Conservatism is making a big comeback, folks. The proof? The tremendous success of Human Achievement Hour on Saturday.
What, you never heard of it? Well, you’ve heard of Earth Hour, right? That thing where all the stupid hippies turned their lights off for an hour to celebrate their precious, so-called “environment”?
Well, Human Achievement Hour was celebrated that same night by conservatives who left their lights on. And, on Saturday night, more people had their lights on than off. So conservatives win! Haw haw, eat it, stupid libtards!
As we explained last year, Human Achievement Hour was founded in 2009 by (natch) libertarians from the Competitive Enterprise Institute and The Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights who were pissed that Earth Hour — the pro-environment feel-good thing — was getting so much publicity.
It has since become one of our favorite conservative secret-decoder-ring routines — something rightbloggers consider proof of their popularity and superiority, but which no one else knows anything about.
This year the Ayn Rand Center seems to have mainly skipped the festivities — though they did offer a video called, “Does laissez-faire capitalism harm the environment?”
In this fascinating presentation, the Center’s spokesperson, Yaron Brook, said that, whatever laissez-faire (French for “I live, you die”) capitalism has meant for the “spotted owl environment” (haw!), it has been very good for the “human environment” — because “there has never been in human history a time where we have been healthier, where we have breathed cleaner air, where we have drunk better water…”
Mind you, this had nothing to do with envirofascist meddling such as the Clean Air Act, anti-smog ordinances, etc. — the Invisible Hand would have cut emissions and dumping eventually, but the stupid hippie lawmakers jumped the gun and stole their thunder.
The best way to keep water clean, Brook told us, is to “privatize all the water,” so the owners (chosen by means not revealed in Brook’s monologue) “can claim damages” if someone makes their water dirty. These owners can also charge you $50 a glass, and let you die of thirst if you can’t pay, but at least the water they’ll hold just out of reach while you desperately beg your relatives for money will be clean.
“It gets a little trickier with air,” Brook admitted, “…I don’t have the answer to how you do that.” That’s probably because the cause of air privatization hasn’t advanced as far as the cause of water privatization, at least not yet. But Brook did endorse legal retribution against polluters, so long as “restricting [pollution] is not going to end industry as we know it,” in which case “there’s no way government can step in.”
By way of explanation, Brook pointed to the example of 19th Century London and the filth poured into the air by coal-powered factories. “Imagine stopping it at that point!” he shuddered. “Imagine telling everybody they couldn’t use coal anymore! The technologies for filtering did not exist… that would have been the end of the Industrial Revolution and everybody’s lives would be worse off.” For a libertarian, Brook sure doesn’t have much faith in the power of market solutions.
Anyway, he shrugged, “so your health is a little hurt by the fact that humanity is progressing — including you! Your life, in total, is going to be better off. That’s in a sense the price that is being paid.” If only someone were around then to explain this to the dying lungers in Dickens novels. Still, folks whose water has been poisoned by fracking may benefit from Brook’s wisdom — besides, what with the gag orders, it’s not like they can prove they’ve been harmed anyway.
While the Rand Center took it easy, CEI was hot to get the 2012 Human Achievement Hour party started.
While “some people will be sitting in the dark to express their ‘vote’ for action on global climate change,” CEI explained, “you can join CEI and the thousands of people around the world who will be celebrating Human Achievement Hour (HAH).”
Sounds like big fun! It even has a fun name — HAH! But how would we celebrate? “Leave your lights on,” explained CEI, “to express your appreciation for the inventions and innovations that make today the best time to be alive and the recognition that future solutions require individual freedom not government coercion… Gather with friends in the warmth of a heated home, watch television, take a hot shower, drink a beer, call a loved one on the phone, or listen to music.”
So — use technology? That’s it? Theoretically, anyone who used a light or made a phone call on Saturday was shaking his fist at environmental do-gooders. We suppose next they’ll do a George Zimmerman Day, where everyone who isn’t wearing a hoodie is presumed to share the conservative consensus on Trayvon Martin.
Actually, leaving one’s lights on wasn’t the only way rightwingers were encouraged to celebrate. They were also asked to write blog posts and tell the world. And write they did!
Big time rightbloggers proudly represented: “My light bulbs have just barely cooled down from last year when the house turned into the largest tanning bed in the county,” bragged Doug Powers of Michelle Malkin’s site. “Stately InstaPundit manor is so brightly lit you can see it from space,” claimed Instapundit.
The smaller fry, like Harvey at IMAO, got the idea: “We’ll be turning on the lights all day to make up for the hippies turning off the lights for one hour,” he said. “I think we’ll win that battle.” Game, set, and match!
“My boys have a few friends sleeping over,” said the Lonely Conservative. “By the sound of things, they won’t be going to sleep anytime soon. So I may as well keep the house lit up nice and bright. Three cheers to human achievement!”
“Liberal pieties in the 21st century” are “aimed at turning us all into children,” said Ed Driscoll, who also denounced the magazine Scientific American as a “warm-monger.” (Scientific American believes in all that climate change nonsense, which just goes to show that science is communist.)
Some of the brethren posted videos. One cowboy toured what seemed to be a series of sheds with his camera — carefully avoiding, we imagine, his stockpiles of munitions and bound, terrified hitchhikers — for over nine minutes, lovingly showing off his many burning lights. “128 incandescent/halogen lamps,” he announced, “23 fluorescent lamps (magnetically ballasted, of course, as commies hate magnetic ballasts)… SUCK IT, WATERMELONS!!!”
“Its that time of year again,” poeticized Real World Libertarian, “when the drab grey ranks of climate frantics and their silly and sycophantic followers hold ‘Earth Hour’ when they make the rather pointless gesture of turning out their lights as some sort of faux effort to get the climate back to what it was in the past.”
If you were thinking, well, yeah, some small hint of the old pre-industrial environment might be nice once in a while — isn’t that why people prefer to picnic in the countryside rather than next to a sewage plant, or to drink in clean mountain air rather than car exhaust? — Real World Libertarian countered that the hippies don’t want “what it was during the medieval warm period when the temperature was higher than at present, but possibly like the little ice age when the Poms could skate on the Thames.”
Haw haw! In Real World Libertarian’s version, the libtards’ time machine goes back too far — proving that if you want cleaner air and water, you’ll inevitably wind up in a rightwing “Twilight Zone” episode.
“Sure, a combination of hippies and leftists want everyone to embrace the Stone Age with ‘Earth Hour’ on Saturday at 830pm your local time,” said Tammy Bruce, “but we here in the normal world celebrate Human Achievement!”
Having gotten a load of Bruce’s act before (e.g., she has compared the United Nations to the Nazis during World War II), we’re not sure she’s the best judge of what “normal world” people will go for — and the rest of her rant suggests she hasn’t much improved:
“I especially like enjoying what planet Earth has given us in the form of coal by worshipping electricity and all the products it powers,” she wrote. “All at once. Won’t you join me in turning on everything in your house/apartment/shack all at once? Hang those Christmas lights! Turn on the AC! All the TVs! All the computers! The dishwasher, the washing machine and dryer, the stereo (you can see the volume off but enjoy the pretty lights!!). Yes, schedule some housecleaning for that hour-that vacuum needs a run. Yay humans!”
We’d express some pity for Bruce’s neighbors, but we’re sure they’re used to this sort of thing from her by now.
Naturally the Breitbrats of Big Whatchamacallit got in on the action. Apparently none of their regular people were available, so they got Michelle Minton of the Competitive Enterprise Institute to alert the sheeple to the danger of econazism.
“Human beings exploit the environment,” Minton wrote. “This isn’t a bad thing — it is how we survive and thrive. We don’t have claws or fur. We don’t live in trees or burrow underground, and really, who would want to?”
Stupid hippies, that’s who! “There are some people out there,” said Minton, stumbling around, making her eyes look all stoned, and flashing the peace sign, “who think that humanity as a disease on the earth that, unchecked, will use up all of its resources. They want you to turn off your lights for an hour this Saturday for ‘Earth Hour’ in a show of support for enforced energy conservation.”
Enforced energy conservation! That’s like enforced universal health care and enforced coverage of birth control in paid insurance plans — i.e., fascism.
“It’s your right to choose to do this if you want,” wrote Minton. Our right? We thought it was enforced. Oh, we see — she’s doing outreach. She wants to appeal to those of us who don’t know we’re dupes of the Watermelon Ecofascists — hence her soft-pitch follow-up:
“Many people participating in the World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour are honestly motivated by their personal desire to live in a clean and beautiful environment — which is understandable,” said Minton. “However, they are unknowingly lending their support to a movement that wants to clamp down on human progress. The implicit idea behind Earth Hour, Earth Day, and similar efforts is that human beings, through our exploitation of natural resources and the waste we produce, are an unnatural and negative force in the world and that our existence should be controlled, limited, and ultimately reduced…”
Now it’s our turn to talk about normalcy. When most people think about environmental issues, do they really think of it the way these guys portray it — as a fight between freedom-loving futurists and dirty hippies who want to drag everybody back to the Stone Age? Seriously — bring the subject up at work or at lunch, and see how many of your friends and colleagues sound like Michelle Minton.
But that doesn’t matter — not in the long run. Sure, Earth Hour gets more press than Human Achievement Hour gets now (despite the assistance of Fox News). But consider: Until a few decades ago, Americans believed that everyone who worked hard deserved a decent home, a decent salary, and the possibility that their kids could get an education and do better than their parents. Now no one believes that — or, at least, they consider it so far-fetched that there’s no question of believing it; you might as well ask them if they think they deserve pet unicorns.
Conservatives expect to do the same thing with the environment. Sure, now people act as if they expect clean air and water — but once conservatives have abolished the EPA, overturned environmental regulations, and turned large swaths of America into toxic waste dumps, citizens will quickly forget that they ever had a right to anything better.
And that explains it. They’re not celebrating last Saturday. They’re celebrating the future.