Let's consider this "4,000 cities participated in Earth Hour" statistic for a bit. First of all, I'm calling BS on the number of "cities" seeing as there are 3,158 cities of over 100,000 in population in the world. I suppose their number could be accurate, but then they must include smaller towns around the world that could hardly be considered "cities."
Secondly, how does one define "participated." Here's an image of North Korea, not during Earth Hour. Does the WWF count North Korea as a participant?
A buddy of mine who lives in Africa goes without electricity quite often along with the rest of the city in which he lives. Did the WWF count his city for their statistic.
New York City supposedly participated, but look at this before and during photos of Times Square celebrating Earth Hour.
Look how they turned off those three screens! Way to go, New York!
Let me be very clear. Many of my conservative friends have a knee-jerk reaction to anything dealing with ecology and want to push back a bit saying, "I'm going to turn on every light in the house during Earth Hour." And as a conservative, I have to admit I, too have this reaction from time to time.
But there is nothing wrong with conservation, recycling, or considering the ecological impact of one's actions. The problem arises when the government mandates how a populace will behave and forces its people to deal with sub-par materials and products in the name of ecology.
Or when the government spends billions of dollars on ecological issues that may impact us in 100 years, but cuts the defense budget that protects us from impending terrorist attacks.
Even the Earth Hour website itself told me this was not an event I ought to participate in.
"For the first time in history, people of all ages, nationalities, race and background have the opportunity to use their light switch as their vote – Switching off your lights is a vote for Earth, or leaving them on is a vote for global warming. WWF are urging the world to VOTE EARTH and reach the target of 1 billion votes, which will be presented to world leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009."
Look, I'm all for anyone doing his or her part to conserve energy and responsibly use resources, but when you couch participation or non-participation in Earth Hour as "a vote for the earth or a vote for global warming," I'm afraid you've jumped out of the silly nest onto the stupid branch.
The Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009, is an effort to come to a resolution on climate change that will replace the Kyoto protocols. If my darkened home is a vote in favor of the Copenhagen protocol, then count me out.
I refuse to take part in any hour-long-ecological-empty-gesture that is going to be used to oppress the successful industrialized nations and serve as a means to redistribute wealth to nations run by warlords and tyrants.
You don't think this is what Copenhagen will attempt to do? Just look at Kyoto as a blueprint.
Allow me to conserve in my own way without politicizing it, and I'll be happy to "save the earth," but if you want my support just so you can stick it to industrialization and capitalism, count me out.