Since Earth Hour occurred today, environmental skeptic Bjorn Lomborg weighed in on the event with an op-ed published in USA Today. In it he states that not only is Earth Hour a waste of time but the people behind it ignore the needs of poor people who need more light and energy which is mostly powered by fossil fuel use.
Earth Hour is largely celebrated in rich, urban areas. Around the world, there are around 1.3 billion people living in the developing world who will not get a choice whether to participate or not. That’s because they will be living without reliable electricity on Saturday night, just like they do every other night.
Increasingly, the world’s rich nations insist that these people — the world’s poor — should have no new fossil fuel access. Foreign aid is increasingly tied to renewable energy projects such as building solar and wind power capacity, or tiny “off-grid” energy generators. This has a real cost — and it’s the world’s worst-off who pay.
This appears rather hypocritical: The rich world relies heavily on fossil fuels, getting just 10% of its energy from renewables. Contrast that to Africa, which gets 50% of its much lower energy consumption from renewables.
Lomborg fittingly closes his essay by stating:
Celebrating darkness over light is a fitting metaphor for a global environmental movement that has lost its way, and is not arguing for the smartest prescriptions for the world’s poor, or for the planet.
The symbolism behind Earth Hour demonstrates environmentalist hatred of industrialization and civilization. Shutting off the lights for an hour on March 25th shows that environmentalists prefer humans to live in the dark with no electricity or the conveniences that fossil fuels enable us to have. Earth Hour really is a way to let people know environmentalists seek to usher in a new Dark Ages and hope they can convince as many useful idiots to join in.