Electricity has done more good for humanity than, perhaps, any other technological advance. Water is purified. Homes are lit and heated. Industry hums. Hospital technology saves lives.
But today is Earth Hour, an annual event that treats our electrified world as an enemy of the planet, urging the meaningless and pain-free gesture that we all turn off unessential illumination and unplug appliances for one hour, once a year.
Pointless, but it does carry a subversive message. From my book, The War on Humans:
I read a column by Ross McKitrick in the Vancouver Sun, and realized that the message–if not the explicit intent–of Earth Hour is profoundly destructive. From the article:
The whole mentality around Earth Hour demonizes electricity… 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.
Some might say, “But Wesley, Earth Hour is only about publicizing the need to be efficient with energy use.” Perhaps, but I think McKitrich is onto something…
Indeed, look at the name, “Earth Hour.” The message is not subtle: Technology is the enemy of the earth and must be severely curtailed in order to “save the planet”
If we turned against electricity and technology, the harm to humanity would not be quantifiable.
It may be a cliche, but it is still true. Everyday is Earth Day in North Korea.
Me? Like McKitrick, I’m keeping my lights on.