What's good for the green goose is good for the differently colored gander.



Editor, USA Today

Dear Editor:
Bjorn Lomborg explains that "Earth Hour" is about feel-good self-indulgence and not about actually changing the world for the better ("'Earth Hour' won't change the world," March 25).

The reasoning that leads "Earth Hour" celebrants to conclude that humans "waste" resources producing artificial lighting and other modern amenities leads me to conclude that "Earth Hour" itself wastes humanity's most precious resource: creative human labor.

In the hour when lights are switched off for the "mere" purpose of making a political statement, much human labor is wastefully idled. During that hour, the process of de-polluting our clothing ("doing the laundry") doesn't happen; likewise for the process of de-polluting our dinner dishes and, indeed, de-polluting our bodies. During that hour, there's less studying for upcoming exams in physics or histology or 19th-century Russian literature. And that tinkering in the garage on projects that might be the progenitors of tomorrow's super-computer, water-fueled automobile engine, or other technological marvels that promote human well-being? It doesn't occur. One entire hour of human creativity down history's drain, lost forever. Kaput.

Of course, if Jones wants to make a political statement by turning off her lights for an hour, she should be free to do so. It's her business and it isn't really wasteful. But Jones should see that if Smith keeps his bulbs burning brightly, she has no more basis for accusing him of "wasting resources," "destroying the planet," or "threatening our children's future" than he has for accusing her of the very same offenses.


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