Earth Hour

In the past, Star Trek has inspired several self-fulfilling prophecies, from the invention of the flip phone to ion propulsion to the tricorder...  Star Trek is often credited for being one of the few futurist franchises that portrays a positive future for humanity: a utopian future free of many of today's problems.  As a result, another self-fulfilling prophecy Star Trek may yet inspire is a sustainable future.  With Earth Hour this Saturday, we at TrekCore feel it is worth taking a step back to reflect on our progress regarding anthropogenic climate change, a significant stumbling block to being able to realise such a future.

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The Earth Hour campaign this year centres around inspiring action: "I will... if you will..."  Is there anything us Star Trek fans can do this week to inspire action to help build a sustainable future?  Let us know if you are participating in any of the challenges, issuing any challenges, etc. in the comments below.

  • Mike

    I have issued a challenge to my friends on Facebook to share the Earth Hour video 50 times. If they do, I will donate some money to charity. I’m a teacher as well – so at school we teachers are challenging 75% of the students to participate in Earth Hour – and if they do, they will get a “dress down” day (no uniforms). I live in Beijing, so I often experience air quality that is just unimaginably poor… There’s something wrong when the air you breath is toxic… But this campaign is good – it’s worldwide, it unites. I hope it’s a success.

  • Carson

    Here in Toronto, I celebrate Earth Hour by turning on all the lights inside and outside my home. I celebrate the fact that through human ingenuity, we generate electricity. This has lifted us out of poverty and allow most of us to never have to bury a child because of childhood diseases; refrigeration means innoculations!

    Mike, I understand the problems of air quality in Beijing. But here in North America, the air has not been this clean for more than a century. Reducing pollution is the thing to focus on, NOT on reducing CO2. As an engineer and scientifically literate Star Trek fan, I can read the reports: the global warmists do not have science on their side! When your theories don;t match observed reality, you need to revise your theories.

    Global warming ideology – of which Earth Hour is a part – is a political movement that is making food (corn based) and power in the developing world far too expensive for the poor. Let’s focus on advanced nuclear power, and stop wasting so many tax dollars on technology that isn’t ready for prime time, i.e. wind and solar.

    Remember, pollution control and the environment only matter to wealthy societies. In other words, if you make yourself poor by making bad power choices, you won’t be able to afford to care about the environment! We have to be smart in our choices!

    In the meantime, I will be teaching my children about the wonders of modern technology. There is no point in teaching them to do without by turning off the lights. We sure don’t want to live like our ancestors: in the dark with whale oil lamps and coal heating!

    • Mike

      Yes, it is unfortunately a bit politicised, but it really shouldn’t be… It transcends that because it’s a world problem. But anyway, I’d be interested in your perspective on which sides science does not support the connection with CO2. New Scientist keeps a website about the different arguments here: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11462 (this is the index – each argument is linked at the bottom with updated articles). It’s a wealth of information about the issue and the arguments made for and against it. I consider New Scientist trustable considering its long history…

      But yeah we do have to be smart about our power choices – we definitely can live high standards of life by using energy more efficiently and cleanly. There are just lots of barriers being thrown up… which really need to be torn down. Nuclear is an option for sure, but it is also a non-renewable resource… So it’ll be a bandaid in the end. But the argument can be made for having a bandaid for now.

      I think this is the best part about Earth Hour: it gets people talking about the Earth and the future – all too often we talk about cat pictures :P

    • Matt_Cardiff_UK

      I’m sorry – focus on advanced nuclear power???? – no – as a totally uninformed person with no scientific knowledge or decent grades in school – let’s NOT focus on advanced nuclear power. What a ridiculous thing to say. Renewable, green energy production is the way forward. Use the free abundant energy available to us now. Tidal, solar, geothermal, wind, etc. Like the Enterprise that uses hydrogen collected via ramscoops. Use what’s freely available.

      • Mike

        You can disagree while being respectful, then your message would come across more effectively… While I agree it is not a solution, many people can make the argument that it could be a bandaid considering how many barriers companies and some countries are throwing up to discredit renewables. Ultimately renewables are the final solution, it’s just whether or not we a a civilisation can make it work or not…

        • Matt_Cardiff_UK

          I didn’t feel the need to be more effective than that, and didn’t think it was particularly disrespectful. I apologise if you’re offended – but stand by what I say. Consider this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_nuclear_disasters_and_radioactive_incidents

          The ‘barriers’ thrown up by companies and countries are created to justify the mining of fossil fuels – because it is the cheapest, easiest, and quickest return on investment.

          Nuclear is just pollution waiting to happen in the form of used fuel rods being buried in the ground waiting for some future disaster to crack open the supposedly safe casings or water cooling pools.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spent_fuel_pool#Risks

          I appreciate I’m just throwing wiki links in and it’s lazy – but it’s the ‘let’s just use Nuclear’ attitude that annoys me. For the cost of a year’s military budget in the US, I’m taking a very rough estimate, we could probably get Space Solar Power literally off the ground.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space-based_solar_power

          What about hydrogen power? Creating nothing but pure water vapour as a by-product. What about solar farms in the desert? What about massive off-shore wind farms? All far less troublesome options. Nuclear = disaster.

    • Paolo

      This is an excellent site on AGW, based on peer reviewed scientific literature:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/

  • not

    never heard of this before

  • Paolo

    I think that scientific knowledge about AGW is fundamental: here is a good place to start:

    http://nas-sites.org/americasclimatechoices/new-resources-about-climate-change/