I remember last year when I read that the Eiffel Tower was going dark for an hour to show some sort of communal offering for the gods of climate change. It set me off then, and the now annual “Earth Hour” sets me off now. Putting aside any discussion of the potential of anthropomorphic climate change, the whole affair is only symbolic, and it shows hairshirt desire to punish us for our environmental sins. It’s a step back in time, when the setting of the sun, for most people, meant it was time for bed. It sends the message that technological deprivation is the solution to our environmental issues, and not technological progress. Joe Katzman over at the Winds of Change blog talks about my feelings on the issue more eloquently than I could:
So instead, leave your lights on between 8:30-9:30pm. I think it’s a great idea. Not just as a celebration of the human achievement and technological progress that has given us lives without parallel in human history, though it is that. Those space shots of North vs. South Korea say it all.
I wrote about this on my own blog almost exactly a year ago, and I haven’t changed my mind. I’ll be turning on extra lights during that hour to symbolically push back the darkness that others are symbolically welcoming so readily.