Turning out the lights cockamamy campaign
Let’s all go out and turn the power off for a day to do something green for the Earth. Let’s go out and sing for peace. Let’s get Hollywood celebrities to donate their time to charities. Why on Earth are we attracted to the idea of doing something and yet avoid the real issues so vehemently.
We did this in the 1980s when the African Sahel was hit with a massive drought that killed millions. It was the first onslaught of climate change and it made the career of a mediocre performer, Bob Geldoff, frontman the even worse Boomtown Rats. He assembled a huge ensemble of so called talent and celebrities, kicked off a campaign to “feed the world” and got super celebrity Michael Jackson, when he wasn’t rooming with young boys on his estate, to write the jingle. It earned him a knighthood from that privileged royal enclave in the UK and we all felt so much better that we could contribute something for those poor people over there.
When was the last time you looked at the Sahel, or whistled that godforsaken pap they composed and sold. The Sahara has gotten bigger, more people continue to die, poverty, famine and the daily struggle to live has, if anything, gotten worse. What “feed the world” didn’t do was get us to examine the real issues behind the misery and change, nor did it stop us from exploiting the regions for all we were worth in any way our businesses saw fit.
Now we have a crazy idea that if we turn out the lights and power for a hour during the day it will draw attention to the fact that there is climate change under way and we should do something. There already is the IPCC report out there folks. Its the largest, most comprehensive study ever taken by humanity and even though it was watered down by the business interests of the US, China, Saudi Arabia and even Canada it still has all the facts and conclusions that should impress any person who reads it. And since its release a scant six months ago we have new evidence that points to melting in the Arctic that is worse than even the worst case scenario offered by the report.
Instead of turning out the lights and power for a hour or day or whatever, if you really want to make a difference, stop the consumption of any new goods unless it is absolutely necessary, don’t use anything disposable, make your own lunches, dinners and coffee, buy local, whole, unprocessed food, take the bus or walk and bicycle, forgo the vacation that involves air travel or car travel, boycott plastic, turn down the heat/AC, if you must drive, drive slowly and never above 100kmh, make a pact with your partner to have only one child, and look at everything from a consumption standpoint.
And sadly that is just the start. Turning down the lights and stopping power consumption for an hour is worse than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It makes people feel like they are doing something, when in fact they are deluding themselves. Time to stop pretending. Time to do something.
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