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Odd Anti-Earth Hour Thing: Human Achievement Hour

Saturday was Earth Hour. The idea: we all turn out our lights for an hour as a symbolic (and real...but mostly symbolic) recognition of humanity's...

Saturday was Earth Hour. The idea: we all turn out our lights for an hour as a symbolic (and real...but mostly symbolic) recognition of humanity's shared purpose in taking care of our planet. In response, a free-market think tank called the Competitive Enterprise Institute pledged to keep their lights on for "Human Achievement Hour".

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=il0ab-WkImU


This is almost too ridiculous to talk about, but it's worth mentioning a few things.

First, I think it's fair to say that the CEI is missing the point of Earth Hour. Earth Hour is not an anti-achievement or anti-technology thing per se; it's a pro-environmental-health thing. If we all had solar-powered lights, Earth Hour would not be about turning your lights off because Earth Hour is only about lights insofar as they harm the environment. So achievers: go ahead and achieve. Those of us who recognized Earth Hour aren't part of a pro-failure movement that's trying to bring you down.

Second, if people are meant to "celebrate and acknowledge" Human Achievement Hour by "simply going about [their] daily lives," it's really kind of a non-event, right?

Finally, the montage of human achievements is actually pretty awesome. It starts with human tool use and goes right through the artistic achievements of Jimi Hendrix, the moral and political achievements of Ghandi, and the technological achievements of space exploration. Framed differently, this would be a nice reminder of our potential to rise to the challenge of our environmental problems, rather than a case for inertia.





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