I’m : a programmer, writer, podcaster, geek, and coffee enthusiast.


Photo of the Day: The global headquarters of the Earth Hour event during Earth Hour.

Take your own advice much?


This is one of those feel-good environmentally conscious movements that has so many inconvenient implementation details that its purpose is devalued and many people ultimately miss the point.

The lamp on my desk, with a CFL bulb, uses 26 watts. Granted, we usually keep two of these lamps on. So our living room typically uses 52W for lighting during the hours that we’re using it.

That idle MacBook Pro on the edge of that desk uses about 60W.

A typical modern 24” LCD monitor, like the one on that same desk, uses about 100W.

I hope and assume that the pictured room, full of people and computers but with closed windows, didn’t need air conditioning (500-800W).

It’s easy to turn off your lights for an hour on a Saturday evening. Was anyone inconvenienced by that, really? Did anyone need to change their plans, their diets, or their habits?

Of course not. Everyone just sat on the internet for an hour with their 50-250W computers, using services requiring tens, hundreds, or thousands of 400W servers and countless switches and routers along the way, all in air-conditioned datacenters.

And afterward, everyone turned their lights back on and continued their lives with no significant changes whatsoever.

Positive environmental impact takes real effort and real change. It’s more than just dropping your endless supply of plastic bottles in recycling bins, making sure the new car you lease every 3 years to drive yourself 30 miles to work every day is fuel-efficient, and posting to Twitter for an hour about how your lights are off.