On the evening of Saturday, March 23, people around the world are being asked by activists to switch off the lights for an hour to observe “Earth Hour”. Bjørn Lomborg says this gesture will do little to help the planet, and gives people the wrong impression about how to address climate issues. (See related WUWT post here)
Earth Hour is not the answer. Taken to its logical conclusion, if switching the lights off for one hour is a good idea, why not for all the other 8,759 hours of the year?
Electricity, and affordable, plentiful energy, is the lifeblood of modern civilization and prosperity. If you do switch off the lights, do it in solidarity with the 1.3 billion people in the world who live in cold and misery because they lack access to electricity. Do it to celebrate the benefits of innovation and technology.
Electricity has been a boon for humanity. And the cozy candles that many participants will light, which seem so natural and environmentally friendly, are still fossil fuels (paraffin comes from petroleum) —and almost 100 times less efficient than incandescent light bulbs.
Fundamentally, cutting emissions in the short run is no easy task. Today, green energy is too costly to be a viable solution. Real breakthroughs in energy technology will only come with more investment in research and development.
Read the full commentary on Slate . Translations in 6 languages are distributed worldwide and available at Project Syndicate http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/earth-hour-s-counterproductive-symbolism-by-bj-rn-lomborg
Here is the official Earth Hour video. Note the use of candles along with other imagery, designed to tug at emotional heartstrings.