Saturday, March 28, 2009 was the second annual Earth Hour promoted by the World Wildlife Fund. We were encouraged to turn off all our lights between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. and live in darkness as a symbolic gesture to save our planet and preserve our resources. Rather than a sensitive and selfless act, I contend that the individual who authored the theme is intellectually and morally impoverished, intellectually and morally dishonest, and intellectually and morally bankrupt.
Lights out indeed! Those lights are a symbol alright--they are a symbol of human acheivement, human resourcefullness, human intellectual prowess. What's next? Vacate our homes for a day and live in a cave? Pull the plug on all medical facilities and devices that ease or pain and suffering and increase our longevity?
It is imperative that we understand the mindset of those who devised and promote Earth Hour. They despise and distrust humankind, yet worship nature; they deplore scientific and technological innovation that has allowed us to escape the tyranny of nature, providing the human race with the opportunity to survive and flourish.
Go back ten thousand years. Life was short and brutish. Each day was a constant struggle against hunger and illness. The average lifespan was twenty years of age, infant mortality above fifty percent. We were helpless against the vagaries of nature, falling prey to disease, drought, cold, heat, floods, as well as larger, faster more powerful predators of the animal kingdom. It was the human mind and our ability to think and reason that not only levelled the playing field, but gave us a decided edge.
Now in the 21st. century we have machines to do the laborious, backbreaking work, we have computers to help our minds solve seemingly incalculable problems and delve deep into the mysteries of science and the world around us. No longer are our days filled with the endless task of filling our bellies. No longer must we garner our shelter by huddling around an open fire in a dark, damp cave.
We have the light. It illuminates our journey from cave dweller to interstellar explorer. It is the light that eradicates hunger and disease. It is the crowning acheivement of the human intellect and reflects the unlimited potential of the human mind and spirit.
Those who seek to extinquish the light, are not the friends of earth, but rather, the enemies of the human race. They long for a world of past millennia, where we huddled in the shadows and feared the dark. They want a world where humankind is tormented by nature and preyed upon by beasts. The light is their nemesis.
To turn off the light is to turn off the human intellect; to turn off the human intellect is to deny our very nature. We must celebrate Human Hour, a time to pay tribute to what the human mind has acheived, and what innovation and greatness it can yet accomplish.