Earth Hour was today at 8pm. I turned the lights off, and happily gamed away in the dark. Not many people appreciate the point of Earth Hour, one of them is Tim Blair. I came across his "opinion" page in the paper today. I have to say it is one the more short sighted, idiotic, and crass piece of "journalism" I have ever read.
Tim thinks that lights makes "makes dangerous places safe." That is true, to a point. Flooding an area with light just creates deeper and more numerous shadows for criminals to hide in, and also make their evil doing easier when no one is looking. Earth Hour isn't against lighting, its against the overuse of lighting. Tim Doesn't Get It.
Tim complained that USYD was closing streets so they can turn off the lighting for those streets. He argues that if you can't use those streets safely in the dark, then the lights are essential and shouldn't be turned off, and somehow USYD is sacrificing safety for Earth Hour. The problem with this argument, is that there are a hundred different ways to get from A to B inside USYD. Tim doesn't seem to knows this and we must forgive him - he probably never been to USYD. Now if you have a hundred ways to get from A to B, do you (a) light every single one of them or (b) light the main thoroughfares which most efficiently utilises light? Tim would have us choose (a), while USYD and Earth Hour chose and advocated (b). Tim Doesn't Get It, and we need to forgive him - he is probably scared of the dark still.
Tim asserts that Earth Hour is against progress and freedom. He thinks that Earth Hour is against the technology that lets us have electric lighting, and thus against technological progress. And since Earth Hour is apparently somehow forcing everyone to do its bidding, its freedom. Tim must be a card carrying, foil underwear wearing, paranoid conspiracy theorist to be able to draw conclusions like this. I will just repeat again that Earth Hour isn't against lighting, but against overuse of lighting. Tim Doesn't Get It.
Tim reckons the symbolism of Earth Hour is empty and meaningless. For an apathetic like him, I would say everything is empty and meaningless. The kids who ran past my house yelling at my neighbours to turn their lights off though, well Earth Hour means plenty to them. The point is to raise awareness of the fact that 1. we don't need so many lights to get by 2. night and darkness isn't something to be afraid of. Evolution has taught us the night is dangerous, and light is good. But we are no longer living in the wild amongst tigers and leopards and other fear some creatures. How about we embrace our environment and the beauty of heavens? Over come your fear of the dark Tim, and I checked under your bed: no Swedish nurses, werewolves, Milton Orkopoulos or a prowling moonlight delegation from the Wollongong ALP. Really.
At this point I confess, I am tired of Tim's feculent words. He likens Cate Blanchett's theatre to the Scary Countries (read China and Cuba, apparently Tim is stuck in 80s where these countries are still boggy ean), and then accuses wax companies of setting up Earth Hour so they can sell more wax. You can read his tirade yourself, but don't say I didn't warn you.