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Equinox : Equal Carbon Rights : Global Energy Rations
21st March 2008

This Spring Equinox, 21st March 2008, the date when day equals night, we want to call for Equal Carbon Rights for everyone.

And we're prepared to do something to show the world we're serious about it.

The only fair way to stop the growth in Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Energy is to give each of us a fixed and free Carbon Energy Ration.

You may have joined the BLACKOUT before, or taken part in a Lights Out event such as Earth Hour. You remember how you felt about the magic of us all working together.

Turning out the lights is special and spiritual, but it only lasts a short while.

This 21st March, we want to ask everyone to go a step further, and live within their personal Carbon Ration for a whole 24 hours.

Energy is a human right. Almost all of our Energy comes from Fossil Fuels. People need access to this Carbon Energy, but not too much or we risk harming our world.

Each person should only take their fair share of the atmosphere - their Fair Carbon Share.

We will be asking everyone who takes part in this Spring's BLACKOUT to use only their Fair Carbon Share for the day.


Can you live within your Carbon Ration for a full 24 hours ?

The sustainable Carbon Budget for the whole Planet for the year 2008 has been calculated at roughly 500 grams of net Carbon Dioxide to air for every hour, for each person.

Or to make it more easy : one gasbag, every hour, for each person. To picture it, 4 gasbags make a cubic metre. Your Fair Carbon Share in 2008 is 24 gasbags for a full 24 hours. That's 6 cubic metres.

To get an idea of your annual share, 2000 gasbags make one hot air balloon, coloured purple, floating into the sky, and your Fair Carbon Share for the whole of the year 2008 is roughly four and a half Purple Balloons.

Below are some of the areas you need to consider in keeping to your Fair Carbon Share.

Please join us for BLACKOUT INTERNATIONAL on 21st March 2008, and let other people know about what you're doing to celebrate the day of Fair Carbon Shares.


Grid electricity in the United Kingdom is rated at somewhere between 430 and 450 gCO2/kWh.

What is a gCO2/kWh ? That's grams of Carbon Dioxide per kilowatt hour, or very nearly one gasbag for every thousand Watts of power used in an hour.

As an example of how much of a deep burn you get from ordinary household appliances : an electric kettle burns somewhere between 2 and 3 thousand Watts when it's boiling water.

For most people your normal electricity use at home would use up virtually your whole Carbon Ration for the day.

Are you going to shutdown the refrigerator for the day ? Defrost the freezer ? Refuse to watch TV in the evening ?

What are you going to do instead of burning electricity ?


The largest amount of Energy you use at home every day is to heat the place up. Can you live for a day without turning the Central Heating on ? Do you have a favourite old winter jumper to hand if the weather turns Siberian outside ?

Hot Water : A large ticket item on your Carbon Bill - can you wash in a bucket of tepid water - run the night before from the cold tap and left to get less chilly ? I thought not ! So when are you going to install a Renewable Energy system for hot water at home ?

Otherwise, how are you going to do the washing up ? Or the washing ?


You might need to forget about driving a car for the day if you want to keep within your Carbon Ration.

The greenest car will pump out around 180 gCO2 per kilometre. That's about a third of a gasbag for every thousand metres. So you can only drive around 3 kilometres every hour, or around 67 kilometres for the whole day to take up your whole daily ration.

Stuff : The things we buy account for a lot of Carbon Dioxide emissions, often in other countries where they were made. Best to buy only secondhand things for one day. Or join Freecycle. Or Buy Nothing.

Food : It's best to cut out the food miles and eat local and organic, where you can.


Zero Carbon Britain : http://www.zerocarbonbritain.com

TEQs : http://www.teqs.net

Contraction & Convergence : An international system for Carbon Rations :-


21 MARCH 2008

29 MARCH 2008

Change the Global Climate

21 March 2008

BLACKOUT the WORLD : you know what you need to do, so do it !

BLACKOUT is not just about Energy Conservation, and it's more than just empty gestures.

BLACKOUT is about Powerdown, how we are responding to the Energy Crisis.

BLACKOUT is about Energy Demand Reduction, offering our leaders and planners the way forward on cutting Carbon Dioxide emissions.

BLACKOUT is about reclaiming the dark, calm night and making Climate Change personal.

e-mail us : info [at] blackoutbritain.org.uk

Safety first : This campaign will always be peaceful and respectful and have due concern for personal and national security. This is terror-free Climate Action and we will never incite violence, hatred, rioting or damage to property. Our aims are positive, our supporters law-abiding. Join us to beat Climate Change.