Opposition needs substance
Posted April 3, 2009
We at the Campus Times have declared April “Earth Month” and with that declaration our appreciation goes out to all of those around the world who participated in Earth Hour.

The achievement to raise awareness of our growing climate crisis is highly respected and necessary.

At 8:30 p.m. local time, 200 cities around the world participated in Earth Hour and turned out their lights in a symbolic gesture to show that something needs to be done to combat the climate crisis.

Earth Hour promotes energy conservation, an economical way to save money on your electric bill and an overwhelming example of what humans can do to save our precious resources.

Eco-friendly things such as turning out lights, computers and TVs are ideas that do not only have to be exercised during Earth Hour, but are things people can do every day. Reducing the amount of electricity consumed in one’s house or turning off appliances when they are not in use are proven ways to advance a green agenda.

It seems that everybody would agree that Earth Hour and the upcoming Earth Day, April 22, are necessary to raise awareness of our growing environmental crisis, and viable ways to promote a green agenda.

However, in the world’s attempt to decrease our footprint on our planet, there was vocal opposition that promoted an agenda, or lack there of, that is both irresponsible and non-viable as an alternative to an ideological battle.

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh and Fox News contributor and KABC radio host Tammy Bruce called on their listeners to protest the notion of conserving energy and combating the climate crisis by turning their lights ON.

“Turn on every light in your house at 8:30 p.m.,” echoed both Bruce and Limbaugh.

Clearly there is an ideological disagreement between those who believe that the climate crisis is real and that humans are the ones speeding up its detramental effects, and those who believe that the Earth is going through a common event that is historically cyclical. This type of difference is warranted and has a place in our democracy because everybody has a right to voice his or her opinion, whether or not they decide to acknowledge science.

But to call for wasting energy and depleting natural resources is irresponsible and ignorant.

This type of wasteful attention-getting stunt is detrimental and stupid – particularly in a time of economic struggle – regardless of ones beliefs about climate change.

However, many people were subjected to these calls of opposition and whether they carried them out cannot be known, but these voices are heard by a large number of loyal listeners; Rush Limbaugh has a massive audience, millions of listeners per week and Tammy Bruce appears on the No. 1 cable news station, Fox News.

Why call for opposition that does not promote an alternative agenda? No where else in Limbaugh’s or Bruce’s addresses did they offer a plan to wean our dependency on foreign oil, or try and preserve our precious natural resources.

Protests should be used to achieve a better America and advance the argument in a constructive way that helps people better understand the issues. In no way does this type of demonstration help America; in fact it hurts America.

Even if there is an ideological difference in their understanding of the climate crisis, there should not be any debate over the merits of conserving vs. purposely wasting energy.

Conserving is environmentally and economically smart, and Earth Hour was a great way to advance the discussion.

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