Wednesday, March 25, 2009
earth hour my ass
The only thing worse than a tree hugger is a tree hugger wannabe.
The tree hugger, as idiotic as he is at least is not a hypocrite (well, most of the time anyway). The tree hugger wannabe, however, tries to get you to do stupid things for ridiculous reasons.
Like switching off your lights for a whole hour. ONE WHOLE HOUR YOH! Think of all the whales and polar bears you are going to save!
Now, a core part of my job as a rocket scientist (which is the glamorous name for a Gas Turbine engineer) is to reduce the fuel gas consumption of gas turbines (gas turbines are things that generate electricity for you people out there). This means that in one day, I would have done more for the environment than a thousand tree huggers who cycle to work. So this gives me the right to criticize idiots when it comes to the environment.
I was supposed to write this last night where I was going to tell you people what a farce and what a load of hypocritical crap Earth Hour is, but I woke up this morning and it seems like a lot of people have already done that. So, I decided to do my part and educate you on what you could and should actually do.
Okay, truth be told, I am actually not that annoyed about Earth Hour itself. I think its good for other countries where there exists people who really don't care about the environment and hence this is a good publicity tool to raise awareness, and I think there is nothing wrong with that.
However, when done in Malaysia, it makes no fucking sense. If you didn't already know, how it normally works in other countries, like the US or UK - the national power authority (equivalent to TNB) will forecast the amount of power they require at any given point in time for the following day, and tell the power plants how much they would need to generate at that particular time.
In Malaysia, however, because of the Independent Power Producers - IPPs (which you can blame on the old man and the frog king) the power plants tell TNB how much they are willing to generate and TNB is obligated to buy all that power, whether or not TNB and the consumers require it.
This means that, come 28th March, even if everybody and every household shuts down all the switches in their house, the power plants would still be generating electricity at full blast to maximise their sales to TNB. Hence, you shutting off your power consuming devices is irrelevant towards the amount of fossil fuel burnt by the IPPs.
Therefore, I think WWF is being a moron here. Instead of spending all that money on publicity for a worthless cause, all that time and effort could be channeled into helping TNB force the IPPs to renegotiate their contracts. TNB (and to a certain extent, the current government) has been trying to do that for years now, but the IPPs have refused to budge. What I am saying is, if you people want to do something worthwhile, then do your research on the biggest crooks around. I will not name them, but it is easy for the average Joe to find out who the biggest IPPs are, what companies run them, and boycott their other products. As a consumer, it is very easy to put pressure on the services and goods provided by the same companies that operate the IPPs.
Ironically, some of those large IPPs have an extensive CSR program on environmental protection, and the public laps it all up, not knowing that these guys are burning unnecessary fossil fuel to produce electricity that we do not require.
The intention is good, but intentions count for nothing if you do not have the results to show for it. Focus your time and effort on the right thing, otherwise you look nothing more than a fool.
On the other hand, as an engineer, I would be very interested actually to see what happens if every household in the country shuts off ALL their electrical appliances for that one hour. Theoretically, if at the end of that one hour, when everybody flicks ON the switch within a minute of each other, it will cause a surge in the national grid and we could experience a catastrophic nationwide black out. This is purely theoretical and of course has never been proven because never before has so many people flicked on their switches simultaneously.
For that reason, and that reason alone, I would encourage as many idiots as possible to participate in this Earth Hour nonsense.
All in the name of science.
Sorry to burst your bubble. But keep your fingers crossed. It just might happen. But I'll be on a plane by then.
Cheers mate. The next time you hear from me I'll be in LA.
And of course, you better hope the don't turn off the lights at the airport, hahahahah!
Cindi: There are blog ads about it?!?! HAHAHAHAH!
and i'm gonna go partake in the earth hour fun anyway! wheeeeee! shopping in the dark!