I shouldn't be surprised, as it's not a foreign entity, especially not in politics, and clearly not during an election year (particularly this one). It's even not a surprise in the realm of environmentalism--treehuggers versus tree-cutters, big oil versus clean energy, the "Story of Stuff" over-consumption versus consumerism and materialism. US versus THEM.
Given all of that, is it any surprise that Earth Hour 2012 would be any different? The point of Earth Hour is to be part of the global movement to show pride and preservation in our planet and to bring awareness to the issue of depleting resources, "conservationalism," and climate change. The latest and greatest to counter Earth Hour's vision of turning off the lights for an hour from 8:30 to 9:30 pm the last Saturday night in March is "Human Achievement Hour." Running concurrently with Earth Hour, the creators are encouraging people to do just the opposite: to purposely leave ON the lights to praise all the inventions that have gotten us to where we are now. Similarly, while they are promoting individualism as a way to blast, what they call "government coercion."
"Human Achievement Hour" is the brainchild of Competitive Enterprise Institute. Feeling that Earth Hour's platform is to "vote with your light switch," they felt a true vote needed another choice.
Their big pitch from their website:
"To celebrate Human Achievement Hour, participants need only to spend the hour from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm on March 26 enjoying the benefits of capitalism and human innovation: Gather with friends in the warmth of a heated home, watch television, take a hot shower, drink a beer, call a loved one on the phone, or listen to music."Oh brother.
Let me see if I have this right: Team "Human Achievement Hour" is sending high praise to all the folks who go forth wildly, wastefully, using the most non-renewable resources. Yeah, that makes sense down the line! Let's all use up a ton of energy purposely! Let's leave on all the appliances and lights to ratchet up our electricity bill. While we are doing it, let's adopt fat slovenly habits so we can sit there, surfing the net, and becoming more of a nation of obesity! Good idea!
Don't get me wrong... I love the Internet! Thomas Edison was clever as can be to bring some light into the world. (Heck, I wrote a massive research paper about him in the 4th grade, singing his praises then, and singing them now.) I'm a big fan of the TV and/or the DVR if and when there is quality television on. And don't even get me started about the love affair I have with my iPad and iPhone! But seriously, do we need to sing high praises to these achievements by turning them all on simultaneously? Can we not love achievements AND (beware, this is the crazy part) adore a clean, healthy, planet, trying to secure the longevity of its resources? Do we NEED every light on in the house to say "thank you, Thomas Alva Edison?"
I'm already 'celebrating' Human Achievement Hour. I celebrate it daily. Since when do we have to choose between planet and progress? I thought we lived in a world with both. By turning off my lights tonight for Earth Hour, I have approximately 8,759 hours left in the year ahead to use lights and electronics any way I see fit.
Sanity and balance, people! Whatever happened to "moderation in all things?" In this bipartisan world where people are becoming so polarized that they only see black or only see white, they are forgetting that by living on the ends of the spectrum, they are missing all the shades in between. Life IS in the middle. Life IS in the gray. Truthfully, the sooner we all come to see that and try to adopt a "meet ya in the middle" mentality, the better off we all will be.... politically, peacefully, planetarily!
Banner photo from my buddy's FB Page, adapted from http://en.paperblog.com/earthhour-2012-saturday-march-31st-at-830-pm-151543/' Black and white/Earth addition picture from http://www.greenster.com/magazine/earth-hour-7-days-to-go/; Scrabble pic from http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/life/earth-hour-is-a-family-affair-31634.html;