Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I have been noticing a few references here and there for something called “Earth Hour” that is to occur this weekend at 8:30PM March 27th. The day stuck in my head because it is the anniversary of my father’s and my brother’s birth. It would have been my brother’s 56th birthday and it would have been my father’s 122nd. Now the significance of that is that makes my father’s year of birth 1888 and when he moved to Texas as a boy they came in a wagon and there were no electric lights. There were no cell phones, radios, computers, cars, appliances, motors, engines (other than steam), there were no electric toothbrushes, razors, alarm clocks, pagers, fax machines, video games or any of the technological gizmos that we take for granted in this world. The expectation of lifespan was about 45 years.

There were no antibiotics, no CAT scans, no MRI’s, no treatments for cancer. The medical profession was still operating in the dark for the most part not unlike how everyone was when the sun went down in rural Texas. It was not a great place. There was a bright spot. Thomas Edison was 41 years old and had already moved his operations from Menlo Park, New Jersey to Ft Myers, Florida. He had improved on the design and patented his incandescent light bulb. His basic improved designed was accepted when my dad was 1 year old. It was a time of creation and progress. But the part of the country where my father lived was dark when the sun went down.

So I was watching a television commercial that featured a bunch of children telling us stupid adults that Earth Hour was coming and we should turn out our lights for an hour on Saturday. Don’t think so. This is supposed to be a call to action to save the planet…from us. So they want me to stand around in the dark for an hour to show how environmentally friendly I am. I have a different plan. I am going to turn all my lights on and celebrate the technological advancement of mankind. I am going to sit my granddaughter down and teach her about Thomas Edison and Adam Smith.

Nothing being proposed by the environmental movement is good for people. I see nothing to celebrate by emulating our primitive past. Life before the technology was hard, brutal and dark. Our ability to light up our world is a good thing not something to be scorned and certainly those who would use kids in this way telling them that having the lights on is bad should be ashamed. If I believed that the Earth was in any danger I would view things a little differently. I don’t, but if I did, I would be more likely to promote the growth of technology and capitalist economics because those are the things that have made things better. Nothing on this planet has ever gotten better by regressing technology or centralizing economic planning. It is the stuff of famine, disease and unrest.

Needless to say we won’t be turning off our lights. I may even turn on some extra ones and start the car and turn on the headlights. This world has spent enough time in the dark and the future of mankind should be one of continuous improvement in our technological abilities. We need less centralized planning and more entrepreneurship to keep us moving forward. There is no going back because that is the direction of death and darkness. Those who would tell my granddaughter that the solution to anything is to turn out the lights and stand around in the dark are on notice that I am not tolerant of the new luddites who want to turn back the clock.

The same people who support these kinds of anti-people ideologies are the same people who are the enemies of liberty, freedom and individuality. They are the people of the state. They are the designers or tyranny and they need to be opposed. I will do my little part in my own little area by teaching my granddaughter to stand in the light and give thanks for Thomas Edison and Adam Smith. Those are the heroes of the age. They brought us light and the economic engine to lift us out of the dark ages. There is no one in any of these environmental groups who have the stature of these two men. Those who turn out their lights are merely standing in the shadow of these giants.

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