Earth Hour is coming, tonight in fact. An hour where millions of Canadians will shut off their lights and celebrate how environmentally conscious they are.
I won't be one of them.
Earth Hour in Ontario isn't about conservation. Shutting off the lights in your home one hour a day is not going to have any long term effect on the environment, as your 40Weq fluorescent light bulb is not the significant contributor to your electricity bill. The computer you're reading this on, or the refridgerator from where you got that drink are far more important.
Nor will it dent the carbon dioxide emissions. This is primarily because today, as of 9:00am, the IESO records show 86% of our electricity comes from hydroelectric and nuclear power, neither of which produce carbon dioxide during production. A meagre 275 MW (out of 15800 MW produced) comes from coal, and 1356 MW comes from gas.
Earth Hour isn't even about 'raising awareness' as some would like to claim. Ask anyone on the street if they have heard about energy conservation, do you expect them to say 'no'?
What Earth Hour represents is a new environmentalist religion, complete with rituals, taboos, symbols and holidays and the shunning of blasphemers. Which brings me to the real reason I will not be joining in Earth Hour.
I am not anti-religious in any sense of the word. You're free to practice whatever faith you believe in so long as your faith does not interfere with my faith. But what environmentalists are doing is pushing their faith upon other people, or forcing them to pretend to care in order to avoid being harassed. They believe that unless everyone becomes a member of their religion, that the world will always be in peril, but once everyone believes that the world will be gumdrops and rainbows.
Earth Hour is meant to shun others into joining this new religion (or pretending to join) by creating a visible sign as to who believes and who does not. Which is why it is now being held late at night instead of at peak electricity consumption time (early in the morning). Do you think environmentalists wouldn't go so far as to publicly shame companies that leave their lights on during that hour or boycott restaurants that do not join in the 'celebration'?
If Christians were to do the same to restaurants that do not proudly display the crucifix, there would nation-wide outcry.
In Ontario, Earth Hour will have no effect on carbon dioxide production, a minuscule effect on electricity demand on the long term and absolutely no effect on awareness. And yet it is still practiced religiously by many for the purpose of feeling self-righteous.
If you really want to help the environment, use your own coffee mug when ordering coffee instead of using the paper cups they always give you.