Wow! Things I Wish I Had Said

Ross McKitrick on "Earth Hour" via Bishop Hill

The whole mentality around Earth Hour demonizes electricity. I cannot do that, instead I celebrate it and all that it has provided for humanity. Earth Hour celebrates ignorance, poverty and backwardness. By repudiating the greatest engine of liberation it becomes an hour devoted to anti-humanism. It encourages the sanctimonious gesture of turning off trivial appliances for a trivial amount of time, in deference to some ill-defined abstraction called “the Earth,” all the while hypocritically retaining the real benefits of continuous, reliable electricity. People who see virtue in doing without electricity should shut off their fridge, stove, microwave, computer, water heater, lights, TV and all other appliances for a month, not an hour. And pop down to the cardiac unit at the hospital and shut the power off there too.

Update:  Here is the whole thing


  1. Don:

    "And pop down to the cardiac unit..."

    I don't know why, but this wording seems exactly right, as (in my mind at least) it implies how trivially the people he's speaking of seem to think this stuff is.


  2. RandomReal[]:

    Some junk email just made it through my filter. It reads in part:


    Wile E. Coyote [no relation I assume], CEO
    ACME Environ-Mental Products, Inc.

    SAVE $$$$!!!

    Just in time for EARTH HOUR!

    Yes folks, your green dreams can be realized all year long. Why celebrate EARTH HOUR just once a year? The global scientists at ACME-EMP have developed the World Electricity Simulator* (EMS) just for you.

    Why take the trouble planning to live the efficient green life when the EMS can do it for you?

    Our expert technicians will come and hookup your own ACME-EMP-EMS and you can start to assuage your green guilt and save money at the same time.

    The ACME-EMP-EMS is a device that hooks directly into your electric feed and controls the amount of energy that you waste. It will completely shut off your electricity according to the settings that you can control.

    (1) Normal electric service (not recommended)

    (2) California Sim. Simulates the evil ENRON rolling blackouts (without the artificially inflated rates)

    (3) Havana Sim. Enjoy the experience of a state-run electrical system run by the right people.

    (4) Somalia Sim. Bringing the chaos of the libertarian dream to your home (Pirates not included)

    (5) Wind Sim. This satellite-controlled setting supplies power only when the wind is blowing at your nearest wind farm...The only guaranteed green method of energy consumption on the market!

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    Why wait? Order your ACME-EMP-EMS now!

    Just think of the extra side benefits. No more arguing with the kids about TV, video games, and the internet. You can now enjoy family time without those modern distractions and develop plans to save the world. Learn how to live the way that your ancestors did!

    Order your ACME-EMP-EMS now and we will have you hooked up before Earth Day!

    *Patent pending
    ** Not responsible for damage to electronic devices
    *** UPS, backup generators and surge suppressors sold separately

  3. caseyboy:

    RandomReal, thanks for that. Very clever. Just missed the one setting, "Caveman Sim". Absolutely, positively no electricity. Clubs, loincloths and fire sticks sold separately.

  4. TomG:

    Coyote, one of my greatest heroes is Charles Proteus Steinmetz, who worked at General Electric in Schenectady at the turn of the 20th century. Despite having a hunchback and knowing little English when he emigrated here from Germany, he belongs with Tesla and Edison in the list of "greatest scientific geniuses of their day".
    His main achievement: making A/C electricity practical. If you have not read his biography, I urge you to do so.