I'm Keeping the Lights on for Earth Hour

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I'm Keeping the Lights on for Earth Hour
« on: March 23, 2013, 06:47:25 PM »
Saturday, March 23, 2013

I'm Keeping the Lights on for Earth Hour

By Anthony Wile

US News tells us that libertarians want to "keep the lights on" for the current Earth Hour. Earth Hour is a worldwide event organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), "encouraging households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the participants' local time."
Are you going to turn off your lights? I'm not. I think the world has plenty of energy, and if it doesn't that's only because free-market forces haven't been allowed to operate.
So I think we ought to celebrate Earth Hour by turning ON lights. Metaphorically it works very well. Keep the lights blazing instead of dimming them. That's the idea of Human Achievement Hour ... the brainchild of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
It's about time that these "Earth" celebrations had some competition. They are dressed up as concern for the environment but when you unpack their messages, you're left with a perspective that is merely or mostly Luddite. We should munch lettuce while shivering in the dark.
Here's more on Earth Hour from Al Jazeera:
Millions to switch off for 'Earth Hour' Lights in cities around the world to be turned off in symbolic show of support for campaign against climate change.
Hundreds of millions of people across the globe will turn off their lights for 60 minutes on Saturday night starting at 8:30pm local time in a symbolic show of support for "Earth Hour" campaign against climate change.
Many of the world's most iconic attractions, including Sydney Opera House, the Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower will take part.
"What started as an event in Sydney in 2007 with two million people has now become a tradition across the country and across the world," Dermot O'Gorman, head of WW F[World Wildlife Fund]-Australia, said ...
Last year more than 150 countries participated in the event which saw some of the world's most iconic landmarks dim, and this year the movement has spread to Palestine, Tunisia, Suriname and Rwanda. Newcomers to be plunged into darkness include Copenhagen's Little Mermaid, the statue of David in Florence and Cape Town's Table Mountain.
In Australia, where Earth Hour originated with an appeal to people and businesses to turn off their lights for an hour to raise awareness about carbon pollution, the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge will be among the first sites to participate globally.
This year Earth Hour Australia is asking participants to "switch off for good" and move to renewable energy. As part of the push Sydney Opera House will not go dark at 8:30 pm (0930 GMT) but will instead glow a deep green.
With restaurant diners eating by candlelight, Outback communities going dark and iconic buildings standing in shadows, O'Gorman believes Earth Hour has played a part in drawing attention to energy use.
"We've always heard anecdotally that it has made people change their actions and look at their impact on the planet in a more considered way," he said.
We're not going to rehash the sterile climate change debate, except to say there is certainly no consensus on global warming. Earth Hour (and Earth Day) does pose as an alternative vision to the current capitalist model but as I pointed out earlier this tends to define the conversation in fairly sterile terms.
Either we support right wing perspectives that include a good deal of government involvement in social issues and a law and order emphasis that often includes fairly authoritarian solutions or we support left wing approaches that involve a good deal of government interference in the economy. And both sides for the most part support intrusive central banking policies that seek to fix the price and value of money ? and often do so in ways that lead to destructive booms and agonizing busts.
Earth Day is a good example of the furtherance of this simplistic perspective. The globalist impulse is to provide environmental solutions via legislative measures. But inevitably, when one uses the political process to adjudicate economic and environmental issues the results tend to impose solutions that reflect a political consensus rather than a competitive one.
Over time the political consensus can become abusive rather than constructive. We see this today in onerous European Union regulations that seek to regulate every part of human commerce and in the US where the FDA is now staging raids on raw-milk farms and putting the raw milk providers in jail.
There is no question that quasi-political movements like Earth Day are funded by various elite groups that use them to consolidate consensus for global government. The emphasis is always on attacking competitive enterprise in order to offer government as the solution and "protector."
But competition and the application of the market's Invisible Hand is certainly preferable in the long run ? as political solutions inevitably tend to grow more onerous.
And so I am happy to read about Human Achievement Hour. Human creativity and kindness are too often left uncelebrated in the official conversation because that conversation is aimed at creating a consensus for political activism. No problem, no politics of necessity.
This Saturday, thousands of people in more than 150 countries will turn off their lights for an hour to spread awareness about climate change. But one libertarian think tank in Washington will be leaving its lights on?and encouraging everyone else to do so too.
Calling its alternative to Earth Hour "Human Achievement Hour," the Competitive Enterprise Institute says Earth Hour sends the wrong message by representing "a rejection of human innovation and progress."
"People are better off when you have abundant, affordable electricity. This should be something to celebrate, not something to make people feel bad about," CEI spokesman Christine Hall tells Whispers.
On the Human Achievement Hour Facebook page, one supporter posted a photo Wednesday that showed North Korea in the dark and South Korea alight with electricity. "Guess which Korea is free and which is a Stalinist dictatorship," the photo's caption reads. "Electricity is good. Choose freedom."
The Facebook page encourages people to have a drink, sing or dance instead of turning off their lights.
My sentiment, too.

Posted by Ctwalter on 03/23/13 11:56 AM

 A fun thing to point out to the Earth Firster crowd while they sit around munching their far superior Quinoa looking down their under educated noses it that the Quinoa fad in America (Europe, too I'm guessing) had pushed once self sufficient native Andean Indian tribe to near starvation. The staple grain that they used to grow to trade and barted with for their own uses has not become so expensive and in such high demand that they can not afford to eat it them selves. And the cost of shipping that fad grain all around the world surely must be destroying some rain forrest flower some where.
Sometimes it is just fun to point out the obvious and see if green slaves can get their befuddled minds wrapped around a well thought out observation.
Posted by Ctwalter on 03/23/13 11:45 AM

 There are two points I try to educate the loonies on the left with as often as possible.
First, and al jezeera said it, there is almost nothing we can do to effect the climate change that the earth is constantly undergoing. These deluded folk truly do not comprehend the scope and magnitude of the world, nor of the universe.
For humans to try to effect climate change is less doable than an ant trying to stop a greyhound buss speeding along at 85 MPH. I like to point out the painful fact that the 'green movement' that they so love and nearly worship has been hijacked by the very same greedy bastards that they take such pains to decry in the market place. I have only been able to really open the eyes of a few, but that is a few more who no longer worship at the altar of save-the-planet-from-the-evil-human-beings.
The second part has had more success. I show them that the 'green movement' is not only a 'left' or 'progressive' idea; but people of good sense every where are wise to be concerned with good stewardship of this world. We can't destroy it but we can make it unhealthy or messy to live in for a short time.
I talk to them about the permaculture farm my wife and I are building out of nothing, the grey water system, a life style of not polluting the ground we take our food from and the true economy of self sufficiency. When they compare that to their own efforts to 'save the world' by turning of light swithches, recycling plastic water bottles which they wouldn't buy in the first place if they were really that concerned or educated, and other such mind-numb foolishness, there is usually a moment when their own light switch comes on and they realized the stupidity of symbolism over substance (to borrow a phrase).
That usually gives me the opportunity to point out an array of other topics that the power elite with their roots in Marx have tried to assign to either the left or the right to keep us all fighting while they raid the hen house and make slaves of all of us.
Keep up the fight for market freedom where true liberty thrives.

Reply from The Daily Bell

 Great to read about someone thinking for himself.

  Posted by RR on 03/23/13 11:41 AM

 The law of conservation of energy can be stated: The energy of an isolated system is constant.
 It does not matter if you turn off the lights or turn them on. The energy keeps changing from one form to another, from electricity to light to heat to something else and then back to electricity. The total amount of energy in the planet is so vast, human energy requirements are a infinitesimally small fraction of the total. In any case it is just energy flowing from one part to another part, from one form to another according to the Law of Thermodynamics. Thanks for an excellent article. My lights are on.

  Posted by Ol' Grey Ghost on 03/23/13 11:21 AM

 I had (they've passed on now) older relatives who would tell stories about the great cities of America along the east coast - Boston, New York, Atlantic City, etc. - having to go dark at night. This wasn't to save energy or the world, but to hide from the bombers. I hear the same was happening in Europe. They were, of course, at war.
Some of these relatives wished that they would never see these cities go dark ever again, unless we were once again "at war." The "greenshirts" want them to be dark again. I may have missed something. Are we "at war?" If so, who are we against?
Rhetorical questions. My lights will be on...


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The Daily Bell Asks

For Earth Day this year will you ...

Turn your lights off for an hour.



Leave your lights on.



Celebrate Human Achievement Hour.



Buy some raw milk and celebrate!



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