Earth Hour came and went over the weekend. There has been a lot of debate on the blogs over its merits: some support it, but many think it’s a waste of time. The goal of Earth Hour isn’t to save the world in one hour by reducing emissions from lighting; it’s to raise awareness of climate change. Given the amount of discussion about it that’s been generated I can only imagine that it’s been a huge success, regardless of whether everyone turned their lights off. I haven’t seen so much discussion of the best way to save power across the blogs and news media in ages!
Of course, any major environmental cause causes some crazies to come out of the woodwork. A few obtuse people have promoted the alternative Edison Hour, where people celebrate technology by turning their lights on. The Ayn Rand Institute says:
Forget one measly hour with just the lights off. How about Earth Month… Try spending a month shivering in the dark without heating, electricity, refrigeration; without power plants or generators; without any of the labor-saving, time-saving, and therefore life-saving products that industrial energy makes possible.
They seem to think that promoting a sustainable planet is equivalent to a rejection of technology. Nothing could be further from the truth: to create a sustainable civilisation on Earth we will probably have to rely on a lot of advanced technology that has yet to be created. It’s not that greenies reject technology, they just think that it should be created with sustainability in mind so that we’ll still be able to enjoy it in the next millennium.