Robbo just received the following note from some unknown bargee styling him or herself “Noimmiptiodum”:

Earth Hour 2010 occurs on Saturday 27 March and is really a global call to action to each and every human being, each and every company and each one local community throughout the world.

It is really a call to stand up, taking accountability, to get engaged and steer the way toward a environmentally friendly future.

May you get involved?

My dear “Noimmiptiodum”, please feel free to get stuffed.

For those of you unacquainted with “earth hour”, I quote from what appears to be its o-fficial website:

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million homes and businesses turned their lights off for one hour to make their stand against climate change. Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries participating. Global landmarks such as the, Sydney Harbour Bridge, The CN Tower in Toronto, The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.

As a practical matter, all I can say is that I hope flipping off the lights on these various landmarks does not include dousing their aviation beacons.  God help the pilot who wanders anywhere near them otherwise.

On a more philosophical level, I hardly know where to begin.  By now, even the mainstream media are beginning to admit that the whole “anthropic climate change” doomsday meme has about as much credibility as Piltdown Man, Margaret Mead’s field research on the Samoans or the Martian landing at Grover’s Mill, New Jersey.  Personally, I believe that the fraud goes even deeper than has been admitted by anyone to date. 

Having said that, of course I don’t believe that Mankind should simply run riot over the environment.  After all, we all have a God-given duty of stewardship that goes right back to Genesis:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

(Genesis 1: 26-28)

With dominion comes responsibility, of course.  Or “taking accountability”, as Noimmiptiodum rayther awkwardly puts it.  But that’s a function of day-to-day modesty and restraint, not of silly public stunts.  May I quote again?

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

(Matthew 6: 1-8)

By the bye, forget all the talk about devils and perpetual torment:  This passage, with Jesus’ subtle warning, is the one that literally scares the hell out of me more than any other.

But where was I?  Oh, yes, infantile public stunts purporting to show “engagement” or heeding “a call to stand up”.  Pah.  As Jesus notes, these things have very little to do with actual substantive responsibility and everything to do with narcissism.  Let me quote you another author on the matter:

Fretting makes us important.  Say you’re an adult male and you’re skipping down the street whistling “Last Train to Clarksville.”  People will call you a fool.  But lean over to the person next to you on a subway and say, “How can you smile while innocents are dying in Tibet?”  You’ll acquire a reputation for great seriousness and also more room to sit down.

Tragedy is better than comedy for self-dramatization, as every teenager knows.  Think how little attention we pay to a teen who’s bustling around the house with a big smile on his face, greeting parents and siblings with cheery salutations…….Actually, we’d pay a lot of attention and rush him to the drug detox center, post haste.  But you know what I mean.  Would you rather star in Hamlet or Three’s Company?

Beeing gloomy is easier than being cheerful.  Anybody can say “I’ve got cancer” and get a rise out of a crowd.  But how many of us can do five minutes of good stand-up comedy?

And worrying is less work than doing something to fix the worry.  This is especially true if we’re careful to pick the biggest possible problems to worry about.  Everybody wants to save the earth:  nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes.

P.J. O’Rourke, All The Trouble In The World

So no, my dear Noimmiptiodum, I’m afraid I must decline your invitation.  I had thought, like Damian Thompson, to switch on all the Port-Swiller lights by way of  demonstrating my contempt.  On further reflection, however, I believe I shall put a smile on my face, go about my biznay and simply ignore the whole silly thing.

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