It was Earth Hour last week and apparently it went virtually unnoticed by the vast majority of us according to the hydro usage stats kept by the various electrical utilities. People were to turn off their lights and appliances and sit in the dark around candles and contemplate how technology is destroying the planet. It was a very competitive observance with the winner this year being Kim Jong-il’s North Korea where 24 million slaves have had over 60 years of practice at living in the Dark Age.
What also went unnoticed, unfortunately, was Human Achievement Hour which, by happy coincidence was celebrated by many around the world at the same time as Earth Hour. Celebrants were to turn on every available light to marvel at man’s creative mind and domination over a hostile planet. For this year at least it appears that the intellectual luddites won by a slight margin over the people who enjoy their humanity. Perhaps next year with the ever increasing popularity of Human Achievement Hour and the ever decreasing trust in the climate change alarmists we can light up the world every night.
This is what The Ayn Rand Institute had to say about Earth Hour, “Participants spend an enjoyable sixty minutes in the dark, safe in the knowledge that the life-saving benefits of industrial civilization are just a light switch away… Forget one measly hour with just the lights off. How about Earth Month… Try spending a month shivering in the dark without heating, electricity, refrigeration; without power plants or generators; without any of the labor-saving, time-saving, and therefore life-saving products that industrial energy makes possible.”
That about sums up this feeble hypocritical effort to roll back the age of enlightenment to a simpler and darker age called the Age of Ignorance.
The horrific events which occurred in Japan with the earthquake and tsunami which killed over 27,000 men, women and children, costing an approximate half a trillion dollars in damage and wiping entire villages off the map has been almost overshadowed in the media by a rising hysteria surrounding the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant. Aside from the fact that the accident has caused no deaths from radiation (although it is thought that some of the Fukushima 50 (300 workers) have received lethal doses of radiation) there have been anti-nuclear technology protests throughout the globe but mainly in Europe.
While nobody likes to see any deaths or disease resulting from a destroyed nuclear plant any steps we take from this technology will cause many more deaths and disease. Aside from hydro-electric power which is very clean as long as you don’t have to flood thousand of hectares of land such as with the Smallwood Reservoir in Labrador, the only other option to generate the kind of power a modern civilization needs is the burning of fossil fuels, mainly coal.
In 2004, 6,027 people died in China alone from coal mining disasters. 28 died in the same year in the US from similar coal mining disasters. Pile these bodies up along the approximately 30 people who died in the Chernobyl Incident and the Zero bodies who died in Three Mile Island and the Zero bodies (so-far) in the Fukushima Accident. The death toll without nuclear power will be intolerable yet the Dark Age enthusiasts who protest nuclear power must think that these are acceptable deaths. On top of these statistics we can add thousands of cases of black lung disease contracted by coal miners every year.
Is this what the protesters of nuclear energy want? It would seem so. But I think they want more. I don’t think that the kind of ignorance fueling the anti-nuclear hysteria is isolated with that cause. It is the same ignorance that fuels the anti-automobile movement, the anti-drive-through movement here in this city, the anti-incandescent light bulb and anti-plastic mobs, in-effect the anti-technology movement. And to be anti-technology is to be anti-human, anti-man as a species.
It is a fundamental and defining characteristic of man to understand nature and to conquer it, to master it, to submit it to our will. Let me give you an example of the contrary philosophy. If you take off all of your clothes in a brisk day in January in the middle of any Canadian forest you will freeze to death in minutes. That is the end result of being anti-technology. From the very clothes on your back to the gun to keep animals at bay to the car in your driveway, technology, science and discovery have made it possible for man to live, but not only live but live comfortably anywhere on this Earth.
As a species we evolved in the rift valley of Africa and from there with the slow development of technology such as the ability to fashion clothes and light fires we have migrated to the four corners of the Earth. Those who would rob us of this birth-right to flourish as a species are denying their own nature as rational animals. They are nothing short of purveyors of darkness and death.
(Broadcast on Just Right, Show #193, March 31, 2011)