How Earth Hour Contradicts Itself

f previous Earth Hours are any indication, this Saturday’s annual ritual will possess a curious blend of contradictory properties. Switching off the lights for an hour will have little effect on climate change, practical or symbolic, yet it will likely follow the established trend of growing participation each year. All good contradictions deserve an explanation, but the most likely ones in this case don’t bode well for our Western liberal Enlightenment tradition.

Earth Hour will not reduce the consumption of resources. Even without the parties, concerts, or candle burning, Earth Hour could only delay consumption, not reduce it. A more effective way to pursue the goal of Earth Hour would be to calculate one’s annual income, divide it by the number of hours in a year and (cleanly) burn that much money—less money equals less future consumption. Read more.