Turning Out the Lights on Freedom
The End Result of Earth Hour Thinking is Visible from Space
By Mark I Posted in Earth Hour | Energy | Environment | Global Warming | Liberals | Miscellanea | radical environmentalists — Comments (15) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Did you turn out your lights on Saturday night between 8 and 9 PM to observe Earth Hour? If you didn’t, or if you were like me and turned extra lights on just to Fight the Power!, you exercised that most precious of rights and the one ingredient most essential to maintaining a free society: personal choice. But the peddlers of Earth Hour nonsense don’t want you to have that right. Not, at least, when it comes to lifestyle decisions that may impact on Global Warming.
Note that I use the original term, Global Warming, not the newly preferred moniker "climate change." Climate change only came about when it became clear that Global Warming wasn’t selling so well. I, for one, will not let the alarmists get away with moving the thermometers by changing the terms. But I digress.
If the environmental movement has its way, your betters in the Sierra Club, and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on [Global Warming] will dictate to you when you must turn off lights, what kind car or unreasonable facsimile of one you can drive, where you can live, what kind of job you can take, even how many children you can have. Does all that sound familiar? It does to me. In fact, there is one place I can think of where there is near 100% compliance with Earth Hour every night and where all of the above is already true.
On the right we have a satellite picture of the Korean Peninsula taken at night. Not this past Saturday, but you’ll forgive the discrepancy in service of a larger point. The bottom half, of course, is South Korea. South Korea is capitalist, democratic, and free. The northern half is North Korea, which…isn’t.
Which of the two Koreas do Global Warming alarmists think is the more responsible actor? I’ll bet it isn’t the South. Just look at all those lights. Are they really all necessary? Surely some moderation can be exercised in the name of saving the planet. And if not, the government should step in to enforce some kind of reasonable energy consumption policy. And so the thinking goes. North Korea is dark at night for reasons wholly unrelated to Global Warming. But it is surely the future that awaits us all if the alarmists have their way.
North Korea’s brutally repressive communist government, along with its dark nights, is the end result of the kind of "for the common good" thinking that Global Warming alarmists peddle. It is an extreme example, to be sure, but the parallels are there. In order for the environmental movement to get what it wants, that is the suppression of personal choice "for the good of the planet," governments must become, progressively, more intrusive and less tolerant of individual decisions. They must enforce conformity to keep societal order. Nothing riles a crowd like the notion that some other class or privileged group is getting special treatment. So governments must place everyone in the same boat, and keep them there, to maintain control. That’s how governments like North Korea’s stay in power.
If you think that scenario is a bridge too far from a call for a voluntary darkening of American households for one hour on one Saturday night, consider this. Earlier this year, the California Energy Commission, the state agency that sets efficiency standards for household appliances used in the state, proposed a new regulation mandating radio controlled thermostats in homes. The thermostats could be controlled by the State to change homeowners’ pre-set temperatures in times of emergency, overriding the personal choices of potentially millions of private citizens. Read the words of Dr. Arthur Rosenfeld, a commission member, and see his justification for the idea.
"You realize there are times — very rarely, once every few years — when you would be subject to a rotating outage and everything would crash including your computer and traffic lights, and you don’t want to do that.
If you can control rotating outages by letting everyone in the state share the pain, there’s a lot less pain to go around." (emphasis mine)
Share in the pain to reduce the impact? No, Dr. Rosenfeld, there’s more pain, not less. More because the government has reached into a private citizen’s home and taken away his ability to control his own living space as he sees fit. There may be less energy usage and even less rolling blackouts, but at the cost of individual freedom, and all in the name of saving the planet.
Like Earth Hour, installation of the controllable thermostats started out as a voluntary initiative in California. Apparently not enough homes volunteered, and stronger action was needed to achieve the goal. How long before a public utility near you is goaded by some commission into offering voluntary installation of dimmer switches or timers for light fixtures? Though the proposal has been shot down thanks to a tremendous public outcry, the alarmists will be back.
At their core, radical environmental movements are as much about controlling people as they are about controlling the impact on the environment. Choice is as much the enemy as carbon; freedom as much as fossil fuels. And all the Earth Hours they can arrange will not satisfy them because it isn’t about the lights. Global Warming enthusiasts are after your right to decide how and where to live your life for the greater good. If you don’t willingly volunteer to go along, they will find a way for you to "share the pain."