April 5, 2012
Eco Hypothesis Faulty
Tom Harris, Winnipeg Free Press, April 5, 2012
Re: Earth Hour a downer as city power use rises (March 29). It may be that the public would take Earth Hour more seriously if the stated reason for the event was less suspect.
While reducing energy consumption to conserve natural resources, reduce pollution and save money is a worthwhile activity and something all sensible people support, Earth Hour is not based on these goals.
It is based on the hypothesis that humanity is causing dangerous climate change because of our carbon dioxide emissions. An increasing fraction of the public is coming to understand that CO2 is not pollution and the connection between our emissions of this colourless, odorless, non-toxic gas and climate is the subject of intense debate among scientists.
While some commentators promoted using as much energy as possible during Earth Hour to demonstrate opposition to the event, a more constructive approach would be to change its name to "Energy Hour" and encourage citizens to use as little energy as possible for reasons that are not in the least controversial.
Besides raising environmental awareness of the known impact of our energy use, participants in Energy Hour would also get a sense of what societies without adequate power are actually like. This would hopefully increase public pressure on politicians to ensure that reliable power generation will be available for years to come.
International Climate Science Coalition
The Frontier Centre for Public Policy
is an independent public policy think tank whose mission is "to broaden the debate on our future through public policy research and education and to explore positive changes within our public institutions that support economic growth and opportunity."