I didn’t “do” Earth Hour this year. Two years ago I turned out all the lights as requested, and I sat in the dark. It was a very long hour. Last year I was better prepared. I sat in the light of some candles and played solitaire. This year, I didn’t bother.
I can’t figure out why we are asked to do it. Oh, I know all the environmental issues, and I realize it’s a gesture, but still it doesn’t make much sense to me. Do we really need yet another set of pictures showing us what our capital cities look like with the lights out? Anyway, as my niece said, “I’ll turn out all the lights when I go to bed.” That’s a palm smack to the forehead, it’s so obvious.
Of course, it’s all a part of the ongoing campaigns to save the earth from its human inhabitants, but I have to say I’m getting a little ho-hum about it all. I have been reducing, reusing, and recycling my whole life. That’s what you do when money is tight. Not much changed for me when the environmental missionaries started their work. I’m glad we now have places to take our recyclables, and that the waste management people now sort the trash. It’s good that we don’t harvest too many trees or cod, but please, you guys, let it be. I get it.
As I left the library today I was stopped by a charming young man with a starter beard and a knitted Alpaca hat. He had a clipboard showing a picture of burned trees, and he asked if I had heard of Greenpeace. I said, “Yes, you caused a lot of trouble in British Columbia.” He then started asking leading questions like, “You don’t want to see the rainforest destroyed, do you?” And so it went; he taught me something about palm oil in beauty products, and then asked me if I wanted to join their organization.
Before walking away I said, “No. I won’t join Greenpeace” and when he asked why, I mentioned my concerns about some of their guerrilla tactics. I also, very briefly, said I could not support the apparent lack of concern for the lives of native people negatively impacted by their “successes.” In particular, I identified the Inuit and the seal hunt. When he started talking about baby seals I knew he hadn’t done his homework.
As religions decline, good causes proliferate. On my way home I thought about the evangelical nature of environmentalist charities. Believers are fed a steady diet of a limited range of information and motivated to spread the word. The methods of maintaining the faith haven’t changed much, and we are still burning candles in the dark.