"Our life evokes our character. You find out more about yourself as you go on. That's why it's good to be able to put yourself in situations that will evoke your higher nature rather than your lower. 'Lead us not into temptation.'" Joseph Campbell

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Earth Hour: Apparently it's anti-human

This is one of the most ignorant and plain old stupid opinion pieces I've ever come across. File this under Gary Larson's old header "People Unclear On the Concept."
I abhor Earth Hour. Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century. ... The whole mentality around Earth Hour demonizes electricity. I cannot do that, instead I celebrate it and all that it has provided for humanity. Earth Hour celebrates ignorance, poverty and backwardness. By repudiating the greatest engine of liberation it becomes an hour devoted to anti-humanism. ... I like visiting nature but I don’t want to live there, and I refuse to accept the idea that civilization with all its tradeoffs is something to be ashamed of. (The entire argument is here.)
People let peer pressure--such as the pressure that sometimes surrounds social movements--affect them in the weirdest ways. Like they invent really bad arguments to defend themselves. Just believe what you believe, be unashamed of your opinions, and don't be so bleeping defensive. (Like Kramer tried to do!) 'Cause the defensiveness, she is short-circuiting your logic.

Here are my two favorite replies from the comments of this editorial, one longer one shorter:

Starvation and malnutrition used to be universal killers, and were responsible for short lifespans ridden with diseases most of us have never heard of.

That doesn't mean we should waste food; we need to appreciate what we have, and be cognizant of the cost of that food.

Electricity is the same way. Some is produced by hydro electric, some by coal, some by nuclear, and a bit by solar and wind. There is a cost involved, and though that cost is not wrapped up into the price we pay for the electricity - it's externalized to society (and the world) as a whole. Dirty air, radiation (coal power produces radiation as well), dead birds (wind), damaged river systems (hydro electric), etc.

Earth hour is meaningless in the amount of electricity it saves, but it's purposeful in that it reminds us that it has a cost, both short term on our electrical bill, and long term in the degradation to the environment that supports us.
[And to the people whose villages get displaced by Hydro dams.]

The funny thing is that when I deliberately turn the lights off for an hour I find that at the end my appreciation for electricity is renewed.

So play nice. Light a candle and play scrabble for an hour. Or meditate for an hour on the power of power.

1 comment:

widdershins said...

Geez.. how hard can it be to get that the whole purpose of Earth Hour is to raise awareness about how humans mis-use non-renewable resources!!!


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