I've seen a post or two around that implied Lights Of Utah would accomplish nothing. I'm here posting to prove you wrong.
I'm not sure how many cars we made up for tonight by turning off our lights, but I'm glad we did it. I'm in the middle of a move, and I was packing kitchen stuff as my phone reminded me it was 10 minutes until Lights Off. I didn't hear it. I also didn't hear my boyfriend calling. I did happen to see my phone lit up, and called him back. He told me he wasn't ready for Lights Off, because he had more work, but that he would turn all the lights off, and only use his computer. I rather panicked, because moving is a bit difficult without light. Then I realized that I'd invited at least 5 other people to take part, who said they would, so I couldn't bail. Besides, I worked my ass off cleaning up the kitchen after my housemates, even though I haven't used said kitchen in weeks (I won't even go into the old chinese food dumped over dishes filling both sinks).
So, I turned out all the lights in the house, and waited out front for my sister to pick me up (my Jeep's in the shop).
Upon arriving home (my boyfriend's, where I'm moving, not the old house I'm moving from), I was informed that after my boyfriend turned out all the lights, he realized the coffee pot was boiling.
I love coffee. In fact, I think that my bloodstream has about 50% coffee at all times. Without coffee, I've been known to punch people. For no reason.
I recently bought a "2 minute coffee pot". Turns out, it keeps the water hot at all times, like commercial makers do. So, when I flip the switch, I have coffee faster than I can brush my teeth.
Except it heats the water at all times. I kept thinking about feeling guilty, but I justified to myself that a "little" environmental waste was nothing next to killing people because I didn't have coffee, right?
But, it boiled when he turned the lights out. So he turned it off. And I'm going to leave it off. I'm going to buy a coffee pot that has a timer and makes coffee at the time I tell it to, rather than one that heats water all day for no reason.
So, I don't know how many cars that would equal, but I know that it's making me waste less power heating water for the sake of heating water. And my boyfriend, who normally can barely put up with my activism, did have the lights turned out, though candles were lit and he had a flashlight going. But, he heard about this from more than just me, and felt it important enough to participate without my prodding. And he will eternally make fun of me for leaving lights on now, which will make me even more anal about turning them off. And I won't make fun of him for unplugging the toaster anymore.
So, to all you naysayers, something positive did happen because of Lights Off Utah. And if it takes babysteps to make a difference, I'm more than willing, no matter how insignificant you think it may be.