Earth Hour

Earth Hour was like some sort of surreal early April Fool's joke come early. The idea was for everyone to turn out their lights for one hour on March 29th in order to show "support for action on climate change."
(Note for the slow: climate change is not the same as global warming. In fact, it cannot even be shown that climate change is bad.)
Meanwhile, the city of Toronto held a free concert to celebrate their efforts.
Yes. That's right.
A concert.
Because really, the point of Earth Hour wasn't actually to DO anything, but rather to promote feeling good about saving the planet, and to raise environmental awareness.
I really hate that word.
Awareness has probably become one of the most over-used, cliched words in the common person's dictionary. No one actually does anything useful. They just raise "awareness."
As though knowing about a problem is the same as doing something about it.
Does anyone genuinely believe that sitting in the dark for one hour actually impacted the planet? Some people must. How else did the event even happen?
Really, if you want to be energy efficient, you have to make total lifestyle changes. Turn out the lights in unused rooms throughout the entire house throughout the entire day. Buy less "stuff." Buy second hand. Recycle. Stop needing every latest gadget and gizmo. If "everyone" wants to make a difference, then "stuff" needs to come in less packaging (especially children's toys and electronics), there needs to be less waste collectively and someone needs to tell the government of Ontario that forcing people to throw away perfectly good car seats after only 5 years of use is NOT helping anyone.
I was curious as to what the news coverage on Earth Hour might be. It was the usual of course: mindless, typically nauseating, uninformative. Most of the Canadian media patted themselves on the back. I can't help but wonder, how many of the people writing these saccharine articles still drove to work alone in their SUV? But then I came across this gloriously refreshing article.
Global warming advocates frequently claim that the way for society to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is for individuals to make sacrifices to their lifestyle in the name of reducing their carbon footprint.
Thus people are encouraged to feel guilty about everyday components of their life, such as holiday air travel, driving cars to work, using electrical appliances and so on.
Judging by prominent global warming advocate Al Gore's power bill, (20 times that of the average American), one may be forgiven for thinking such activists are perhaps more interested in reducing your consumption rather than their own...
Symbolic, feel-good policies such as badgering ordinary people to buy energy efficient lightbulbs do not appear to be the answer to anything.

How true.
Would you like to see the math to back up Solomon's claim that Earth Hour was a big fat waste of time?
Here you go.
Read it and weep.
Waste of time!
I feel the need to point out that the paper was written last year after Sydney held its first Earth Hour. One wonders how, in the face of mathematical fact, Earth Hour not only happened a second time, but actually spread to countries beyond Australia.
But then, who needs truth, fact or even action when they have awareness?

Sticking it to the RIAA

This from Slashdot:
"Remember those pesky student attorneys from the University of Maine School of Law's Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic, who inspired the Magistrate Judge to suggest monetary fines against the RIAA lawyers? Well they're in the RIAA's face once again, and this time they're trying to shut down the RIAA's whole 'discovery' machine: the lawsuits it files against 'John Does' in order to find out their names and addresses. They've gone and filed a Rule 11 motion for sanctions (PDF), seeking — among other things — an injunction against all such 'John Doe' cases, arguing that the cases seek to circumvent the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act which protects student privacy rights, are brought for improper purposes of obtaining discovery, getting publicity, and intimidation, and are in flagrant violation of the joinder rules and numerous court orders. If the injunction is granted, the RIAA will have to go back to the drawing board to find another way of finding out the identities of college students, and the ruling — depending on its reasoning — might even be applicable to the non-college cases involving commercial ISPs."

I wish them the best of luck in their endeavours.
I could rant for hours against the RIAA but let me just sum up and say they ought to be shut down altogether.
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