If you want to celebrate human progress, you can light up the world, symbolically and literally, at Human Achievement Hour. On Saturday, March 19 between 8:30 and 9:30pm, turn on all your lights and post photos of your enlightened act!
The Competitive Enterprise Institute each year spearheads this observance so that people around the world can pay tribute to the human innovations that allow us to live better, fuller lives. The occasion highlights especially the importance of energy in improving the lives of all people.
There is so much to celebrate! By every standard, life is materially better. Thanks to modern medical and health practices, global life expectancy over the past century has doubled. In the industrialized world, the vast majority of us have heated and air conditioned homes. We have inexpensive and healthy food, and refrigeration to preserve it. We have labor-saving devices like washing machines that free up women especially from hours of drudgery. We can travel to any place on earth in less than a day. We can communicate directly with billions and have access to the wealth of human knowledge instantly.
In the future, things could be even better. We’ve seen just in the past few years technologies that have allowed the blind to see, bionic devices that have allowed the lame to walk, and genetic engineering that has cured cancers!
This is the future of which billions of people in the past could not even have conceived. The billion who are still terribly poor in the present wish it would be their future.
But there is a darkening of these bright skies, and it’s coming from the culture. For example, in recent years environmental groups have promoted Earth Hour, a time when all are urged to turn their lights off to raise consciousness about protecting the planet. Most individuals who engage in this practice no doubt feel they’re registering a symbolic vote for clean air and water or against pollution.
But the ideology behind Earth Hour is truly sinister and anti-human. It holds “the environment” to be of value in and of itself, separate from and even in opposition to humans. We should, for example, legitimately value forests because we can enjoy their beauty or use their trees to build our comfortable homes. The deep greenies see this as harming the planet. Yet the forests of America’s East today are mostly due to tree farms for lumber. But the deep greenies have a deep hatred for humans and treat the earth like an unified organism, a Gaia-goddess to which humans should sacrifice themselves—or be sacrificed by force.
Gaia guru Al Gore wants to “stabilize the population,” i.e., he wants humans to have fewer children. House Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi has said that to protect this new deity, “Every aspect of our lives must be subjected to an inventory.” Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s environmental adviser Jonathon Porritt, advocates cutting his country’s population in half, by 30 million. And there is even a global human extinction movement.
If you don’t want to become extinct, you need to stand up for yourself, your family, friends and, yes, all of humanity. We need a cultural and philosophical movement to promote human achievement as a central value in the life of each individual. We need to take an active stand for human achievement and the products of the human mind. And we can start by turning on all our lights during Human Achievement Hour!
Edward Hudgins is research director at the Heartland Institute and former director of advocacy and senior scholar at The Atlas Society.