Earth Hour Comes to San Francisco – Lights Out for One Hour.

After last night’s Earth Hour of partial darkness from 8:00-9:00 PM, the lights on the “architectural necklace” of the western span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge came back to life on the north side first. (Unfortunately, didn’t get a look at the troubled eastern span last night – it was probably darkened also.) 

You can get the idea of the effect of Earth Hour 2008 in San Francisco by looking at these before and after shots of the Ferry Building taken by talented local photographer Mona Brooks.  

The lights on the suspension cables of the western span of one of the busiest bridges in the world are just for decoration, not for navigation safety or whatever. Pretty. They sure make a big difference to the look of San Francisco at night when they are turned off.

Question: Turning off these decorative lights for an hour saves enough electricity to power Al Gore’s house (his actual house, not his San Francisco condo in SOMA that’s visible on the right) for how many minutes?

Answer: About 13 minutes. Let’s work on that math, after the jump.

O.K., the “architectural necklace” uses 600 nine-watt bulbs, per the Oakland Tribune.

So, (600)(9)= 5.4 kilowatts. Over one hour that equals 5.4 kilowatt-hours of juice saved by Earth Hour when these 600 lights were off. Remember this number, we’ll use it later.

Al Gore’s house burns an average of 18,400 kilowatt-hours per month, per the rumour fighting

So, (18,400)/(30 days per month)= 613 kilowatt-hours per day. And (613)/(24 hours in a day)= 25.5 kilowatt-hours per hour (which is basically saying the house has average burn of 25.5 kilowatts). 

Taking the 5.4 kilowatts of the decorative bridge lights and dividing by the 25.5 kilowatts of the house and you get .212, then multiplying by the 60 minutes in an hour and you get 12.7 minutes.

So, that’s how much electricity was saved by turning off these lights in San Francisco – enough to power A.G.’s house for about 13 minutes.

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18 Responses to “Earth Hour Comes to San Francisco – Lights Out for One Hour.”

  1. Mark W says:

    Carbon credits!

  2. Bobo in Texas says:

    I cry out to all citizens of Gaia to sacrifice and commit to a carbon footprint even smaller than that of St. Albert.

    For the planet. For the children.

  3. Because of Al Gore’s powerful slide deck, I have decided to reduce my farts by 20% this year. The elimination of post-rectal gaseous discharge would help balance the earth, I am sure of it.

  4. somaking says:

    You are a traitor to the city. The ELF will hear of your thought crimes. Beware.

  5. Andy Freeman says:

    CA’s electricity rates are significantly higher than the national average. If Gore pays national average rates, he could run his house for longer than 13 minutes using the money “saved” by this stunt.

  6. […] Hour math. Heh: …The lights on the suspension cables of the western span of one of the busiest bridges in […]

  7. jason says:

    ummmm…..unless cheaper electricity causes less “global warming”, the above comment is utterly pointless….

  8. jason says:

    sorry, ‘earth hour’ beat me. was referring to comment by andy freeman.

  9. Alisa says:


    At least Andy acknowledges this whole episode was just a stunt aka meaningless gesture toward allowing a bunch of psychotic global cultists feel good about themselves.

  10. djr says:

    Next year, maybe they’ll push to turn the lights off for 2-hours, and not eat for a day (to save the corn for the gas tank). Sacrifice breeds sacrifice.

  11. nerdbert says:

    Lovely. Gore burns more in an hour than I do for a family of 6 every two days. What’s he doing in there?

  12. DensityDuck says:

    nerdbert: Well, just imagine Gore’s house if he WEREN’T spending half his money selling himself carbon credits. You’d be able to get a suntan on his back deck at one AM.

  13. Cheng-Jih Chen says:

    Are you sure the Tribune got the numbers correct as to bulb wattage? 9 watts sounds ridiculously low for public lighting on a bridge. I would have thought they’d be more like 900 watt bulbs.

  14. sfcitizen says:

    I know what you are saying about the wattage, but take a look at these blue 20 watt bulbs on another bridge:

    An old-school car headlamp could be around 35 watts.

    it doesn’t take much to make a lot of light.

  15. […] alert Al Gore! Al Gore’s Gulfstream is ready to scramble to respond to any crisis! The San Francisco Citizen

  16. Ellen K says:

    Here’s a thought. All those who really and truly mean it should just rip out their electric wires and have those natural gas lines welded shut. They can learn to dry and preserve those lovely and costly organic veggies and fruits, and pound their fair trade clothing in the nearest body of water. Then the rest of us can get on with our lives.

  17. Liberal Lie #5: Conservatives Want to Impose their Religion on Us; Liberals Don’t (Cont’d)…

    The first time I posted on this topic back in December, I wrote about the left-wing environmentalist campaign to impose their religion on the rest of us, starting with pushing legislation to ban the traditional incandescent light bulb. In Israel, the J…

  18. […] Earth Hour Comes to San Francisco – Lights Out for One Hour. So, that’s how much electricity was saved by turning off these lights in San Francisco – enough to power Al Gore’s house for about 13 minutes. (tags: energy fraud) – Posted in by   trackback […]