This weekend, an unknown number of people worldwide participated in the fifth annual “Earth Hour” sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund. They turned off electricity to “take a stand against climate change.” Landmarks were dimmed, but the effect on either energy consumption or awareness is unknown and perhaps unknowable.
Is Earth Hour legit, or just a useless feel-good thing? Most normal people probably don’t much care one way or the other.
Rightbloggers, on the other hand, were enraged, and supported a counter-demonstration: Human Achievement Hour, in which conservatives turned on more power just to show the stupid eco-Nazis something or other.
Whatever Earth Hour’s overall participation, it was impressively widespread; even the Israel Defense Forces honored Earth Hour by turning off the lights at several bases, which enraged Daniel Greenfield: “This isn’t just insanity. It’s complete madness,” he said. “This is how civilizations die, murdered by the idiots and lunatics at the top,” etc.
Nonoy Oplas of Government and Taxes denounced this “Earth Hour lunacy” and wrote to the WWF to announce himself “ready for any debate on climate science and policy should you wish to organize one.” They didn’t write back, which signaled to Oplas that “absence of reply for serious critic of their major programs is lousy. And would signal cowardice to debates,” rather than a backload of crank mail at the WWF.
The straw flew as Let’s Get Political claimed Earth Hour participants were “dancing in the dark like so many primitives before them,” and that “many of these same people” had also been “out shopping for Geiger counters to measure for trace amounts of radiation” after the Japan nuclear incidents. No source offered — maybe LGP saw them at the Home Depot.
Pajamas TV’s AlfonZo Rachel celebrated the event with a video called “Environmentalists: The Greediest People in America.” High gas prices demonstrated to him that “we’re paying for the naivete, the selfishness, and the self-righteousness of liberals.” How so? “Liberals have been so willingly suckered by the green movement,” he explained. “The green industry has a product they’re trying to sell. And when you want to sell a product, oftentimes a marketing tactic is to point out the negatives of your competition.”
So far this sounds like capitalism, which we were surprised to hear Rachel oppose. “Pretty much everything has an ugly side to it,” he admitted, “and the green movement is an ugly side of the free market. They totally suckered the people into believing oil and nuclear power is evil.”
Rather than calling on the Ad Council to look into these false marketing claims, Rachel began addressing liberals directly. “You liberals hate crony capitalism so much,” he told them, “yet you people are the culprits totally endorsing it. And I agree with you, crony capitalism is wrong… It’s the ugly sister of socialism, and you freaky liberals are in a ménage à trois with both of them!”
We were interested to hear how else Rachel would oppose crony capitalism, and if he would denounce GE’s tax-free ride from the U.S. Government; alas, he yelled instead about companies using “stimulus money” to buy solar and wind energy, which meant that “you’re being forced to buy into the green industry,” rather than being allowed to buy into the government-subsidized oil and nuclear industries, as the Founders intended.
Some rightbloggers were clearly motivated to oppose Earth Hour by scientists (or “scientists”) touting so-called “climate change.”
“The major problem with this Earth Hour promotion,” wrote Edmund Jenks at the Examiner, “is that it is an awareness program in favor of a world solution to a problem that is proving itself to be based upon fraudulent data…” “Sadly, the Philippines is one of the event’s participants,” wrote Richard James Mendoza. “Indeed, it is saddening as most aren’t yet aware of the blatant misinformation and scaremongering led by the so-called environmentalists along with the mainstream media about global warming/climate change or whatever name they’ve given to it…”
“Earth hour is a feel good measure devised by pseudo-scientists who wish to throw a scientific veil over objectives that are deeply ideological,” claimed Textbook Thinking. “The hell with it! The hell with this parody of science that is used to make defunct ideologies respectable again!”
But most seemed to be motivated by a simple desire to show themselves ostentatiously “politically incorrect” (i.e., assholes). Among these we may count Christopher Renner. “This week I had a big smile on my face,” said Renner, “upon discovering the office where I work does NOT recycle anything but paper.” It takes so little to please some people.
Several said that by turning off their lights, liberals were making the world look just like their girlfriend, North Korea. “North Korea has ‘Earth Hour’ all night every night,” ha-ha’d Poneke. “How many members of the fantastically wealthy WWF, their fellow travellers and the ‘useful idiots’ across suburbia who will turn out their lights tonight would happily shift there?” “Get a load of what North Korea looks like at night as compared to their capitalist southern neighbors,” insisted Say Anything. “Libtards: if you REALLY want to live in the dark move to North Korea,” said Noah Bawdy. “They celebrate ‘Earth Hour’ EVERY DAY!”
We wonder how many of these cowboys keep their lights on all night long, afraid that if they didn’t, their bedrooms would go communist.
Human Achievement Hour was made for these people.
To combat the appearance of environmentalism, the Competitive Enterprise Institute founded this counter-event in 2009. HAH is co-sponsored by The Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, which will give you some idea of the thinking behind it.
The barrier to entry is low: Participants “need only to spend the hour… enjoying the benefits of capitalism and human innovation: Gather with friends in the warmth of a heated home, watch television, take a hot shower, drink a beer…” This is clever, as even casual activities by people who are unaware of the whole thing could be counted a victory for Human Achievement.
Rightbloggers went farther, though, or at least claimed to.
“Every light in my house was blazing,” boasted Right Jab. “As I see it the greatest threat to my goal comes from two totalitarian religions. Islam and The Green religion.”
“I’m going to turn all my lights on,” announced Daniel Huddleston at RedState. “I’m celebrating man’s emergence from darkness.”
“I’ve a very large load of laundry on the go,” said Miss Trixie at Blazing Cat Fur, “I’m baking my bread for the week starting with my bread machine, my dishwasher is making very sure that hot water will make my dishes *sparkle* and every light in the house is ON… Screw you, ya d*mned stupid eco-hippies.” That’s tellin’ ’em!
“Earth Hour is halfway through now,” said Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin’s site, “and all my lights are shining so bright that I’m going to end up paying an Obamacare tanning tax, but it’s a small price to pay to honor electricity.”
“Turn all your lights on,” commanded Tammy Bruce. “As a matter of fact, bring out more lights! String those Christmas lights again on your patio! Open the doors and turn on the air conditioner! Have all the televisions on at once (and the radios too!). And you know those closet lights? They’ve been lonely. Turn them on [smiley face].”
We give the palm, though, to Steve Mac Donald of Live Free or Die, who ranted that, contrary to what “concrete jungle liberals” might think, an “eco system” does not include “the infrequent bathing habits of a middle eastern cab driver,” nor is wildlife defined “by the alcoholic mating calls of things that stumble out of neon lit night clubs, or the guttural whispers emanating from ill-lit, trash filled alleys,” nor by several other conservative fantasies of urban life.
No, “An eco system is the thing I do battle with every year called the back yard.” It is full of animals Mac Donald must kill and plants he must tame, and “if I turn my back on it for more than a moment,” he said, “it will take back every inch of the tiny little piece of modern America that I have purchased and maintained with the sweat of my own brow and move on from there.”
He also said “most of America is just like my back yard,” locked in a brutal and apparently evenly-matched and highly active war of man against nature. Thus while the liberals were “sitting in the dark for 60 minutes to celebrate ‘Earth Hour,'” Mac Donald declared, “I will be plugging in and running anything I can find with a cord attached whether I need it or not.”
He then catalogued these items: “Table saws, space heaters, hand blenders, that 45 pound XT ‘Portable PC’ I have from 19xx something… Radios, PC’s, TV’s, that nifty neck massager with the built in heater–hummmmmmmmmmmmm. Love that thing. Heating pad. Ceiling fans may make the designers on HomoGarden television blanch but I got a few, I like them, and I’m turning those on too.” That’ll show that bitch Mother Nature who’s boss!
The more intellectual rightbloggers tried to make HAH seem more serious than that, but didn’t get too far.
Don Boudreaux of Cafe Hayek cheered HAH, and when challenged on the foolish wastefulness of the enterprise (by a friendly source, it would seem: “Some brilliant capitalist can do something with the energy that you don’t waste”), responded that “it’s not at all the case that turning on the lights for Human Achievement Hour is wasteful. It is, instead, a productive matter of choice” because he was “making a statement.” Thus, “if this expressive action be wasteful, then it was no less wasteful for those who celebrated Earth Hour to express their opinions by turning their lights off.”
Boudreaux explained this seeming paradox: Without electricity, he said, “productive activities” such as “doing the laundry… were arbitrarily not performed. One full hour of human labor down the drain, never to be recovered.”
Spoken like an economist! We were hoping Boudreaux would go on to explain how this treason of the launderers was so bad that he had to leave his own lights blazing to counteract it. But he retreated to an accommodationist position: “I do not really believe that Earth Hour celebrants were being wasteful,” he said. “Earth-Hour celebrants weren’t wasteful – but nor were Human Achievement Hour celebrants.”
In other words, he wanted to demonstrate that his silliness was no sillier than that of silly liberals. Seems to us like a waste of time — not to mention of one’s electrical budget. But it’s a free country, at least for the moment, and if these guys want to enrich utility companies to show how free-market they are, we say God go with ’em. Maybe on socialistic Labor Day, they can work for subsistence wages as a show of solidarity with bosses. And on Christmas, they can refuse to give presents as a protest against the something-for-nothing Democratic handout mentality.
Hell, they live in their own world. They might as well have their own holidays.