Tonight, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m, we're being told to turn off the lights in celebration of something called "Earth Hour." And we're being told to do so by all those enlightened progressive types so as we can collectively take a stand against "AGW" (Anthropogenic Global Warming - a.k.a., human-caused climate change.)
Yes, folks, we're supposedly killing the planet thanks to our cars and our home heating oil and everything else that gives us a comfortable lifestyle. And unless we revert to living in grass huts and forage for grubs, planet earth is deader than disco.
But as Public Enemy once crooned: "Don't believe the hype."
Here are two good reasons to keep your lights blazing come Saturday night when we should be "celebrating" Earth Hour.
The first reason NOT to celebrate Earth Hour: Earth Hour Doesn't Achieve its Intended Effect (Energy/Carbon Reduction):
It is perversely amusing to see thousands of Earth Hour adherents generate illumination during Earth Hour by lighting candles and making bonfires. Isn't the very premise behind Earth Hour to REDUCE carbon emissions? Where is the logic in eschewing clean-burning electricity - and by the way, 96% of the electricity in the province of Ontario IS clean-generated - in favour of illumination obtained from a power source (i.e., open fire) that generates completely unfiltered CO2 emissions?
Indeed, most of the candles sold in Canada are made from paraffin, a petroleum byproduct. Thus, illuminating one's house with paraffin candles is equivalent to letting a diesel engine idle.
Oh, and how's this for an inconvenient goof? Turning off the lights in a skyscraper only to reactivate those lights an hour later actually consumes MORE power than letting those lights remain on for the duration of that hour. Oh sure, it makes for a nifty photo op - but what, pray tell, is the point? Is Earth Hour simply about feel-good optics rather than tangible solutions?
The second reason to take a pass on Earth Hour: Sponsor Hypocrisy
I find it a tad rich to receive a holier-than-thou sermon from a corporation that isn't doing everything in its power to reduce its environmental footprint. Case in point: Earth Hour Canada sponsor the Toronto Star. To quote the Star verbatim:
"We are committed to reporting on and bringing awareness to environmental issues that matter to Canadians. We believe that action on climate change is needed and that Earth Hour is a way to bring attention to this URGENT issue facing us all."
Well, if there's such enviro-urgency afoot, why doesn't the Star choose to reduce its carbon emissions and save millions of trees in the process by no longer publishing a hard copy version of the paper? After all, the technology exists for the Star to be delivered electronically... except that might not be so good for business as many readers and advertisers actually still prefer a paper-based product. Stop the presses in the name of Mother Earth? Not a chance. "Business is business" after all.
Bottom line: if you want to experience Earth Hour 24/7, 365 days a year, then by all means take a charter flight over North Korea. And if you receive permission to touch down in the Hermit Kingdom, feel free to ask your average North Korean how wonderful it is to shiver in the dark and eat grass on a daily basis.
In the meantime, let's all reject the Earth Hour hoax. "Fight back against this insanity on Saturday night by turning ON every light, appliance, and gadget in your house. Celebrate this particular 60 minutes in glorious electrical illumination. And let's refer to this wonderful celebration for what it really is: Human Achievement Hour.
It's a great time to be alive, for we are living in a golden age. Don't let a bunch of disingenuous naysayers tell you otherwise.