On Saturday March 26, 2011, from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm, some people will shut off their lights and spend an hour in darkness as a symbolic vote against global climate change. Observers of Earth Hour want world leaders to “do something” about pollution and energy use. What this means is that they want politicians to use legal mandates and punitive taxes to prevent individuals from freely using resources, hindering our ability to create the solutions and technologies of the future. Instead, the Competitive Enterprise Institute asks you to spend that hour with your lights on in celebration of Human Achievement Hour.
In all seriousness, I do hope we will one day transition to cleaner forms of energy — and I certainly don’t object to individual efforts to conserve resources. However, these Earth Hour celebrations have such an air of left-wing self-righteousness about them that my inner contrarian feels compelled to stand in opposition to the whole spectacle. If you want to sit in the dark for an hour, that’s your prerogative. Me? I’m turning everything on.