This weekend, enviro-zealots will celebrate “Earth Hour” by turning off their lights. They’ve pulled this stunt for a few years now. But this time, they’ve added a new twist: “This year, Earth Hour has been transformed into the world’s first global election, between Earth and global warming. 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.”
How about voting for human achievement? Michelle Minton at the Competitive Enterprise Institute has a good proposal:
This week CEI announced the creation of Human Achievement Hour (HAH) to be celebrated at 8:30pm on March 28th 2009 (the same time and date of Earth Hour).
Our press release described ways people might celebrate the achievements of humanity such as eating diner, seeing a film, driving around, keeping the heat on in your home—all things that Earth Hour celebrators, presumably, should be refraining from. In the cheekiest manner, we claimed that anyone not foregoing the use of electricity in that hour is, by default, celebrating the achievements of human beings. Needless to say, the enviros in the blogosphere didn’t take to kindly to our announcement.
Matthew Wheeland, an environmental journalist called the holiday “mind-blowingly strange” and pondered if Earth hour folks are including in their numbers people in countries that don’t have enough electricity to make the choice to turn out their lights. Of course, they don’t have the choice to acquire electricity whereas anyone can choose to stop using human technology if they wish…
…Green and private conservation are fine. We have no problem with an individual (or group) that wants to sit naked in the dark without heat, clothing, or light. Additionally, we’d have no problem with the group holding a pro-green technology rally. That’s their choice. But when this group stages a “global election” with the express purpose of influencing “government policies to take action against global warming,” we have every right as individuals to express our vote for the opposite
If our Human Achievement Hour is at all a dig against Earth Hour, it is so only by the fact that we are pointing out what Earth Hour truly is about: it isn’t pro-earth, it is anti-man and anti-innovation. So, on March 28th I plan to continue “voting” for humanity by enjoying the fruits of man’s mind.
Here’s CEI’s HAH announcement that irked the Greenies:
Washington, D.C., March 19, 2009—The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a leading free-market think tank, plans to recognize “Human Achievement Hour” between 8:30pm and 9:30pm on March 28, 2009. The new one-hour holiday coincides with Earth Hour, a period of time during which governments, individuals, and corporations have agreed to dim or shut off lights in an effort to draw attention to climate change.
“We are so proud that millions of people plan to show their appreciation for human achievement by doing things like eating dinner, watching television, going to the movies, and brushing their teeth,” says Human Achievement Hour Founder and CEI Policy Analyst Michelle Minton. “Never before has a new holiday caught on so quickly.”
The new one-hour holiday, unknown prior to this press release, has already received overwhelming support from many of Washington, D.C.’s leading institutions. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, for example, tells CEI that it does not plan to shut down all of the city’s bus and rail lines for the “Earth Hour.” The Kennedy Center, likewise, has scheduled a performance of the long-running play Sheer Madness, a jazz concert, and a dance performance to coincide with the Human Achievement Hour. Washington, D.C.’s Target store, furthermore, will remain open until 10:00pm on the evening of the 28th. The Smithsonian Institution also plans a film showing that will extend into Human Achievement Hour.
“We salute the people who keep the lights on and produce the energy that helps make human achievement possible,” says Myron Ebell, CEI’s Director of Energy and Global Warming Policy.
Other organizations around the world and the nation have planned events in support of the new holiday. For example, The United State Marine Corps will continue its combat and humanitarian operations around the world during Human Achievement Hour. The New York Times confirms that it intends to put out a paper on March 29th, 2009 (preparation and printing for that issue will take place during Human Achievement Hour). At least 30,000 movies will also be screened in celebration of Human Achievement Hour. Hospital emergency and operating rooms, likewise, will remain open in Washington and in the rest of the country. Nearly all of the nation’s Wal-Mart locations will also be open during Human Achievement Hour.
Those wishing to celebrate Earth Hour, however, do not need to take part in Human Achievement Hour. “Earth Hour is a viable alternative to human achievement hour,” says CEI Senior Fellow Eli Lehrer. “Those who wish to celebrate Earth Hour should sit in the dark, turn off the heat, and breathe as little as possible.”
It goes without saying that, except for CEI itself, the institutions listed above have not actually endorsed “Human Achievement Hour.” (All the quotes and facts, however, are real and may/should be used.)