Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

Tibi gratias agimus quod nihil fumas.

It says "...freedom of...", not "...freedom from...".

"It's amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness. People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we're compassionate we'll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint." - Penn Jillette







Sunday, March 30, 2008

I am so proud...

...of my fellow earthlings. I didn't mention it anywhere here because I actually forgot (!) but last evening was "Earth Hour", an hour following sunset when people were urged to turn off their lights and non-essential electronics for at least an hour. It started in New Zealand and followed the setting sun around the globe.

I am always a bit skeptical of these sorts of things - people talk a good line but are often unwilling to inconvenience themselves (unless they are Ed Begley, Jr., in which case they seem eager to make their lives as difficultly green as possible while grinning maniacally)(Thanks, Ed., for caring about the air my son will breath - you know I loves ya)(But really, a bicycle powered toaster??). I have believed for many years now that the only way we will reduce waste in our consumer-driven nation is to make is fun and simple. Turning off the lights can be fun, and I am always well supplied with candles. Who doesn't like some candle light? Besides the Phantom of the Opera, and really I think it's more the torch variety he has an aversion to. Turning off the lights for relatively short time is also simple. Flip a switch, done. It doesn't require any fancy gadgets, gizmos or installations; no wiring, adapters, or waiting for the sun to shine (although around here, with the drought and all, that's hardly a problem).

Earth Hour was a good start. I wonder if we can make it a monthly, weekly, or even (dare I dream?) daily thing. Imagine all those families, friends, neighbors, sitting down to talk, to drum, sing, light a bong pipe and get to know each other again (or for the first time), playing board games, removing themselves from the boob-tube and setting their minds free to frolic in thought.

Oh, the people who produce TV channels could help. They could leave an hour blank in their schedules. Just show...nothing. Or run a roll of stock footage of wildlife scenes. Or maybe not, because then I might want to watch it. Instead, maybe run clips of the different presidential candidates looking particularly unattractive. That shouldn't be too hard, really - in my opinion, most politicians look like the northbound end of a southbound warthog. One having a particularly unpleasant digestive experience. Must be all that escaping gas. Ah hah! The politicians should have to clam up for Earth Hour, too! Think of all the hot air we'd be spared. Of course, they might explode from all that build-up, but that's a risk I'm willing to take - aren't you?

I read a nice story about the hour without power and all the different places that took part. In Ireland, the government made it all official-like, sending out notices and dimming lights in government buildings. For safety's sake, the pubs kept lit (hah!) - really, drunks in the dark are such a disaster waiting to happen. Cheers, Ireland!

In Australia, government and landmark buildings went dark - even the lovely, soaring Sydney Opera House hunkered down with its own thoughts for an hour! Good onya, mates!

Chicago doused the Hancock Center and Wrigley field's marquee along with a number of other buildings - I hope my cousin J took part in all that! Thanks, you guys!

The Golden Gate went dark, and people dined by candle light for a while in San Francisco. Thanks, folks!

Athens in Greece put out the lights in City Hall and parts of the city. Opa!!

The Buddhist temple in Bangkok became one with the night. Om, truly.

Some castles in Sweden and Denmark went all medieval for a while. Danka, babies!

London City Hall and Canterbury Cathedral, take a bow for taking part!

Google, you have earned a place on the honor roll for turning your pages black and encouraging folks to do the same with their homes and businesses - turn 'em dark!!

Now for the shame, shame, shame. Shame on France (why am I not surprised?), Germany, Spain, and a fair portion of the EU for doing nothing. That's right, nothing - nothing to mark a global effort to at least show awareness of our community, of our need to conserve, keep it clean, think about the generations who will inherit our mess. Shame, shame, shame!!

If you took part in this grand global experiment, thanks. Thanks for making it quiet and giving us back the night sky for an hour. Let's do it again tomorrow, OK??

1 comment:

RachelW said...

Earth Hour is every hour... ;)