It’s that time again when the eco-fascist madness descends on us from the well-meaning, the ignorant, and any other celebrity or company looking to score some PR: Earth Hour. I think Earth Hour teaches us all a great lesson, just not the one that it’s intended to. I further assert that those who really support the principle behind Earth Hour should make it Earth Week, or Earth Year – and put themselves out of our misery.
Earth Hour, like the other Green (the Reds have simply died their shirts) notions of today is supposed to sound nice, full of candy sticks and puppies, but it’s just an example of looking for something to feel bad about; trying to heap guilt on those who enjoy good standards of living in the technologically-advanced parts of the world…as a result of their usage of said technological advancements. Worse, it gives the Eco-fascists and certain bureaucrats a chance to get positive publicity, which will make their market regulations and eco-taxes a bit easier to sell in the long run. Worse still, it’s an insipid attempt to get the ignorant (especially children) to buy into what is really a political ideology by making it a fun “let’s all take part” awareness event. It’s like equating communism with sharing; (the kind of ‘sharing’ a bank-robber has in mind.)
You know what the really dumb thing about Earth Hour is, and I haven’t researched this but it seems like common sense to me: when you take into account the planning, production, construction, marketing, advertising, maintenance, plastic, paper, posters, video and sound equipment; everything involved in an event this size around the world, I’m pretty sure all the fuel and electricity needed along the way dwarfs what is actually saved during the Hour. Which of course means that we’d be doing the planet more good by not having an Earth Hour…
I looked a bit further to identify the principle behind Earth Hour. Apparently it was started as a “protest” against climate change. Notwithstanding the fact that “climate change” is a wishy-washy catchall expression that covers any possible variation in the earth’s climate which is attributable to many factors, some of which are out of our control (solar flares, sun spots, asteroid impacts etc), and the ones which are within our control that are disputed science. The problem for someone with genuine doubts over the claims made by climate change commitees, is that there are far too many Bonos, and other nauseatingly fame-desperate “celebrities”, and everyone else with government-funded grants to maintain, clammering to support it. (The current ‘official’ scientific position* on climate change is not comparable to the “global cooling” scare of the 70s, but it is an example of how certain people will run with whatever current crisis appears to aid their careers.)
Now, the idea of a principle is that it’s a moral rule of thumb that guides your decision-making because it’s impossible to hold all past and any possible future knowledge in your head all at once and make every single decision every time from scratch based on this. The beauty of principles is that, if they are true, they will generally work out for the best over the long-term. That is, they can be applied consistently without contradiction.
With this in mind, if the Earth-Hourers really believe that they are harming “the planet” (as opposed to say, a particular area of land that belonged to another human being and therefore eligible to legal protection), why turn off your lights and power for only an hour?
It’s like saying in order to “protest” against the end result of using the toilet you will stop eating for an hour. What kind of fairyland pie-in-the-sky fantasy world must your head be in to imagine this is anything other than a pretentious publicity stunt? Oh, right…
If you really felt that strongly about “polluting” The Earth™ why not refuse to visit the toilet for a few days, or a week?? What’s that? You’d die? I see. And how is that any different to skipping electricity for that long?
Let’s ask ourselves: even if human activity is affecting the overall climate of this planet in some long-term noticeable way – so what? If “interfering” in nature is wrong on principle (as if human activity itself wasn’t the result of natural biological activity consistent with our requirements), then surely lighting a fire to keep warm is wrong? Surely we should dismantle the factories and break the dams and knock down our sky-scrapers and demolish supermarkets and warehouses? Let’s each and every one of us pick up a spear and go hunt our own food, kill it, cook it (but you can’t store any – no fridges allowed). Of course you have to kill animals to eat, even though that would be interfering with their habitat, but that’s ok – whereas destroying a forest so thousands of human beings can live in modern centrally-heated water-supplied houses without dying of pneumonia or dysentery is wrong. (You know, like in those Third World countries where nature is allowed to “win” over humans every day, in the form of millions of dead children. Although, dead children can’t emit carbon dioxide, so every cloud and all that.)
If the Earth-Hourers really want to protest Any-Slight-Variation-In-The-Earth’s-Short-Or-Long-Term-Aggregate-Temperature-Caused-By-Any-Possible-Factor-But-Which-Must-Be-‘Our’-fault™ why not stop driving their cars…altogether?? Don’t stop driving for an hour. Stop driving for a week! Better yet – scrap your car and walk. What’s that? Inconvenient? Too impractical? Your job/family/life revolves around globalisation and mass transportation? Yeah, thought so. It’s a bitch when your own “principles” are totally unworkable in real life. Of course, if you’re already a multi-millionaire, whether it be an aging hippie whose music career is dying and needs another way to stay in the public eye, or a hypocritical failed politician with several massive homes, cars and huge swimming pools, then it’s much easier to preach to the Common Man who is looking for something to latch onto, since you’d be the last ones hit by any regression to pre-industrial civilisation anyway.
It’s easy to speak of sacrifice or giving up modern conveniences when you can rush out for a takeaway or flip the heater on, but I don’t see many of these Greenies and celebrities rushing off to Ethiopia to experience the raw reality of nature without technology.
Speaking of countries almost reverting to pre-industrialisation, Earth Hour’s official website had this ludicrous comment: “With Earth Hour almost upon us, our thoughts are with the people of Japan during this incredibly challenging and sad time for their country.” Hmm, and yet, I doubt the Japanese will be foregoing electricity and industrialisation over the coming months and years as they attempt to rebuild their civilisation. Do you think the average Japanese person who’s lost their home is going to give a damn if the Earth’s ambient temperature over the next 75 years is predicted to rise 0.2 degrees (unless it was predicted by a research post in Norwich, in which case the prediction is less than worthless), if the power of modern civilisation restores his home and quality of life in a few short months or years? (Pssst it will take A LOT of energy to rebuild Japan.)
The people behind Earth Hour (and worse, those who jump on the bandwagon) remind me a little of what Ayn Rand said about socialism: ‘assume all the benefits of capitalism are here to stay, and then undermine every single thing that makes capitalism possible’ in the name of its enemies. It’s the same with Earth Hour: let’s just PRETEND that the amazing quality of life, housing, healthcare, computer-industry, transport-system, jobs we have in the Western world are a given (given, by whom?) – but appease the hydra of Green Radicalism and its Eco-Warning of the Week™ (my royalties after this post are going to be huge!) by cashing in (well cashing in if you’re a politician or celebrity), or cashing out (cashing out if you meet the following criteria: a) are a human being, b) have to actually work to earn your money, c) can’t rely on gimmicks or government grants for survival, d) enjoy a standard of living greater than that of a mother feeding her baby cholera-infected water.
Radical? Actually no. I’m not the radical (well except for freedom) or exaggerator. I don’t deny that man can affect the planet. Actually ALL man does is affect the planet, but that’s how human beings live. It’s natural for us to exploit available resources to further our lives. We don’t become animals and try to bend to nature (some isolated tribes notwithstanding) or pray to sky gods to change the laws of nature (some isolated tribes, Muslim countries, and States of the USA notwithstanding), no – we INVENT and PRODUCE. Sure, some parts of “nature” get lost along the way, but is this a “loss”, and if so, to whom? Is it a loss if we produce 10,000 new jobs and build 1000 homes? Is it a loss if we build a medical facility that invents the cure for cancer? I’m sorry but if WE have to lose so an animal can carry on pooing in the middle of the woods in peace, I say screw the animal. But then, I don’t hate human beings like the Greenies do.
But why does it have to be “all or nothing?” I hear you say. Technically it doesn’t; there is a very practical argument to be made for turning out the lights when you’re not using them, turning off the tap when you’ve finished with it, turning the engine off when you, you know, get out the car…but I like to call this: the COMMON SENSE ARGUMENT!
The Earth Hour argument is like saying “let’s be nice to nature…but only for an hour.” Well, way to show some backbone there. Is a course of action right or wrong, and if it’s right – why is it right only for an hour? And if a course of action is self-destructive, why even take one step in that direction? It’s like smashing one of your fingers with a hammer and saying “well, it’s only one finger” – oh well that’s ok then. Is a “little” poison ok? Is losing “only some” of your money to a scam artist acceptable?
Earth Hour is not a rational appeal to common sense (there’s no profit in that – well not for the type of people who look to make a profit off this Eco stuff); it’s an emotional appeal to stop living like a human being, in deference to a dodgy political (semi-scientific) claim, which is rabidly backed by pressure groups who’d rather see us living in the mud than build another power station.
I propose something else: Human Hour. But the beauty of Human Hour is that none of your money is wasted, nor do you help massive corporations or bureaucrats score brownie points. And the beauty of Human Hour is that you can apply it every single hour for the rest of your life, guilt free! Here’s how it works: ask for nothing more than you’ve earned, and demand nothing less. Pay for what you use and no more. Use only what you can afford, and no more. Give to other human beings the same standards of dignity, honestly, and respect that you expect, and demand nothing less from others. If you do all this, you won’t need to be taken in by a world gone mad with silly vacuous publicity stunts. During Earth Hour, think of those around the world starving and dying, and those in the Dark Ages in the freezing cold, and imagine what your life would be like without industrialisation. Show your appreciation for the beauty of modern life: flick that light switch ON.
Addendum: Earth Hour has one redeeming characteristic: it’s supported voluntarily by people and private companies all over the world. Groups like this further prove that ever-expanding government regulations are unnecessary, exploitative, and simply never as effective as what chosen cooperation can accomplish (no matter how dumb). (When you realise the truth of this statement, you’ll realise why the Greens in Parliament and Washington are always mysteriously far more interested in pushing new Eco-taxes than anything else.) In fact, IF the earth was facing a real threat from the general combined effects of human activity – whilst that still would not justify hurling ourselves back to the Stone Age in the here-and-now, this is precisely how the free market can act to make things change on a global level, appealing to individuals, and all without the use of force.
PPS: The more I think about this, the more blatantly stupid and evil this Earth Hour becomes. Think about it, all around the world there are those suffering and dying because they don’t have access to the modern technology we take for granted provided by…electricity. They would give anything to live one hour of our lifestyles, hell I suspect even 10 minutes – but here we are, in our Ivory Towers, feeling so very guilty about our technology – but not guilty to other human beings who don’t have access to industry and technology (that would be bad enough, as there’s nothing to feel guilty for), oh no – guilty to freaking mindless nature! Is this a slap in the face to the poorer countries in the world, an example of gross stupidity and ignorance, or an act of moral treason?
We have half the world’s population crying out for industrialisation, and the Eco-lunatics in positions of power in the other half (made possible by industrialisation) ever arrogantly and self-righteously declaring the turning off of our power in worship to Nature. Despicable would be an understatement.
Take a look at Japan and tell me Earth gives a damn about human life. After Earth Hour, will Mother Nature stop arbitrarily wrecking our cities and wiping us out in the hundreds of thousands? Earth Hour is pissing from a great height on the Japanese, poor people, and every intellectual and industrialist that led the way to put a hot meal on your plate, so that these ungrateful nutcases should throw it away to please Gaia.
* The scientific consensus is that the earth’s temperature has increased over the last century: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6321351.stm
Having said that, five years ago, the U.N. predicted that by 2010 some 50 million people would be fleeing climate change, rising seas, mega-hurricanes and so on. Instead, no islands have sunk and their populations are booming: http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/569069/201104131900/The-Climate-Refugee-Hoax.htm
And I’m not exaggerating that the eco-radicals really do hate human beings and see them as a plague on earth: http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/569072/201104131900/Our-Infected-Planet.htm