Celebrating “Human Achievement Hour” This Saturday

By Steve BucksteinCascadeNewLogo

This Saturday you’ll have the opportunity to vote with your light switches. Either turn your lights off from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm local time to “show your commitment to climate change action now” or turn your lights on to celebrate “human progress and our advancements in various fields of industry, including technology, medical, energy, and more.”

Turning your lights off makes you part of Earth Hour, a project of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Turning them on makes you a part of Human Achievement Hour 2015, a project of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).

Since this isn’t a secret ballot, I’ll tell you that I’m voting for Human Achievement. As CEI notes, “Earth Hour does little to protect the environment” and “completely ignores how modern technology allows societies around the world to develop new and more sustainable practices that help humans be more eco-friendly and better conserve our natural resources.”

You don’t have to wait until Saturday to see what a large-scale expression of the “dark ages” versus human achievement looks like. Just check out any NASA nighttime photo of North and South Korea from space: “North Korea is almost completely dark compared to neighboring South Korea….The darkened land appears as if it were a patch of water joining the Yellow Sea to the Sea of Japan.”

North Koreans may simply be celebrating Earth Hour every hour of every day, but somehow I doubt it.

Earth Hour

Steve Buckstein is founder and Senior Policy Analyst at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

  • guest

    Bright on!

  • Eric Blair

    Huh.,. I wasn’t aware that being in favor of mitigating the effects of climate change (no matter how symbolic) made one, somehow, anti-technology. Think maybe you’re setting up a false dichotomy? Why can’t someone be for both? Both human progress AND being concerned about the effects of global warming? Seems almost like a childish tantrum: PAY ATTENTION TO ME, NOT THEM!

    Nice, throwing the North Koreans in there. Gonna make a reference to Nazis next?

    • Nazis? Of course not. As I’m sure you know, whoever mentions the Nazis first automatically loses whatever debate is in progress. Sorry, it could have been interesting.

      • Eric Blair

        Well, I’m thinking that referencing North Korea is no better than referencing Nazis. It’s a distraction. However, I do note how quickly you stepped through that door and slammed it rather than having a debate. How sad for you.

    • thevillageidiot

      So are the North Koreans way ahead of the rest of humanity in environmental consciousness? They have a very small carbon foot print as a nation and very little economic output as are nearly all the rest of the countries with similar carbon emission footprints. Maybe you should move to one of those to feel good. consider what it takes to be a producer of goods.

      • Eric Blair

        Ahhhh! No. That is a ridiculous question, and I never even implied that there is anything about North Korea that I like. In fact, North Korea’s carbon footprint is one of the fastest growing in the world. Now, don’t you feel just a little bit silly?

        And how like some conservatives to not only reference North Korea, but to invite me to move there. Ad nauseum.

        It seems odd that so many conservatives, when it comes to pollution and global warming, can’t seem to extend their belief that the United States is incredibly innovative. I’m reasonably certain that is we took the issue seriously, and spent some time working on solutions, that we could come up with one that both lowers our carbon footprint and help with human progress. Evidently way too many of you simply prefer to pretend that there isn’t a problem.

    • MrBill

      If someone doesn’t favor the kinds of policies being put forth to mitigate climate change, or even the need to try and mitigate climate change, does that make them anti-technology? Anti-progress? Anti-commonsense? Anti-anything?

      • Eric Blair

        LOL. no.

        I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make since it was Steve who implied that people in favor of mitigating climate change were somehow anti-human progress.

        • MrBill

          I see your point. Being in favor of symbolic steps to mitigate the effects of climate change is in no way anti-technology.

          Anti-commonsense maybe, but definitely not anti-technology.

          • Eric Blair

            One could argue that all symbolic steps are anti-commonsense(?), but the idea is to raise awareness. It certainly worked on OC, didn’t it? LOL.. it got attention and promotion.

  • Moe

    I am going to turn on every light I own and leave them on all night to celebrate how great this country is. My hope is that my house alone will outshine North Korea.

  • Lena T sider

    On Saturday as a celebration of an earth hour. Keeping all electronics device in off mode is better option to celebrate this for our earth.
    Essays will get about this from online services.

  • Myke

    A great opportunity to ignore the hallow symbolism of shutting off the lights, Al Gore will use 100x the energy running his front porch light then I will shutting off all my lights for an hour. Also, I can ignore the knee-jerk reaction of turning on all my lights for the waste that it is, and the pointless exercise in futility in the mindless state of Oregon. Enjoy!

    • behest guest

      Vote up!