March 25, 2017

Earth Hour: Click to Fade


[Sigh: It's that time again. The global dementia continues. The good news is that most of the Earth missed it this time around as the boredom increases.]

The Eiffel Tower before and during Earth Hour in Paris, France on March 28, 2009.

It looked as if a night of dark intent
Was coming, and not only a night, an age.
Someone had better be prepared for rage.
There would be more than ocean-water broken
Before God's last Put out the Light was spoken.

-- Robert Frost, "Once By The Pacific"

In 1914 Sir Edward Grey said to a friend one evening just before the outbreak of the First World War, as he watched the lights being lit on the street below his office: "The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime."

In that instance, it was the Great War that loomed. Now the Great Forgetting looms and, from time to time, it washes across the world. "Earth Hour" is such a dark moment as millions either choose to, or thanks to their compliant or complacent local governments suffer through, an hour in the dark.

Once upon a time we knew enough to curse the darkness. In the aeons long climb from the muck, we have only had the ability to hold back the dark for a bit over a century. Now millions yearn to embrace it and, should they yearn long enough and hard enough, the darkness will embrace them and hold them for much longer than a brief hour of preening and self-regard.

The Big Picture at the Boston Globe site routinely publishes stunning photographs of what is taking place in the world. But at editor Alan Taylor's whim after last year's "Earth Hour", it went a step further in "celebrating" the rise of mass insanity in our age. "Earth Hour 2009" presents a round-the-world tour of cities with each picture designed to fade from light into darkness at the click of a mouse. Proud of his clever variation on a theme, the editor's instructions were -- without a hint of irony:

"[click image to see it fade]"

Of course with a second mouse click the lights came back on. It never seems to occur to the people with the Green Disease, that is perfectly possible to

[click civilization to see it fade]

and get no second click.

"Pater dimitte illis non enim sciunt quid faciunt." ("Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.") -- Luke 23:34

[Republished from 2009 because it's not worth spending new powder. And because I can't believe I almost forgot it was the sacred "Earth Hour." Oh, you did as well? Typical.]

Posted by Vanderleun at March 25, 2017 11:17 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Report on my Earth Hour Celebration:

I did not turn off the lights. I did take my family (5 people) to Florida for the weekend by airplane. Sorry we couldn’t swing the charter fee for a private plane.

Saturday night, we went out to dinner. We drove to the restaurant. I and Daughter #2, ordered the 30 oz. Tuscan Steak. My son joined in after he finished his Cioppino. We drank beer.

I know it is not much, but we are doing what we can.

Posted by: Fat Man at March 31, 2009 8:14 PM

I forgot about Earth Hour, or I would have turned on all my indoor lights.

But as an astronomy enthusiast, I'm not sorry to see unnecessary outdoor lights turned off, for whatever reason. Much outdoor lighting is wasteful and poorly thought out.

The general rule of thumb is to put the light on the ground where it is needed. Lighting porches, sidewalks, and driveways is fine and desirable. But it needs to be done with well-shielded light fixtures. Light that goes upwards and sideways is almost always wasted light, and serves no purpose except to annoy the neighbors, particularly those who are interested in astronomy.

Posted by: rickl at March 31, 2009 8:51 PM

Will the Last One to Leave Western Civilization Please Turn Out the Lights

Posted by: Gagdad Bob at March 31, 2009 8:53 PM

Ironic that you made reference to Edward Grey. I've just been listening to the audiobook "The Guns Of August" by Barbara Tuchman. The strangely naive attitude that Europeans held as they approached the cataclysm of the First World War has at least a cognitive analogy to the bizarre, feckless, Luddite and unexamined views the vast majority of the West now hold to its future. A future where the solution to scarcity or high cost is not to produce more, but to stifle oneself. A corpse is the paragon of conservation.

Posted by: George Orwell at March 31, 2009 10:25 PM

Passover this year, Jews over the whole world say the Blessing of the Sun, a benediction that takes place once in 28 years to mark the return of the sun to its position the day HaShem created it (the fourth day, 5769 years ago).

If there can be a greater contrast to the turning of the lights on Earth-Worship Hour, I am not aware of it.

Posted by: Judaeus Sedentaris at April 1, 2009 2:36 AM

In Revelation, the Greek word commonly translated as 'pale' (as in, the horse of death) is actually 'chloros', i.e., a sickly *green*.

Perhaps not what the enviros had in mind, but the culture of depopulation, cooling the planet and turning off the lights can be about only one thing: running from all that which gives and is life.

Posted by: Ultraguy at April 1, 2009 4:44 AM

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
Eph 5:11
You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.
1 Th 5:5
Amazing how the mind infected by Liberalism thinks.
Those who turned out their lights are so very proud of themselves having accomplished what? Empty symbolism wearies me. I will take notice of their phony activism when they get rid of their personal use of washing machines, clothes dryers, refridgerators, and air conditioners.

Posted by: arnonerik at April 1, 2009 6:02 AM

Read the comments posted after the photos. Lemmings, all of them, with the exception of a couple. I personally had every single light turned on in my house, all TV's were on, the washing machine and dryer were in use, the dishwasher was humming, the water heater was making fresh hot water, all cell phones were recharging, computers were accessing the internet, the refrigerator was keeping my beer ice cold and my food fresh, the microwave was cooking popcorn and all outdoor lighting was on so I could survey my property and check for intruders. Meanwhile, my utility company called me to thank me for taking some of their excess power that they suddenly had and thanked me for letting them keep their jobs a little while longer. See, it's a coal-fired power plant.

Posted by: chipper at April 1, 2009 6:32 AM

Who needs lights? We didn't have electricity in 712 A.D., why do we need it now?

Posted by: Lucy at April 1, 2009 8:03 AM

How much easier is self-sacrifice than self realization. Our greatest pretenses are built not to hide the evil and the ugliness in us, but our emptiness.
Men think in herds; it will be seen they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.
Human beings will cling to their delicious tyrannies and exquisite nonsense until death stares them in the face.
Eric Hoffer, Sydny Smith, Charles Mackay

Posted by: james wilson at April 1, 2009 8:42 AM

Most people have seen the satellite picture of North Korea at night, almost totally dark in contrast to the well-lighted South.

The greens - actually a rather literal translation of chloros - want us voluntarily to emulate North Korea? I say let them all cap-and-trade themselves!

Posted by: Pete Madsen at April 1, 2009 10:26 AM

"I say let them all cap-and-trade themselves!"

I'd be happy if they just capped themselves and be done with it.

...But in the spirit of compromise, I would be satisfied if they capped-and-traded themselves into darkness.

Unfortunately, every good progressive knows; "What's good for me is even better if it can be imposed upon thee".

Posted by: monkeyfan at March 26, 2010 11:03 AM

I can think of a number of ways we can depopulate the planet. All these scenarios involve rounding up people in sandals, ponytails, or any of the other mannerisms and acoutrements of the greenie-weenies. Instead of Kool-Aid will use white wine (or is that spelled "whine?"). We'll ask them all to assemble in the world's university districts. Should be a short walk for most of them.

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at March 26, 2010 2:49 PM

LOL...Or we can grow filthy damn rich by telling informing them that the tasty [radioactive] "powdered wine" was; "lovingly constructed using 100% pure organic fair-trade grapes sustainably grown and squashed using ancient traditional methods under the feet of native American peasants of the Amazonian watershed".

Posted by: monkeyfan at March 26, 2010 4:04 PM

More superficial feel-good fluff. The sad part about stuff is that the people who think this is wonderful a) vote, usually for socialist idiots; and b) reproduce, thus creating more of themselves to carry on the tradition of idiocy.

Posted by: John Steele at March 27, 2010 5:07 AM

I hope some of you will join me in celebrating Enlightenment Hour tonight.

It honors the heroes of the Enlightenment who pushed back the darkness and brought us into the modern age. Some people would return us to that darkness, given the chance, but with enough people of stout will we can keep that ever-waiting darkness at bay.

So, make a statement that you stand for civilization and turn on all your lights tonight at 8:30. Let the illumination blaze forth for one hour and declare your solidarity with the forces of light and truth and progress. Reject the attempt to step back into history and back into benighted tribalism. Let the lights burn.

Posted by: kcom at March 27, 2010 5:12 AM

Every light in the place will be on, I'll wait til 8:30 tonight to do that load of towels and sheets, and I'll have a late dinner just so I can run the oven during Earth Hour. Oh, yeah, and I'll have a DVD running, too.

Posted by: Retread at March 27, 2010 5:54 AM

The people, living in darkness, have seen a great light.

Keep your lamps trimmed and burning!

Posted by: LibertyJane at March 27, 2010 6:32 AM

TO: Vanderleun, et al.
RE: It's Going to Get Darker Than You Think

The 'Great Darkness' IS coming. Christians, and by that I mean the REAL ones, have been recognizing the signs of the times for a long time now. Decades in some instances.

It's been a creeping cancerous growth. A blight on the civic order and civility. Now it has metastasized, thanks to the so-called major media and the vaunted American public [re-]education system. As a judge at state forensic competitions, I see it every round of Original Oratory and Extemporaneous Speech. I hear it in EVERY round of Cross-Examination, Public Forum and Lincoln-Douglas debate.

It's saddening. And in some respects a frightening harbinger of the proverbial 'Things To Come'.

Lenin had his stringing up of the 'kulaks'. Stalin sent them off to 're-education' centers in Siberia. Nazi Germany had its Krystal Nacht and it's 'Final Solution'.

Today, we read of the Left calling on people who disagree with them to kill themselves. And I have to wonder what the Left will do when we don't....


[ Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity. -- Yeats]

Posted by: Chuck Pelto at March 27, 2010 6:50 AM

The Green movement is a deadly mixture of narcissism and self-hate. Of course, those are two sides of the same coin: self-obcession. Environmentalism started out as a good thing. Who doesn't want clean air and water? And it was technology that made the air and water so much cleaner than it was 40 and even 20 years ago. But now that it's about climate fantasies it is at best a mere fashion statement and at worst a death cult.

Posted by: Matt at March 27, 2010 7:13 AM

We had a early warm spell, such that my thick, winter blood, and the pounds I put on eating industrial farm raised cattle, pigs and chicken this winter, caused me to put on the central AC as I felt a hint of sweat from playing COD 5 on my 62 inch flat screen. I then fell asleep for a few hours with the game on, woke up cold, cut the AC and turned on the heat. It was dark so I put on all the walkway and drive lights and turned on every light inside. I found a few bulbs out( they burn out so fast now a days ) and replaced them with nice, bright 100 watt'ers.

I'll try to do more. Run half loads of dishes on super scrub, long showers( a two'fer), have the heat high.

I can't compete against some of my friends who have immense echoing McMansions and like the AC so cold in the summer that you have to sleep under puffy down comforters. ( It's really really nice after a day of burning a thousand gallons of diesel fuel fishing for ten pounds of Mai-Mai )

Together we can defeat the anti-energyists and their neo-poverty programs.

Posted by: Paul at March 27, 2010 7:41 AM

Tonight is 'Earth Hour' a propaganda ploy organized by the WWF, World Wildlife Fund, to promote the global warming hysteria.

2. When is the next Earth Hour?

Earth Hour will take place on Saturday, March 27th at 8:30 p.m. local time. [for one hour]

3. What is in store for Earth Hour 2010?

On Saturday, March 27th 2010 at 8:30 p.m. hundreds of millions of people around the world will turn off their lights for one hour, symbolically calling for action on climate change. In the United States, WWF is looking for continued support from the hundreds of local governments, communities and business, as well as the tens of millions of Americans who voted with their light switch during Earth Hour 09.

Let YOUR light SHINE at 8:30

Pass the word...

Posted by: sdcougar at March 27, 2010 8:39 AM

The top comment (#2638) on the Boston Globe page when I visited a few minutes ago:

this is hoppless! we the simple people we want to changes thinks BUT all the goverments and the industrail areas that are the actuall merderers of our planets they didnt shutdown their factories not even for 1 second!!!!!!

if all the factories that produce corbon diaoxyde and all the fires and the illigal pohising and all the non perpuse movents of the cars was stopped just for 1 hour every day they could reduce our polution a lot more thatn just 1 hour of few buildings!!!!!

they are toying with us they are trying to make as feel quilty and that we alone can stop it, when they are getting reacher and reacher every minuete and they dont understand that all the money on earth will not save them when they will not have EARTH to leave on!

the human race must wake up NOW and find drastical solutions and not playing arroudn with few lights!
Posted by johnnyxp64 June 25, 09 04:57 AM

Makes you wonder, doesn't it? I know it makes me wonder if johnnyxp managed to clear third grade. Oh, and "pohising". I may have a use for that word.

Posted by: wagnert in atlanta at March 27, 2010 2:03 PM

"Earth Hour will take place on Saturday, March 27th at 8:30 p.m. local time. [for one hour]"

What a coincidence. That's exactly when Enlightenment Hour takes place. :)

Posted by: kcom at March 27, 2010 3:04 PM

Tonight I'm going to light a special one for Robert Frost - March 26th is his birthday.

Posted by: MizzE at March 26, 2011 12:11 PM

If this is the priority of our global thinkers and our global culture, then civilization has already faded.

Posted by: RedCarolina at March 26, 2011 2:16 PM

Anyway, speaking of Earth Days and the lush green wonders of Mother Gaia, last Christmas I put 18 strings of lights up in the fir tree out in front. You probably could see the thing from space. And of course we put lights on all the bushes in the front yard and around the eaves. There may have been 30 strings in all. And every time my wife would turn on her hair dryer, we would blow a breaker. It may be time for a new panel out in the garage and another dam on the Columbia River...

Posted by: Skookumchuk at March 26, 2011 9:26 PM

I'm with rickl. There is an awful lot of power wasted throwing light into outer space, rather than down onto the ground where we need it. And it's not just wasted power; light pollution is a genuine issue. It's a really big issue for astronomers - Mount Wilson Observatory is now virtually useless - but it's also an issue for others.

How much of the current malaise of Western civilisation is due to the fact that virtually nobody who lives in a city of any size has ever seen the stars?

I'm not particularly religious. But I sometimes think that many people would have their spirituality awoken by simply going somewhere dark and looking up. I've done it. It's a great way of reminding yourself of what you are; an ultramicroscopic speck clinging to a particle of dust caught in a sunbeam. And in contrast to that; another feeling it might awake is almost the opposite. Look up, see Mars or Jupiter floating in the Endless Deep and think "Someday..."

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at March 28, 2011 2:48 AM

Dang it, I forgot all about Earth Hour this year, and here I had intentions of celebrating by turning on all the lights in the house and going out back and building a big bonfire and keeping my big pickup truck idling for an hour while booming heavy metal out its speakers.

And no one reminded me about it. I didn't even hear anything about it on the news. Not that I watch the news, but you figure I would have overheard people discussing it at work or maybe on the radio or something. Has Earth Hour finally become a fad of the past? We can only hope so.

Posted by: Grizzly at March 31, 2012 1:00 PM

This year I've been hearing about a counter-protest called Human Achievement Hour.

There's also a video which suggests that we turn on all the lights and appliances in our homes, but the above-linked article simply says not to turn off our lights.

I think the latter course of action is best. If enough people observed Human Achievement Hour by turning everything on, it would cause massive blackouts everywhere, which would give the Earth Hour types the last laugh.

Posted by: rickl at March 31, 2012 2:32 PM

The Final Four is on. There is not the slightest chance of anyone turning off anything tonight.

Posted by: Fat Man at March 31, 2012 4:06 PM

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Posted by: trx suspension anchor for sale at September 11, 2012 11:57 PM

Dear Vanderluen,
I appreciate how you combine many elements in your posts. This one combines Frost, history and current Earth Day balogna. It allows us to respond on many levels. I like being reminded that our ancestors went through versions of the same thing and we need not feel alone.

Posted by: Grace at March 23, 2013 3:23 PM

This year Earth Hour kind of petered out. They had almost no advertising, almost no hype, and I'm not sure many people participated. It was a always a goofy idea anyway.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at March 29, 2014 8:43 AM

The thought of making the world look like North Korea at night never appealed to me, so I studiously ignored the sanctimonious scolds pushing Earth Hour. Looks like their 15 minutes have passed.

Posted by: waltj at March 29, 2014 11:46 PM

Damn. I missed it. Sadly. I will never have as good a celebration as I did in 2009.

Posted by: Fat Man at March 28, 2015 11:24 PM

Missed it again this year, I'm happy to say. The part of the world I'm in now, sub-Saharan Africa, is constantly beset by power shortages, brownouts, and blackouts at unpredictable times. When you have to have your own generator just to have a reliable power source, leftist silliness like "Earth Hour" makes even less sense than it does in the West.

Posted by: waltj at March 29, 2015 11:40 AM

As I sit in my study and write this by the light of an incandescent bulb I'm very appreciative of electric lighting. My father grew up before rural electric coops brought light into farm homes. The marvel of lighting a room with the flip of a switch wasn't lost on him. Nor on me.

I hadn't heard of this Earth Hour thing before. Too bad it takes something as contrived as this seems to be to remind us of the pleasure and mystery of darkness at night.

I live in rural Minnesota, about three miles from the nearest town. The ambient glow of lighting is dim but ever present. But I am fortunate that the starry welken isn't overpowered by it. On a clear night the sky here is astounding.

I'm truly sorry for those of you who don't get it. Darkness and silence are two of the scarcest commodities on earth.

The problem is not that we are able to have lighting where and when we want it. The problem is the wretched excess of lighting where and when we don't need it. Look out the window the next time you fly at night. Almost everywhere, even in the middle of the night, our world is glowing. You will see acres of empty parking lots lit up brighter than a high school football field on Friday night.

Where I live even abandoned farms have multiple security lights burning from dusk to dawn, a vestigial carry-over from when gypsies and hobos might steal a chicken or a fresh pie of the window sill. How thoughtlessly stupid.

I'm not going to get into climate change, global warming or energy consumption. I have opinions but no expertise, specialized knowledge or insights. What I do know is the pleasure of stepping outside in the middle of a July night and listening to the pulse a world that I can't see. The magic of sitting in a canoe in the Boundary Waters wilderness listening to the cries of loons announcing their presence on a moonlit lake The atavistic sensation of letting my feet find a path in the night woods.

If you don't know and don't care then its going to take more than an Earth Hour to enlighten you.

Posted by: Snowgoose at March 25, 2017 10:20 PM

Here, get twice the bang

Posted by: Bill Jones at March 26, 2017 4:30 PM

I am neither a Luddite nor a fan of pointless gestures, but I do despise waste. Maybe this is due to growing up with a father who could hear someone turning up the thermostat in our house from his office and who could also tell the instant someone left a room without turning off the light.

Like Snowgoose, I miss dark nights. In my area, the county does not put in streetlights unless people ask for them and then pay for the electricity. Up until about ten years ago, nobody in my neighborhood felt the need for streetlights, so aside from the dull glow of the city to our west, the night sky was dark and full of stars. We could count meteors and even saw the Aurora Borealis a few times.

Then the neighborhood began to change. Elderly people moved to retirement homes or died, their heirs sold the houses off cheaply to investors, and we found out the meaning of Section 8 housing. After numerous thefts, break-ins, and burglaries people started paying for the streetlights. (We invested in a couple of Glocks and firearms training at the local range.) The place is lit up like a prison yard now. The nearby businesses all have dusk to dawn security lights, too. Now we're lucky if we can see the Moon, let alone stars or meteors. I have had to buy light blocking curtains for the bedrooms so we can sleep.

I don't think any of the Earth Hour sponsors have ever thought about dealing with the actual reasons for all the bright lights.

Posted by: Casabianca at March 27, 2017 8:46 AM