Earth Hour: was the message received?

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As almost everyone know on the evening of Saturday, March 23, people around the world were asked by campaigners to switch off the lights for an hour to observe “Earth Hour”. Professor Bjorn Lomborg says this gesture will do little to help the planet, and gives people the wrong impression about how to address climate issues.

Bjørn Lomborg is a Danish author, academic, and environmental writer. He is an adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre and a former director of the Environmental Assessment Institute inCopenhagen. Copenhagen Consensus is a project that seeks to establish priorities for advancing global welfare using methodologies based on the theory of welfare economics.

Global warming is a real problem, but Earth Hour is not the answer. Taken to its logical conclusion, if switching the lights off for one hour is a good idea, why not for all the other 8,759 hours of the year?

Electricity, and affordable, plentiful energy, is the lifeblood of modern civilization and prosperity. If you do switch off the lights, do it in solidarity with the 1.3 billion people in the world who live in cold and misery because they lack access to electricity. Do it to celebrate the benefits of innovation and technology.

Fundamentally, cutting emissions in the short run is no easy task. Today, green energy is too costly to be a viable solution. Real breakthroughs in energy technology will only come with more investment in research and development.

If you are asking me, I would say that of course switching off the lights is not the solution of the problem tackling our planet but as the campaigners also mention the event aims at triggering people’s mind and changing their behaviour towards earth’s protection. And yes, if people get the wrong impression via the event then the campaigners should do more in order to clarify the ultimate goal of the movement. 

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