Friday, 27 March 2009

Something to keep in mind during ‘Earth Hour’ [update 2]

A mainstream writer writes in the New Yorker magazine this month about "the environmental benefits of economic decline," insists that governments must "discourage people from sprawling across the face of the planet," and warns we all must learn "to accept policies that will seem to nudge us back toward the [economic] abyss."

This is a call for a return to an earlier era ruled by irrational fears and religious fervour. I refer of course to the appropriately named Dark Ages – a world in which people were not just discouraged from sprawling, but were positively shoved into the economic abyss.

Our writer, a Mr Owen, who writes for all the best magazines (Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Harper's, etc) would no doubt welcome such a rerun of history – for us, if not for him.

In any case, he seems blithely unaware that his colleagues in the world’s central banks have already been running such a programme, but he does rather tip the hand of the enthusiasts for so called renewable energy, and for their embrace of “reducing carbon emissions.”

If economic prosperity is “environmentally unfriendly,” then all the better for economic decline (those enthusiasts presumably think). If we are restricted to using energy that is untried, uneconomic, and unsuccessful at producing energy in the quantities that economic prosperity requires, then economic decline is certain.  If our industrial emissions are “capped,” then our arrival in the economic abyss is assured.

Keep this in mind during the nonsense of ‘Earth Hour’ this weekend, as you celebrate the fruits of the Industrial Revolution while all around you the luddites are huddling around candles -- that the goal of environmentalists is not prosperity, but its opposite: poverty.

UPDATE 1: Hilton Holder has a reminder about Earth Hour: Edison Hour: "On March 28, Celebrate technological achievement and Switch the Fucking Lights Back On Again"!

UPDATE 2: Tim Blair notices an "army of dim" is assembling:

Twitterers, bloggers, podcasters and Facebook users are getting behind Earth Hour in unprecedented numbers as event organisers embrace the explosion of interest in online social networking …
“People can really do whatever they want on the web,” [Earth Hour’s John Johnston] said. “We take the attitude that the more activity there is on the web and the more people there are talking positively about Earth Hour, the better it is.” 
Just as well none of that pointless dark-chatter requires electricity. . .
 Organisers of Human Achievement Hour – a sister event to the already-established Hour of Power – count among their supporters the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Institution, WMATA, Target, George Washington University Hospital, Wal-Mart, the New York Times, and the United States Marine Corps. More about Human Achievement Hour here. Greens don’t like it.


  1. *Ahem* What about MandM's earth hour protest?

  2. So all the greenies this weekend will be switching off their renewable-electricity-powered lightbulbs and burning parrafin wax candles, increasing their carbon emissions for one hour to help kill the polar bears. Or was that save the polar bears? - it's hard to tell sometimes...

  3. Odd about some of the participants in the Human Achievement hour. The NYT and the Smithsonian are two of the most left-wing major institutions in America. Big surprise to see them joining with Wal-Mart and the Marine Corps.


  5. A good collection of what people have been up to for Earth Hour & writing about it around the blogs is at the Anti Earth Hour blog. Well worth a read.


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