I didn’t give Earth Hour much thought. (For those who may not know, it is a worldwide campaign to turn off the lights and electric appliances for an hour.) I thought of it in the same way as I think of those ubiquitous ribbon in the lapel campaigns—essentially about feeling good about yourself without actually doing anything truly self sacrificing.
But then I read this column by Ross McKitrick in the Vancouver Sun, and I realized the message—if not the explicit intent—is destructive. From “Earth Hour: Why I Will Leave My Lights On:”
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. It encourages the sanctimonious gesture of turning off trivial appliances for a trivial amount of time, in deference to some ill-defined abstraction called “the Earth,” all the while hypocritically retaining the real benefits of continuous, reliable electricity. People who see virtue in doing without electricity should shut off their fridge, stove, microwave, computer, water heater, lights, TV and all other appliances for a month, not an hour. And pop down to the cardiac unit at the hospital and shut the power off there too.
I think he’s right.
Some might say, “But Wesley, Earth Day is only about publicizing the need to be efficient with energy use.” I don’t think so: Look at the name, “Earth Day.” This is ultimately about rejecting technology in order to “save the planet.”
Consider the context: Contemporary environmentalism is increasingly nihilistic, anti-modern, and anti-human, with the noble concept of conservationism becoming passe because it implies the propriety of exploiting resources to create wealth and prosperity. Think the campaign to establish “ecocide” as an international “crime against peace” that would use the law to stifle all mass development. Think “the rights of nature,” as embodied now in the Ecuador Constitution. Think the madness of global warming hysteria’s tyrannical and anti-growth tendencies—oft discussed here.
And think of the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still, in which the alien comes here not to save us from ourselves, as in the original, but to commit total genocide against the entire human race in order to save the planet. In the end, he shows mercy, sparing us but destroying all technology. The ideologically driven movie makers failed to note that such an action would kill billions and return us to hunter gatherers.
The people behind Earth Day are sending the same message as did the makers of The Day the Earth Stood Still. Perhaps those considering turning off their light switches next year should first ask the people of North Korea how they like living in a semi-non technological society. They will learn it isn’t much fun.