Tomorrow some people in Australia will switch off their lights to save the environment. Several countries around the world will follow suit and do the one hour stint as well. It will make them feel happy because they are being so good. So what does being good actually mean? Will it save one life? Will it find a cure for our many ills? Will it rescue children being enslaved in Africa?. Will it win the war on poverty? Will it offer one single meal for the starving? Will it achieve anything at all?
Well, yes and no. Yes, it will make the green shopping bag brigade feel as if they have galloped into the frey and done a heroic deed. It will make the WWF delude itself that is is making people aware of the environment. The environment…Gee I haven’t heard that word for about one nanosecond.
Now really, is there anyone in the world who has not been confronted by that ruddy word “the environment?” I bet there are some Hottentots in Africa who are clicking their own version of the word for environment as I write. Forget famine and shortage of water. Let’s just switch off the lights for one hour and that will do wonders for the Hottentots.
At the end of the Earth Hour silly yuppies will congratulate themselves on their sacrifice. They would have sat through dinner with romantic candlelights and even listened to Good Old Midnight Oil to spur them on a bit. They would have toasted their gesture with a few glasses of chardonnay or an ale and felt as if they should be cannonised. If they were really serious they would sit in the dark and not listen to music or watch TV.
Admittedly, the organisers of Earth Hour have described the whole thing as a symbolic gesture. At least they realise it’s all a bit smoke and mirrors. Because when the megawattage has been totalled it seems as if there is no saving of electrical usage.
Apparently, New Zealand’s power consumption rose during Earth Hour. And when Media Watch investigated the reporting of Earth Hour it found that journalists from The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald were discouraged from writing negative reports about the event because their parent companies were sponsoring the event. Some of the photographs of the event had even been manipulated.
But saving energy is not the point, say the Earth Hour advocates. It’s a question of awareness.
If saving energy is not the point and Lord knows every man and his dog is already utterly, completely, and tediously aware of the environment, then what the bloody hell is it all about?
I hate these stunts. I hate the idea that people attend a rock concert for charity and then we learn that only half the money raised will go to the charity. Let’s face it, these events serve as a revival appearance for rockers whom we thought were already six feet under. Do we hear about the spending of the money? Somehow after the initial hooplah, the whole thing dies down and we suspect that somebody has made a pretty penny out of it.
Reminds of that terrible song at a Live Aid or whatever concert many years ago which coincidentally was also meant to rescue the famished. “Do they Know it’s Christmas?” would have to be one of the most nauseating songs ever. The answer to that song is “No they don’t, cause they’re too bloody hungry to care or else they are Muslims anyway.” The organisers of that concert were so ignorant that they thought the entire world was Christian.
Enough of that for now. I have to check my stock of scented candles and smoked salmon canapes. I also have to take a trip to my wine cellar and select a suitable drop for the sacrificial hour. After all, I’m an environmentalist.