Friday, 22 April 2016

Earth Day 2016 >>> the critiques

Today was 'Earth Day':
Futures Forum: Earth Day >>> Friday 22nd April

And today, the UN Paris climate change agreement was signed:
Nations ink historic Paris climate deal - BBC News
Earth Day 2016: Paris Climate Agreement signed on environmental holiday | Nature | News | Daily Express

Not everyone has been impressed:
The Paris Climate Agreement is about carbon and confusion | Fox News

In the May 2000 issue of Reason Magazine, award-winning science correspondent Ronald Bailey wrote an excellent article titled “Earth Day, Then and Now” to provide some historical perspective on the 30th anniversary of Earth Day. In that article, Bailey noted that around the time of the first Earth Day, and in the years following, there was a “torrent of apocalyptic predictions” and many of those predictions were featured in his Reason article.
Well, it’s now the 46th anniversary of Earth Day, and a good time to ask the question again that Bailey asked 16 years ago: How accurate were the predictions made around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970? The answer: “The prophets of doom were not simply wrong, but spectacularly wrong,” according to Bailey.
Here are 18 examples of the spectacularly wrong predictions made around 1970 when the “green holy day” (aka Earth Day) started...

18 Spectacularly Wrong Prophecies from the First Earth Day | Foundation for Economic Education

Earth Hour Is a Colossal Waste of Time—and Energy
Plus, it ignores how electricity has been a boon for humanity.
By Bjørn Lomborg

Notice that you have not been asked to switch off anything really inconvenient, like your heating or air-conditioning, television, computer, mobile phone, or any of the myriad technologies that depend on affordable, plentiful energy electricity and make modern life possible. If switching off the lights for one hour per year really were beneficial, why would we not do it for the other 8,759?
Electricity has given humanity huge benefits. Almost 3 billion people still burn dung, twigs, and other traditional fuels indoors to cook and keep warm, generating noxious fumes that kill an estimated 2 million people each year, mostly women and children. Likewise, just 100 years ago, the average American family spent six hours each week during cold months shoveling six tons of coal into the furnace (not to mention cleaning the coal dust from carpets, furniture, curtains, and bedclothes). In the developed world today, electric stoves and heaters have banished indoor air pollution.
Similarly, electricity has allowed us to mechanize much of our world, ending most backbreaking work. The washing machine liberated women from spending endless hours carrying water and beating clothing on scrub boards. The refrigerator made it possible for almost everyone to eat more fruits and vegetables, and to stop eating rotten food, which is the main reason why the most prevalent cancer for men in the United States in 1930, stomach cancer, is the least prevalent now.

Earth Hour is all wrong. We need more electricity, not less.

See also:
Happy Earth Day 2015: The Earth is doing just fine, thank you | Fox News
Futures Forum: "Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century."

There are the retorts to these retorts:

Earth Hour Is A Big Waste Of Time! Or, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Bjorn Lomborg?
May 22, 2013
One person who won’t be participating is Bjorn Lomborg, the Danish academic, author of the 2001 book The Skeptical Environmentalist, and seemingly tireless critic of what he perceives as empty green dogma. In an essay published in Slatethis week, Lomborg delivers a broadside against Earth Hour, calling it “exactly what is wrong with today’s feel-good environmentalism.”
Lomborg’s organization, the Copenhagen Consensus, is also releasing a video on Friday that aims to pick apart what he considers to be Earth Hour’s errant messaging:

The free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute runs an Earth Hour shadow event, dubbed “Human Achievement Hour,” which encourages participants to “leave your lights on to express your appreciation for the inventions and innovations that make today the best time to be alive and the recognition that future solutions require individual freedom not government coercion.”
Earth Hour Is A Big Waste Of Time! Or, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Bjorn Lomborg?

See also:
Human Achievement Hour 2016 | Competitive Enterprise Institute
Futures Forum: Earth Hour vs Human Achievement Hour

This debate does seem to get a little crazy at times:
6 Ways Conservative Media Are Celebrating Earth Day This Year

The Corporate Greenwashing Of Earth Day
Critics call for overhaul of the existing world system.
By Lauren McCauley | Common Dreams | April 23, 2015
What was conceived as a national environmental teach-in and day of radical action against corporate polluters, 45 years later, Earth Day has seemingly grown into little more than a gimmick.
Now, observers note that the dominant voices on this day are not environmentalists or protesters, but many of the corporations whose drive for profits has only hastened many planetary woes. 
The Corporate Greenwashing Of Earth Day

Although, how far along the 'alternative route' one has to go is also open to debate...
Earth Day 2016: When Do Words Meet Action? | The Wild Hunt

See also:
Futures Forum: Earth Hour: 8.30 - 9.30pm: Saturday 19th March

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