient ‘melt blown textile’ which is difficult to manufacture. Relying solely on the free market is ill-advised since, similar to the N1H1 pandemic, industry is reluctant to retool for manufacture when they may not recoup their startup costs. This reluctance has its roots in the ideology and the desire of leaders not to create excess mandates and government overreach.
      Some feel the delay in recognition of aerosolization as a major mode of spread of SAR-CoV-2 was related to the paucity of N95-masks and the desire not to alarm workers. As of this writing, N95-masks are still in short supply.
      The impact that this lack of basic protective gear has had may never be known, for no one is counting SARS-CoV-2 infections and deaths in front-line workers.  A lack of mandatory reporting of work-related illness has resulted in incomplete reporting on healthcare personnel; the number of healthcare workers who died from COVID-19 could be between 752 to above 4000. The bottom line is, we need to do better.
      We have stressed in the past the importance of establishing a surveillance system and regular screening of healthcare workers for endemic dangerous pathogens and those pathogens which have frequent outbreaks in a facility, including pathogens CRE, Clostridioides difficile, MRSA, and SARS-CoV-2.
      Healthcare workers also need to have an economic and healthcare safety net for both themselves and their families. Paid sick leave is of paramount importance, since it is not ethical to have a healthcare worker making the untenable choice between the safety of patients and placing food on their family’s table.  Acquisitions of dangerous pathogens that occur during an outbreak or pandemic should qualify the worker for presumptive disability.
      Additionally, no one is counting patients who contract COVID-19 in hospital settings. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ definition for a SARS-CoV-2 hospital-acquired infection is unfortunately next to useless; “Total current inpatients with the onset of suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 fourteen or more days after admission for a condition other than COVID-19.” Unfortunately, this definition is next to useless.
      For many patients, the greatest chance of catching SARS-CoV-2 is on the day of admission, due to being placed in a freshly turned over room and possibly going through the emergency room for initial treatment. Thus it is unlikely that few SARS-CoV-2 HAIs will be captured. The most accurate metric would be a diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 acquisition which would occur 5 days after admission, including those which present after discharge. This metric would balance false positive and negative results and give a much better estimate of overall system performance. This mitigation of SARS-CoV-2 data is reminiscent of past pandemics where countries have a long history of hiding the numbers, as opposed to reporting them and correcting the problem.
      The Need to Take Care of Disparate Populations, Even the Elderly
      Initially, the virus emerged in the northwest region of the United States and devastated Nursing Homes where infectious disease regulations were all too lax. In 2019, the CDC attempted to strengthen infection prevention in nursing homes by enacting the strategy of Enhanced Barrier Precautions.. ‘Enhanced’ a  deceptive word, since these precautions are less stringent than Contact Precautions (these precautions were being advocated for the control of the CDC’s ‘Urgent Threats’ of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and Candida Auris and can also be applied to patients colonized with MRSA). Recommendations for Enhanced Barrier Precautions state: “Residents are not restricted to their rooms and do not require placement in a private room.”
      Enhanced Barrier Precautions allow carriers to participate in nursing home activities and only require healthcare workers to implement contact precautions for high-risk activities, but even low-risk activities, such as passing meds, occur so frequently that one would expect frequent healthcare worker contamination.
      These precautions do not appear to be based upon how the MDRO spreads, but instead on avoiding more stringent and resource-intense strategies.
      Such strategies would include: Healthcare worker screening and availability of abundant PPE, along with determining the patient’s microbiome, and if dangerous pathogens are present, decolonization, and as a last resort cohorting patients with similar pathogens in dedicated facilities. Pathogens do not care about politics or the needs of the individual, they are genetically programmed to spread.
      Dangerous pathogens are genetically programmed to spread. Strategies need to be based upon the pathogen and not the political expediency of our leaders or to lessen the economic impact on our healthcare system. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us the need for public support and embracement of scientifically based public health strategies to stop the spread of dangerous pathogens (proper building ventilation, widespread testing, social distancing, wearing masks, and hand hygiene). These strategies can be expensive to implement and may cause a severe short-term economic burden but are the fastest path to a full economic recovery.
      Whether one deals with MRSA or COVID-19, screening, and decolonization or self-isolation of healthcare workers is of utmost importance. Their health, the health of their families along with their patients depend upon it.
      This post is by Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, and originally appeared on the BMC blog network.
    • By Priyanka in Food
      Flax seeds are an amazing superfood that combines a huge variety of different nutrients and is useful for all body systems. Even in ancient Greece, a decoction of Flaxseed was used as an anti-inflammatory agent, and for more than two thousand years, doctors have strongly recommended adding it to the diet. What is so useful flax seeds and how best to use them in food, we tell in our material.

      What are the benefits of flax seeds?
      Flax seeds contain the plant compound linamarin - it evenly envelops the walls of the stomach, creating a protective film on it that prevents harmful toxins from being absorbed, and protects the stomach mucosa from ulcers and gastritis. In addition, the high concentration of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids in flaxseed significantly increases the elasticity of blood vessels and heart muscle, strengthens them, and helps in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Even if you don't have heart problems right now, regular consumption of flax seeds reduces the risk of them appearing in the future.

      Flaxseed is a source of antioxidant compounds. They protect body cells from free radical damage and have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Antioxidants are the real elixir of youth: they nourish the skin from the inside, prevent the signs of aging and hyperpigmentation and protect the skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays.
      Flax seeds are rich in magnesium and phosphorus, which are essential for the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system. They increase concentration and performance and improve memory. A number of active substances in flaxseed strengthen bones, muscles, and tendons, prevent respiratory diseases, and restore the acid-base balance of the body.
      What's more, flax seeds are essential in your diet if you are looking to lose weight. They help burn visceral fat, and due to their high nutritional value, they provide long-term satiety and significantly reduce the risk of overeating.

      How to add flax seeds to your diet?
      The most important thing: it is useless to add whole flax seeds to food - the hard shell of the seed is beyond the strength of our stomach, which means that not a single nutrient will be absorbed by the body. The seeds can be crushed, or they can be soaked in warm water for 1-2 hours (then the shell will become soft and easily digested, and useful substances will enter the body).

      Further, in chopped or soaked form, flax can be added anywhere - here you are limited only by your imagination. Flax seeds are a great addition to your morning porridge, smoothie, or avocado toast. They can be sprinkled on salads, vegetables, and meat dishes, added to cream soups and stews.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.