Saturday, March 31, 2007

An Appropriate Gesture

Sydney, Australia dimmed its lights last night as a "gesture of concern about global warming."

I'm not exactly sure what it has to do with Global Warming, but as a "gesture of concern about the Kyoto Protocol" it's completely appropriate.

Restaurants throughout the city held candlelight-only dinners, and families gathered in public places to take part in a countdown to lights out, sending up a cheer when the lights started going out at 7:30 p.m. local time.

A cheer when the lights went out? In other words, this is the first mass display of public honesty about Kyoto since the treaty was proposed. This is exactly the method of cutting greenhouse emissions that the Kyoto Protocol advocates. We'll just turn off all the lights, scale back industrial production, and in general give up on the Industrial Revolution as a bad mistake.

No thanks!

I like electricity, I like industry, I like technology, and I like the modern world. Solutions to global warming that advocate the scaling back of these things will not earn my support - unless it can be demonstrated (which it has not been) that we're already past a point of no return where global warming itself poses an even bigger threat to them.

"It's an hour of active, thoughtful darkness, a celebration of our awakening to climate change action," said Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett, who attended a harborside function to watch the event.

OK, so Cate Blanchett speaks bullshit more fluently than she speaks Elvish. Considering she's one of the stars in a series of movies made off of the biggest, most pompous piece of back-to-nature propaganda ever written, it fits. I guess I just don't see what's to celebrate about the lights going out. If that's what you want, there are places where it's already happened.

Let's not give up on technology yet, please. The real effects of global warming are a century away. Given the phenomenal pace of technological advancement, I feel confident there will be a technology-based solution before then.


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