Next week (March 28, 2009 at 8:30 PM local time), lots of people will be recognizing “Earth Hour” by turning off their lights and electrical devices as a
symbolic gesture to show their support for significant changes in human activity to address the Climate Change “crisis.”
Partially because I’m still skeptical about the quality of the models, the estimates of net harm that are likely, and the wisdom of taking massive political actions and relying on highly politicized research to address it.
But, mostly, it’s because I think that the symbolism of turning off our lights, and simulating a primitive lifestyle, is exactly the wrong way to express our support for a sensible approach.
Whatever challenges we have from climate changes will not be solved by masses of people huddling in the dark, or by governments dictating commercial activity. It’ll be solved by smart people with their lights and computers on (discovering innovative ways to produce and manage energy, and to make other changes to counteract the environmental harm), and many people making voluntary exchanges with uncontrolled price signals so that resources will be allocated more efficiently.
My lights and computer will be on.
(HT Tom G. Palmer)