My brother Andy recently posted this as a note on his Facebook account. With his permission, I’m re-posting it here.
Today Earth Hour happens. At 8:30PM we’re expected to turn our lights off for an hour. Join me in turning every light in the house on for an hour.
I do this to protest the increasing trend of meaningless social causes.
You want to make a difference? Turn the lights off every day for an hour. Turn your air conditioner up a little or don’t turn it on right away at 5PM when you get home. These things will save you money, and that’s actually meaningful. Educate yourself on energy source options. Attend public planning meetings for local and regional utilities. Consider upgrading your furnace or hot water heater a little sooner than you need to. Turn your lights off and go for an hour walk because it’s good for your health. Turn off your lights and go check the air pressure in your car tires. Still want to feel like you did something socially meaningful? Turn the lights off and call your grandmother, she won’t mind if you chat in the dark. Go down to the local VFW and shoot the bull with a veteran. Smile at the checkout girl when she hands you your receipt; if said checkout girl is at the VFW, tip her. If she’s good looking, make her day easier by making yourself not memorable; nobody likes a creep.
Wearing a certain color on a certain day isn’t going to save the koala habitat, not pumping gas for a day isn’t going to break the structure of the oil economy, and turning your lights off for an hour isn’t going to save the world. Participating in things like this does more harm than good. People get the warm fuzzies, think they did something, and never get around to doing actual good or making a real change.