Recently some group of nitwits cam up with a plan to have an “Earth Hour” where people would turn off lights and appliances for an hour to ostensibly save some carbon and highlight the problem of global warming.
In the leadup to it I maintained my standard skepticism for these kind of populist stunts (Does anyone other than Bob Geldof actually believe that Live Aid, Live 8 or any other similar things made a shred of difference in terms of concrete benefits for their purported beneficiaries, or effected any form of long term societal change in relation to the causes they aimed to highlight?).
The day after the event (which had been surrounded by the usual healthy pile of celebrities and media organisations passing around large helpings of feel-good back-patting self congratulations) I sat around work and had to put up with hearing person after person go on and on about how they had gone home, turned off the lights, and lit up a bunch of candles for the evening, completely missing the irony that the reason that we don’t all use candles all the time is that electric lights are more convenient, more energy efficient, and almost certainly involve the production of less greenhouse gas / carbon in their manufacture and running.
So all these people who were walking around feeling all warm and self important for doing their part in saving the world had not only missed the point, they had almost certainly done the exact opposite to their stated aim.
May the universe save us from our own stupid selves and our perpensity for populist group driven idiocy.