What's the big event tomorrow? Yes, it's the 175th anniversary of the U.S. Senate's censuring of Andrew Jackson for his de-funding the Bank of the United States on principled grounds. But far more important: It's Earth Hour!
Begun in Sydney two years ago, Earth Hour encourages folks to turn off all non-vital lights and appliances for one hour starting at 8:30 p.m. From the website:
Switching off your lights is a vote for Earth, or leaving them on is a vote for global warming. [World Wildlife Fund is urging the world to VOTE EARTH and reach the target of 1 billion votes, which will be presented to world leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009....Over 74 countries and territories have pledged their support to VOTE EARTH during Earth Hour 2009, and this number is growing everyday.
New Zealanders are very excited for Earth Hour because, as with New Year's celebrations, they can revel in beating everyone else to the punch, thanks to their position in the time zone progression. Earth Hour has gotten heaps of press in the Kiwi papers. However, there has been one party-pooper, Richard McGrath, from the awesomely-named political party, the Libertarianz:
Why anyone would want to darken our towns and cities is beyond me. Only countries like North Korea have night-time blackouts...
To those who think this is a good idea, I say why stop at one hour? Disconnect your electricity... and find yourself a nice comfy cave where you and your family can live, at one with nature and with a minimal carbon footprint. Meanwhile, I will lift a glass to those who have made twenty-first century life so comfortable and enjoyable.
Despite McGrath's objections, more than 44 Kiwi District Councils and cities are joining in on the fun, including the government's house of parliament, the Beehive.
It's nice to see private citizens and government joining hand-in-hand in solidarity. But this 2008 promo from the state-run broadcasting corporation, TVNZ, might be confusing the message: