Tonight’s “Earth Hour” asks people to spend 60 minutes in darkness as a way of showing support for the environment. No electricity on a mass scale supposedly reduces pollution from generating plants by cutting back on power demand, if only temporarily.
Is this truly the best approach to raising environmental awareness? After all, it sends the same negative message floated for decades by those who have always opposed anything to help curb pollution. Saving the planet means we all have to sacrifice and go without. We can’t have the benefits of electric power without pollution, or a clean environment and plentiful electricity.
Who says this is the case? This is a false choice. We have never really thrown our creative and financial resources behind developing non-polluting ways of generating power. We have given it lip-service for decades but little else.
So cut the lights for an hour tonight and feel ever so virtuous. But it won’t really do anything substantial to solve the problem and it will reinforce the false belief that the only way to aid the environment is through deprivation and sacrifice in lieu of investment and innovation.