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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Columns

Earth Hour actually hurting planet


Earth Hour 2010 was observed Saturday as event organizer World Wildlife Fund urged households and businesses across the globe to shut off all non-essential lights and appliances for an hour starting at 8:30 p.m. in whichever time zone participants were in.

The tradition began four years ago, harnessing more celebrants each subsequent year. While the notions of saving energy and taking an hour to respect Mother Nature are not at all troublesome, Las Vegas’ choice to join in on the movement is somewhat disturbing.

Las Vegas, or Sin City, is frequently designated the entertainment capital of the world, the marriage capital of the world or the capital of second chances, which is quite a confusing moniker considering the nickname does not imply a realistic second chance at furthering one’s debt or drug addiction.

Vegas is also known as the place where the wealthy go to flaunt their high-dollar possessions, where the poor go to escape reality and where the middle class go to get poor.

The city probably generates more light output in one hour than the entire state of Wyoming has since its admittance to the Union, traffics more “working” women than Amsterdam on a good night and devours the hopes of more Americans than the Obama administration has.

But all joking aside, Vegas can’t be that bad, can it?

City officials decided to shut off the flashing lights and glitzy glamour on the famed Las Vegas Strip for one hour Saturday in observance of Earth Hour.

The gesture ended up being something of a joke, considering any energy saved during the hour was completely nullified once the time ended and the city resumed its operations, firing back up its 10 petawatts of blinding glow. Las Vegas is officially the person at the gym who works off 600 calories in an hour only to consume 1,500 calories at Whataburger 10 minutes after they leave.

Earth Hour’s detrimental effects, however, do not end with Las Vegas.

Media outlets from various parts of the world reported accidents and fatalities that had occurred due to the reduced visibility during the hour without lights. Some agencies reported seeing people going out for joyrides in the dark, burning off fuel simply because the lights were off.

Organizers of the event admitted that Earth Hour is more symbolic than it is functional; the energy saved across the globe in the hour is a meager amount in comparison to the energy the world uses in a day.

This concept is not unfamiliar to scientists who dissect actual energy savings with activities and products which deem themselves to be economical.

At the end of the day, it’s important to realize the environment has been doomed since industrialization was created; advances in technology do not come without consequences.

We may be digging our own graves, but stopping the dig for an hour isn’t any kind of real answer.

Newton Liu is a communication junior and may be reached at [email protected]


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