Can We Just Admit That "Earth Hour" Is Pretty Stupid?


Today many businesses and organizations and even municipal governments, like the City of Minneapolis, shut off their lights for an hour. Or, in the case of Minneapolis, shut off their “non-essential” lights, making me wonder why the city has “non-essential” lights on during the weekend for anyway. Not because I’m all that concerned about the impact of the environment, but rather the impact on the taxpayers.

But I digress.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute counters “Earth Hour” with “Human Achievement Hour” which encourages Americans to turn on their lights and electrical devices as a way of demonstrating our appreciation for innovation and invention.

I like the sound of that better.

The idea that we’re accomplishing anything by turning off lights for an hour is ridiculous. At best, we’re turning off lights that should have been off anyway (like the ones in Minneapolis, apparently). At worst, we’re just forcing people to delay the things they’re doing, and probably inspiring them to keep the lights on longer later as they finish those things up.

“But Earth Hour raises awareness,” some of you might say. But awareness of what, exactly? The idea that technology is a bad thing?

Luddites have been with us about as long as technology has, and they’ve been wrong about pretty much everything for that same amount of time. Let’s not celebrate them.