Monday, March 30, 2009

Earth Hour Not Man's Hour

Saturday night from 8:30 P.M. to 9:30 P.M. the symbolic Earth Hour took place, the hour that is supposed to "demonstrate" that humans can go without burning fossil fuels and that it can be enjoyable as well. But it is a false message: going without light for an hour is not even close to mimicking the conditions of a fossil fuel-less world.

Ayn Rand Institute writer Keith Lockitch brings the point to full clarity:

Participants spend an enjoyable sixty minutes in the dark, safe in the knowledge that the life-saving benefits of industrial civilization are just a light switch away. This bears no relation whatsoever to what life would actually be like under the sort of draconian carbon-reduction policies that climate activists are demanding: punishing carbon taxes, severe emissions caps, outright bans on the construction of power plants.

He goes on to propose an “Earth Month”, where people would truly see what a world without fossil fuels would be like. Over the long-term, even in just a matter of weeks, people would die by the millions due to going without the benefits of mass production, fast transportation, and even something so simple as centrally-heated homes. The overwhelming majority of industry is fueled, in one form or another, by fossils, so it is literally keeping us alive.

Another point that is far too often overlooked is that an industrialized society is far more “environmentally-friendly” than a non-industrialized society will ever be. That is because an industrialized society has both the time and technology to help improve its standard of living and to enjoy the surrounding nature. A non-industrialized society, on the other hand, has not even the time to enjoy a sunrise, for it is working sunup to sundown to produce the barest subsistence by *any means necessary*, even if that means producing vast amounts of smog.

Make no mistake: Earth Hour is not man’s hour.

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