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.
Burt Rutan is a genius, and happens to be one of my Dad’s heroes (he’s built, worked on, and flown planes from his designs for a couple decades). I’ve posted about him before. He’s the guy behind lots of the most inventive aircraft ever built — that actually worked, that is. The Veri-EZ and Long-EZ, one of the most used home-built designs ever, are his. So is the Voyager, the plan that flew around the world on one tank of gas. Finally, he won the X-Prize, and his company, Scaled Composites, is the main designer behind Virgin Galactic. Cool stuff. A legend.
He’s also an outspoken and passionate voice against the “climate change” crowd. I read this recent interview published by the British magazine the New Scientist with him, and had to share it. It’s a quick article, but gives a nice insight into the guy. I thought it was interesting that he flat out won’t do interviews with Scientific American, due to their reporting of global warming / climate change. He’s definitely a man of strong opinions!
I read this, and scoffed. Loudly.
NEW YORK, March 27 (UPI) — The Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower and Egypt’s Pyramids of Giza are among the landmarks that will go dark Saturday night for Earth Hour.
This sends the message that the solution to possible climate change issues is to use less energy. Mind you, not by efficiency, but by living in the dark. This is a sad step backwards, and sends a depressing message to the younger generation. “Don’t expect to be able to be crazy with your lightbulbs like we were!” I’m all for clean energy, efficiency, being smart about energy use, etc. I’m not excited about going backwards in time a hundred plus years to find the solution to possible problem.
I suggest that, at 8:30 PM on March 28th, everyone turn on every light in their house. Call it the “Technology is Good Hour”. I’m going to.