Friday, March 22, 2013

Weekend News---Earth Hour

Kliphnote: Be sure to light the candles. Than turn on your 54" TV when it's over. And turn on your floodlights to take your dog for a walk. OMG!

Earth Hour: Vain Symbolism, Environmentally Unfriendly

Nonsense: For 60 minutes Saturday night, those living in the shallows of our culture will kill their lights during Earth Hour to increase awareness of climate change. Some will feel self-righteous. Nothing will be achieved.

Earth Hour, organized by the World Wildlife Fund, began in Sydney in 2007. It has since spread to 152 countries, where it plumbs the depths of silliness and modern indulgence.

"It may inspire virtuous feelings," academic Bjorn Lomborg wrote last week, "but its vain symbolism reveals exactly what is wrong with today's feel-good environmentalism."
As is often the case with do-good projects, Earth Hour will actually do harm to its goal.

"During Earth Hour (8:30 local time), any significant drop in electricity demand will entail a reduction in CO2 emissions during the hour, but it will be offset by the surge from firing up coal or gas stations to restore electricity supplies afterward," Lomborg wrote in Project Syndicate, a website dedicated, it says, to "thought-provoking commentaries."

Thought is what's missing from Earth Hour. Or at least critical thought. Did the organizers not consider that turning off lights for an hour is the equivalent of plunging back into a primitive existence? Did they think it wouldn't lead participants to become even more acutely aware of the achievements of man?
An hour without lights? It's doable. But who wants to live in gloomy darkness like the North Koreans?

In all but a thin slice of human history, humans have lived largely in the dark when sun went down. The White House didn't have electricity until 1891. Half of U.S. homes were still without power in the mid-1920s.

Of course man once used candles. But, as it turns out, electricity is more — dare we say it? — environmentally friendly. Lomborg notes that the candles "many participants will light" during Earth Hour "are still fossil fuels — and almost 100 times less efficient than incandescent bulbs. Using one candle for each switched-off bulb cancels out even the theoretical CO2 reduction; using two candles means that you emit more CO2."

Electricity is not a curse. It is a blessing. It's given us refrigeration that keeps food from rotting. It heats us, cools us and pumps clean water into our homes. It powers vital medical equipment and modern conveniences from televisions to toasters to cellphones.
Rather than turning lights off Saturday night, we suggest not only leaving them on, but turning on those that aren't needed. As the Competitive Enterprise Institute suggests, celebrate human achievement.

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