(The following is a letter to the editor I wrote in response to a ridiculous column by former Sun editor Lorrie Goldstein. His syndicated column ran in the Barrie Examiner, but also at least 16 other Sun Media papers, so I sent my response to all of them. Four of those papers (plus the Examiner) ran versions of my letter.)
I’m amazed columnist Lorrie Goldstein can’t comprehend the theme of Earth Hour. (March 25: “Earth Hour: Lights off, nobody home”)
He seems to believe it some kind of anti-electricity protest, by people who hate electric energy. What a crock!
Earth Hour is not about spurning electrification, turning off refrigeration or life-saving medical equipment to return to a romantic Dark Ages or any such thing. It’s about avoiding unnecessary electrical uses for a single hour of the year, to raise awareness of conservation and waste.
Electricity is indeed a blessing of civilization, something developing nations desperately need. Yet worshipping needless waste will not improve our life or theirs. Sure, there are trade-offs in burning coal to power hospitals or industry. But what’s to be gained burning coal to light rooms we’re not even in, or power TVs no-one is watching?
Earth Hour educates us to the value and convenience of electricity – something we can better access and share if we conserve, rather than squander it.
Will that wisdom light Goldstein’s house for 60 minutes Saturday night, or will his home be a shining beacon of contrarian ignorance along his darkened street that hour?
(Note: on the same day that the Barrie Examiner ran my letter, they ran one with a similar theme by my friend, Don McNeil. Neither of us were aware of the other's letter.)