Anglican Samizdat

March 27, 2009

Anglican Luddites

Filed under: Anglican Church of Canada — David Jenkins @ 9:12 am
Tags: ,

Earth day is approaching and we are being urged to turn off our electric lights for an hour and light candles.Add an Image

The Connelly-Miller family light their candles at last year’s KAIROS Earth Hour worship service at the Church of the Holy Trinity in downtown Toronto.

What are you doing on March 28 at 8:30 p.m.? Kairos, an ecumenical social justice organization, is calling for Canadians to observe Earth Hour “as a symbolic pause to reflect on our use of fossil fuels, to think about the impact of our activity on people and ecosystems around the world, and most importantly, to pledge to make a difference – as individuals, communities, and as a nation.”

In 2008, 50 million people in 370 cities and towns, in more than 35 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour.

This makes as much sense as most of the Anglican Church’s quixotic justice endeavours.

To make a candle, paraffin wax is melted to 190C by a man rubbing two sticks together to generate heat – well, actually the heat is generated by electricity. If we assume a 500W heater can heat enough paraffin wax to make 100 candles in 1 hour, each candle has consumed 5 Watt hours to manufacture. To light 20 candles in a church for one hour consumes 100 Watt hours. Not only that, the burning of the candle produces  water vapour and carbon dioxide. So the candles are increasing what latter day hobbits like to call our “carbon footprint”.

Alternatively, you could use the same energy and get more light by turning on five 20W low energy bulbs. But, of course, this is really about an anti-technology zeitgeist, not saving the planet.



  1. I have just installed two spotlights to illuminate my American flag, and plan the inaugural use Saturday night to celebrate “Human Achievement Hour.”

    Comment by Tregonsee — March 27, 2009 @ 11:09 am

  2. I believe that as good stewards of creation, we are called to care for it. Unlike most urban environmentalists, I have spent the better part of my adult free time in the wilderness. This perspective has innoculated me from the soppy romanticism that is the hallmark of the urban environmental movement today.
    Environmentalists have advanced into the realm of a cult chanting their mantra of Global Warming over and over, as if the repetition could make it true.
    Their case for Global Warming would be much more compelling if: their “scientists” hadn’t been caught publishing false data as justification for their positon, we weren’t entering a global cooling cycle, and if the ice at the South pole wasn’t expanding -to mention just a few inconvenient facts.
    But what really bothers me, is that in their zeal for the environment, they are rapidly becomming eco-fascists intent on imposing their perspective on the rest of us -regardless of the cost.

    Comment by Jim Muirhead — March 27, 2009 @ 3:16 pm

  3. David,
    It occurs to me that many readers don’t know who Luddites were.

    Comment by Jim Muirhead — March 28, 2009 @ 3:39 pm

  4. Luddites

    Comment by David — March 28, 2009 @ 8:03 pm

  5. In addition, I wonder how many people drove their cars to these types of services

    Comment by John K — March 28, 2009 @ 9:45 pm

  6. Is it over? Did i miss it? Darn. I was going to leave the car idling in the driveway and turn on all the lights and mow the lawn. Oh well I made popcorn and sat on the couch and watched TV. Does that count? Do I get my Earth Hour points?

    Comment by Gawk — March 28, 2009 @ 10:22 pm

  7. “Do I get my Earth Hour points?”
    As long as you watched TV by candlelight.

    Comment by John K — March 28, 2009 @ 11:07 pm

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