Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dim bulbs

It's Earth Hour tonight. Turn off your lights for a whole hour and you will be illuminated from within by the glow of your own sanctimony. And just think: if a billion people take part, the energy saved will be equivalent to six seconds' of China's consumption! --No, it's not going to make a bit of difference, but perhaps it's not intended to: instead it's about raising "awareness", which as the ever- incisive Christian Lander tells us, "is the process of making other people aware of problems, and then magically someone else like the government will fix it."

I once saw a reproduction of an old cartoon published at around the time London introduced gas lighting for its streets, in 1807. It had a caricature of a dour Scotsman gravely eyeing one of the lamps and saying, "Aye. But what is this, compared to the light within?" Poor Jock, he never lived to see Earth Hour.

1 comment:

Rajeev said...

Essentially, Earth Day is a renunciation of civilization. Artificial light either through fire or electricity is man standing against the wild and the darkness.
Did you ever see that picture of the world where North Korea was in total darkness?