Tonight between 8pm and 9pm in every local zone, people all around the planet will “celebrate” Earth Hour. Or so the effort’s organizer, the World Wildlife Fund, hopes. The idea is that for this one hour period, everyone should turn off all of their lights to conserve energy. All of this to remind people of the effect of energy consumption on “global warming” or as the movement now calls it “climate change.” I contend they have had to adopt this new term because reality seems to argue against “warming,” particularly when record snowfalls and extreme cold weather have been experienced this winter, and unseasonably cool temperatures are being experienced in many areas this spring. Today it is supposed to be 15 degrees (F) below normal in NYC for example.
I have written before that I find the arguments in favor of the notion that mankind has caused global warming to be lacking in credibility. And the chief proponents of action to correct global warming are both hypocritical in their own personal efforts to minimize consumption of energy and seem to be enriching themselves simply by being out front in the cause.
Yes, those who participate in tonight’s illumination deprivation will not consume that one hour’s worth of electricity and the fuels needed to produce that energy will not have been consumed. But I am hard pressed to believe that this one hour of symbolism will appreciably change anyone’s ongoing habits of energy consumption.
Do I think people should conserve energy? Yes, absolutely. But not for the same reasons as those of the event organizers. For me, energy conservation is an economic consideration first and an environmental one a distant second. Energy, whether in the form of electricity, or the fuels we consume when driving or operating equipment, is expensive on some relative basis. So, to waste it, is to literally waste money.
And waste in any form, energy, food, water, money, even time, seems to be, at its core, self-indulgent. And that is a heart attitude that should be avoided.