I've always thought that many so-called environmentalists bring to their cause an almost religious conviction. We can save the planet if only........certain things happen. The front page of the Toronto Star today shows a candlelight church service to make my point - its a religion. I've also thought that many environmental types would like humanity to regress to a simpler "dark age." You know, reduce fossil fuel usage, thereby the carbon footprint and save the planet. There was a lot of media hype about Earth Hour around here yesterday, I guess it was a slow news day. Of course there is nothing wrong with energy conservation, in fact the opposite is kind of dumb. Why wouldn't everyone be against waste?
But despite the good support for Earth Hour itself, I don't see much evidence that people really get it. My neighbours certainly don't. Many of them feel its their civic duty to pollute the night sky with all sorts of garish lighting - all night. Maybe they are just afraid of the dark. The consequences of garish and excessive use of outdoor lighting was discussed in a recent National Geographic magazine: The End of Night. The night sky has virtually disappeared for urbanites all over the planet. The Milky Way is a myth for too many children. I really doubt that conservation will save the planet for the future, but what I do know is that judicious use of outdoor lighting can save the night sky here and now.