Yesterday I logged into Twitter (to manage my account, not to tweet; sorry followers!!) and was promptly assaulted with Earth Hour related tweets on the main page.
And I had been doing such a good job of forgetting all about Earth Hour.
Yes, that's right, Virginia, I am not in any way, shape or form celebrating Earth Hour.
Well, because, I think, personally, that Earth Hour might be, the stupidest hour ever invented.
No, I still think Earth Hour still beats them all.
Earth Hour, for those of you that don't know, is an hour, which for whatever inexplicable reason generally falls on a Saturday night, wherein everyone is supposed to turn off their lights ... in support of the Earth or something.
We're all supposed to just sit there, in the dark, right? So, you know, most people then use a couple candles to light their homes, so they can, like, see, and stuff.
Except, that apparently paraffin candles (the kind most people light) are almost 10 times as bad as light bulbs. (Read this post for the math, and for a kinder, less rantier rant than the one I'm about to embark upon.)
Basically, by asking people to turn off their lights, we're promoting an inefficient means of lighting over a highly efficient one. It's like having a National No Smoking Day and getting people to take up chewing tobacco instead.
Now some will claim that it's not about the actual emissions that are lost or gained during Earth Hour. It's the symbolism!
Okay ... but what kind of message does it send that environmentalists, who are basing climate change predictions on rigorous science, don't even care about the science behind our freaking symbolism?
And we wonder why people claim that global warming isn't happening because it's snowing. We're out here getting people to symbolically burn damn candles when the science tells us that light-bulbs are the emissions-friendly option!!
Oh, but CFL, you are not sufficiently Walden-esque, I'm sorry.
This is the thing. Earth Day is bad symbolism. It's bad symbolism because it's unscientific and unthinking. It's bad symbolism because it ignores the real issues. It's bad symbolism because it doesn't represent any form of meaningful, long term change. I mean, my God, it's an HOUR. ONE HOUR. Like Earth Hour is some sort of hot movie star, and you are lucky to get an hour with him dammit, don't expect him to sleep over and cuddle you the next morning.
Look. I know some of you are going to tell me, "Anything is better than nothing! Maybe if we spend an hour sitting in the half-dark and bumping into furniture some people will get how important this is!"
You are TOO GOOD for Earth Hour. Do you hear me?
You deserve more from the world than a stupid, meaningless, didn't pass 10th grade science Earth Hour.
You are busy flying around in capes, peeing on your lawn, tallying up your plastic every damn week, and the world rewards all your hard work with one damn inconsequential hour and expects you to get all excited?
I am not buying it.
So, I will be spending my 8pm Saturday at a pub with friends. When Earth Hour wants to talk seriously about ACTUAL emissions reductions (as opposed to symbolic reductions), I'll come talk, but until then, go away, Earth Hour.
10 months ago