Illuminating Controversy

David Menzies will do anything for attention.

The freelance writer and commentator and I squared off a time or two on Michael Coren’s CTS show. He reminded me of talk show hosts I worked with who would choose their opinions based on what would attract the most reaction, not on how they really felt. Now he’s telling anyone who will listen that the upcoming Earth Hour is a farce and he plans to turn on as many lights as possible tonight while millions of others turn theirs off.

It will be the second straight year that Menzies lights up his Richmond Hill home and this year he has rented those huge spotlights to fire up during what he calls Human Achievement Hour. Why, he reasons, if the “hippies” are so concerned about saving energy are they holding their demonstration during an evening hour at a time of year when it’s not particularly hot or cold? Why, he asks, is the issue of “global warming” now called “climate change” and what’s next, “global freezing”?

It’s a clever press grab and his argument has some merit. But the point of Earth Hour isn’t to save power; it’s symbolic. It’s a moment in time when millions of us do one small thing at the same time to help us remember that there are many small things we can do every day to make a difference to the planet. Don’t pour paint down the drain. Don’t leave the tap running while you brush your teeth. Turn the light off when you leave the room. Don’t be wasteful and treat the earth like we’re irresponsible renters. That’s the point of it all.

If you find yourself feeling peckish tonight around 8:30 pm, look for the brightly lit home in Richmond Hill. Find your way to the source of the spotlights. Menzies will have his barbecue fired up and be making burgers and dogs for anyone who wants one and wants to know more about his protest. His Human Achievement Hour might even make him a bit of a folk hero. I’ll be sitting in the dark thinking how nice it is to share a moment of consciousness with my fellow human beings that doesn’t have anything to do with earthquakes or tsunamis. Scrabble by candlelight sounds a bit romantic, actually.

1 thought on “Illuminating Controversy”

  1. It’s the yin and yang of the universe: if not for people like Menzies, how else would we so effectively shed light (so to speak) on how wrong-headed people have been for so long? BTW, my grandfather used to say “hippies” (practically spitting out the word as he did so). How retro of Mr. Menzies. Have fun with Scrabble, Lisa. You crazy newlywed, you!

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