So Earth Hour has been and gone and dammit, I was so hopeful that my carefully-managed Twitter and Facebook feeds would be free of fucking rightwhingers/lolbertarians having a cry about it. I was disappointed.
But at least this allowed me to formulate in my head the perfect analogy for this type of Earth Hour hater.
Before I get into it, though, the disclaimer: I don’t think Earth Hour is perfect, even in its wider goal of raising awareness and motivating larger longer-term changes. I totally expect that there are a lot of very privileged people out there who do turn off the lights and light romantic candles and pat themselves on the back and then go straight back to commuting to work every day in separate SUVs.
I also think it’s pretty wanky for western countries who have already done way more than their fair share of resource-plundering and fuel-burning to get to their current “modern” states to suddenly turn around and say “oh, fuck you, all you little countries who we’ve oppressed and kept down, you don’t get to enjoy “modern” comforts because now we’ve had our fun we’ve realised it’s bad for the environment.”
So Earth Hour: not perfect. Critiques of Earth Hour and general global inequities and western slacktivism: totally interesting.
Then there’s the guys you see (and sorry dudes, but for some reason it is always dudes) who are like toddlers. And these toddlers have millions of toys, many probably stolen from kindy, and Mummy or Daddy have said “honey, you have millions of toys, do you really need all of them? Couldn’t we share your toys with some other children?”
And the toddler is sitting in the middle of his room, surrounded by toys, toys piled higher than his head, and even though he literally cannot play with more than one or two at a time, and he’ll be a swaggering cynical five-year-old who has no time for babyish Tonka trucks long before he can wear them all out.
And he’s (very advance for his age) screaming “NO, MUMMY. ALL THE TOYS ARE MINE AND I’M GOING TO PLAY WITH ALL OF THEM RIGHT NOW.”
And – to step out of the analogy – it would be really pathetic-funny if it weren’t for the fact that, unlike that toddler, these people are doing real damage to collective efforts to help our planet, and invariably are in positions where they won’t feel the sharp edges of climate change – at least, not until it’s so bad that most of us are dead or living Survivor-style and thus unable to scream “WE FUCKING TOLD YOU SO” at them on Twitter.