The Unsuitablog

Exposing Ethical Hypocrites Everywhere!

Switch Your Lights ON for Earth Hour!

Posted by keith on March 24th, 2011

Earth Hour Sucks tower block

Once upon a time there was just greenwash: corporations and governments went to great lengths to convince a concerned public that they were doing everything they could to help the natural environment return to its former glory. All the time they were filling their bank accounts and pumping up their career prospects. You could be green and profitable and no one would suspect the former was nothing but a lie.

Then the non-profits got involved and things started to become complicated. Partnerships were drawn up between the biggest “environmental” NGOs and the most destructive corporations on Earth, all for a tiny sliver of the corporate pie, and a large wad of environmental fuzziness. The corporations looked good; the NGOs got their funding; the planet continued to fry and die.

And then it went even further. Greenwash became partnership became parody as the NGOs fully embraced both the corporate world and the trivial activities they put forward as symbols of their committment to a better world. And a better world it would be: if all you cared about was making money, that is.

Earth Hour 2011 is nearly upon us, and it stands as the ultimate parody of this great coming together of all that is evil in the world of greenwashing. I don’t use the term “evil” lightly. A person cannot be evil; an action can. Earth Hour is evil because it not only allows corporations, politicians, urban sprawls and industrial monoliths to look good in the eyes of a naive public, it actively attacks genuine attempts to try and undermine the very things that feed off Earth Day. An ordinary person in the thrall of industrial civilization cannot fail to be impressed by the sight of a thousand buildings simultaneously switching off their lights in the name of planet Earth; how can something as mundane as building non-dependent communities compete with such glamour.

How can supergluing the valves on the Las Vegas fountains compete with the casinos on the strip switching off their lights for an hour?

How can setting up a community barter scheme compete with Canary Wharf in London switching off its lights for an hour?

How can creating food self-sufficiency compete with Sears in Canada switching off or dimming its lights for an hour?

How can groups of people finding that time spent embracing their local environment rather than jetting across the world compete with Skycity in New Zealand switching off its lights for an hour?

Well, exactly. It’s bullshit, all of it!

And that is why, for Earth Hour 2011, at 8.30pm on Saturday 26th March, if you are doing nothing more important then switch all your lights on. Every single one.

You might have to fight with that part of you that says, “This is wasteful!” but you need to fight it. That one hour spent consciously doing the exact opposite of what the industrial system would like you to think is the right thing to do is what will help cut that link between the machine and your own individual humanity.

Earth Hour is Evil.

SWITCH ON YOUR LIGHTS ON MARCH 26TH.

22 Responses to “Switch Your Lights ON for Earth Hour!”

  1. Switch Your Lights ON for Earth Hour! « NGOWatch | the NGOs & conservation groups that are bargaining away our future. Says:

    [...] http://thesietch.org/mysietch/keith/2011/03/24/switch-your-lights-on-for-earth-hour/ [...]

  2. Jenny Says:

    Not really evil, just useless.

  3. Smells Says:

    I think this blog is useless n hypocritical.

  4. anabella lightman Says:

    Keith you are a sad sad man who is clearly a planet hater.

  5. keith Says:

    WWF are rallying the troops – enjoy the show!

  6. Andy Says:

    Annabelle – perhaps if you downloaded (for free) and read Keith’s book I guarantee you would not say he is “a planet hater”. BTW The planet can look after itself, whether or not it gets rid of us parasitic humans

  7. keith Says:

    A partial list of the corporate supporters of Earth Hour:

    Mindshare, Starcom and Clear Channel (via http://www.earthhour.org/Heroes/1.aspx)
    Intercontinental Hotel Group (via http://www.earthhour.org/Heroes/2.aspx)
    Hilton Worldwide (via http://www.conventionedinburgh.com/Hilton-Hotels-Edinburgh-Observe-Earth-Hour.html)
    Wells Fargo (via http://blog.wellsfargo.com/environment/2011/03/earth_hour_2011.html)
    Atkins Construction
    Aberdeen Airport
    Barclays
    Cobham Aerospace
    Credit Suisse
    Carillion Construction (Tarmac)
    Holiday Inn
    HSBC
    Ikea
    Morgan Stanley
    Mitsubishi Electric
    PT. TERMINAL PETIKEMAS SURABAYA (Indian Port)
    Radisson Airport Hotels
    TNT Express
    TGI Fridays
    UBS
    Vodafone
    (all via http://earthhour.wwf.org.uk/about_earth_hour/see_who_registered/business_registrations/)
    Sears
    RIM
    (via http://wwf.ca/earthhour/supporters/)
    Bulgari
    Cartier
    HSBC (USA)
    Coca Cola
    Trump Organization
    Walgreens
    (all via http://www.worldwildlife.org/sites/earthhour/celebrating-eh.html)
    Woolworths Ltd (via http://earthhour.org.au/friends-of-earth-hour/supporting-sponsors/)
    AON
    Australian Trucking Association
    Australian Industry and Defence Network
    BreakFree Resorts
    Cargill Australia
    Citibank Property
    Crowne Plaza
    Dubai Aluminium Company
    Emirates Airlines
    GrainCorp Australia
    Jones Lang LaSalle
    Macquarie Group
    Mantra Hotels Group
    Novotel
    OneSteel
    PepsiCo Australia
    Pfizer
    Retail Traders Association of ACT
    Rio Tinto
    Sea World
    Sony Australia
    Tourism Australia
    Toyota Motor Corp
    Unilever
    World Bank Group
    WS Atkins
    (all via http://earthhour.org.au/friends-of-earth-hour/participants/)

    STILL WANT TO TURN YOUR LIGHTS OFF?

  8. Hibby Says:

    Oh dear Keith…. maybe in a couple of years when you realise how things work you’ll understand that you absolutely HAVE to get big corporations on your side – even if it’s just them doing something small so they get publicity. In the end it makes them think. This is how change is brought about, not gluing valves and generally being a vandal and public nuisance and giving environmentalists a bad name. This makes corporations dig their heels in further and puts people off. Switching lights off for an hour may seem ‘evil’, but it’s achievable and is being done. Grow up!

  9. keith Says:

    That’s a brilliant spoof, Hibby. Well done.

  10. Kevin Says:

    Keith, when (if) you do actually grow up and understand the world you’ll look back on this blog with embarrassment. You have my sympathies.

  11. keith Says:

    Does that mean I’ll start licking the boots of big corporations and going on big grown up, police approved marches when I’m bigger?

    Wow, I can’t wait to grow up.

  12. marg Says:

    Hibby and Kevin are right. Big gestures are all very well, but nothing beats the solidarity of a large number of people, all wanting the same thing. I hope you mean well, even if you seem a bit deluded.

  13. keith Says:

    Marg, I agree with you – there is a lot to be said for solidarity, even more so community. But mass delusion is a characteristic of the mainstream environmental movement: I should know, I volunteered for Greenpeace for 6 years and experienced the management in full marketing flow on many occasions – they all knew me by name; a friend who was employed in Canonbury Villas for 3 years finally left after being snubbed continually, and his ideas passed over due to their radical nature (all he ever wanted was a recognition that it was the system that was the problem and it could never be tweaked to be “better”); I was thrown off the Greenpeace supporters forum the *moment* other supporters started to agree with the “symbolic is not enough” concept. This has been repeated when speaking to Friends of the Earth, the Sierra Club, RAN…you name it. Eventually you realise the message will never get through because the counter-message is too powerful: “We can have it all, don’t tell us otherwise.”

    WWF are giving the corporate world a big bag of makeup and then taking them out on a date – March 26th 2011.

  14. Judge H. O. Says:

    OK, Keith, I’ll be setting all my artificial lighting ablaze at the appointed time this year. Just like I did last year!

    I am sorry, though, for the “grown-ups” compelled to comply with commands issued by our repugnant industrial society of death and domination. Willful self-domestication is so pitiful – even worse than “learned helplessness.”

  15. LS Says:

    I agree Keith. Things like Earth Hour do qualify as evil since they are (as you say) preventing us from doing what is actually necessary.

    Turning off the lights for an hour makes people feel better about not making the hard choices that need to be made. Like reducing our population and reducing out consumption.

    Without those things we are in all likelihood condemning millions or billions to extreme poverty and death. All because we can collectively control ourselves.

    I for one will be sending a bright shining message during “Earth hour”. For all the good it will do.

    LS

  16. steve Says:

    Great sane post Keith! If anyones out and about, flip every switch you can find “ON”. I guess they’ll be switching the lights out in Tripoli as well…for slightly different reasons. A blackout usually implies wartime which i guess is about right as this rotten system declared war on everythng uncivilized many many years ago. Its a war they wont win though.

  17. Hibby Says:

    Keith and Judge – if you’re so against those who are “compelled to comply with commands issued by our repugnant industrial society of death and domination.”, I don’t suppose either of you owns the computer you are using or indeed, have bought into the world of Microsoft? I don’t suppose you have any ‘mod-cons’, mobile phones or cameras either. Or, being part-luddite, part-neanderthal, do you really live in a cave? It’s very easy with all your comfort and material goods, to criticise everyone else who’s just a bit better off than yourself and think that if we all gave it up life would just be one big party and everyone would be equal. Big companies run this planet, getting them to do things (however small) is how change begins – look at the advances over the last 20 years. As I said, grow up!

  18. keith Says:

    Wow, I’ve never heard the “you’re using a computer so everything you say is irrelevant” argument. That means the rebels in Libya shouldn’t use guns then, yes?

  19. LS Says:

    I have just had a good laugh reading over the comments on this thread.

    I’m not much into conspiracy, but a group of people suddenly turning up and reading, then posting comments (with quite a similar tone) on The Unsuitablog that clearly have no clue what Keith is talking about smells badly. Or perhaps it’s just one person posting multiple times. Who knows …

    Still, it’s a clear demonstration of the naiveté of even (some) people who care enough to read and comment on a blog like this. Do they really think that Big Business actually cares, and can be made to change it’s ways by feel-good nonsense like Earth Hour?

    Not going to happen my friends. Big Business will cut down the last tree, dig up the last gram of coal, sell it all to you, then squeal that they need government bailouts because all of the resources are gone.

    Good luck is about all I can say. You are going to need it.

    LS

  20. steve Says:

    You will never remain “pure” Keith if you have the temerity to use the masters tools to destroy the master. Whatever next!? I cant see that “green star” award coming your way any time soon-maybe a black & green one though! Personally, so as to make the corporate enviros feel smug im going to term myself an anarcho-hypocrite as i drive home to my cave. I’ll feel suitably guilty for using a knapped piece of flint to light the fire as well (it was done with an industrially produced chisel :0 ).
    Keep up the good work, dont let the sapiens sapiens grind you down. Viva Neanderthalensis!

  21. keith Says:

    My sincerest thanks to LS and Steve for throwing buckets of common sense over the proceedings. By the look of things Earth Hour ended up the damp squib it should have. Nothing has changed, but a few thousand people are feeling smug for having switched a load of lights off for an hour. Symbolism rocks, rolls then falls over.

  22. Ralph Beanface Says:

    brilliant. Shows how deeply ingrained the “business as usual” philosophy is in even ‘environmentalists’ (really hate that word)! Keep up the good work…

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