Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Earth Hour

You've probably heard of this, the latest fad for grownups--participating in Earth Hour--one hour where we all turn off all electricity together to save the earth.

I guess this will reflect on me poorly, and maybe I'm revealing too much about my inner soul, but my honest, true reaction to this:

I have a mad urge to find out exactly when everyone else is participating, and for that one hour turn ON every single electricity-using thing in my entire house.

Yes, at heart, I'm rebellious. I absolutely HATE being told what to do, and it almost guarantees I won't do it. Or worse, I'll intentionally go out and do the OPPOSITE.

Fortunately, I was blessed with the curse of caring deeply and intensely about people not thinking badly about me, and also an intense desire to do what's right in God's eyes.

But when it comes to signing this petition to save the whales, or memorizing twenty scriptures (which I probably would have done on my own if you hadn't tried to bribe me) so I can attend a banquet (the seminary teachers had me on the list and gave me an invitation and were appalled when I refused to accept it because I didn't earn it), or passing off whatever it is that missionaries were supposed to pass off when I was a missionary (I have vivid memories of my district leader putting pressure on me and trying to make it a competition, and my companion saying, "You just made a big mistake, Elder. Now she'll never do it." He apostatized completely a few months later, so I won by default)....I don't respond well to those things. But you can see by the vivid memories I have of it that it causes me immense stress to have the conflict between "you can't tell me what to do" and "I have to be the best and look good to everyone".

My mother frequently reminded, when I came home in tears from this or that conflict, that "You can't spit in the eye of the establishment and expect them to love you."

So, earth hour.

I think a lot about saving power, and using it wisely, and making things around our house more efficient and eco-friendly. I'm all about growing your own organic whatever will grow in your area, and never have managed to put pesticides on any of my trees (and then cutting the worms out of the apples). I cringe at water-hungry plants growing in Vegas, and am really really frustrated and angry that every house doesn't have solar panels on the roof--I think it should be required on all new construction in places like this. I am really really big on the first two eco-friendly mantras--Reduce and Re-use--and also recycle whenever I can (I don't end up using recycling programs, but I do use scratch papers for things, and turn cardboard tubes and boxes into toys, etc). It's not that I'm against doing our individual parts to combat the pollutions on the land that the scriptures tell us will be prevalent in the last days.

I guess I'm opposed to Earth Hour because it's superficial. It's a bandaid that will make the casinos feel like they are earth friendly and energy conscious, when in fact it is just a political move on their parts to improve their images, not to save power. It is, in my mind, the same as considering yourself a worshipping, active member of a church when you attend once a year. Salve for your sinning mind, not repentance.

It's catchy, it's easy, and it actually lulls people into security and prevents them from effecting more permanent changes because they feel like they participated in saving the earth, so don't bother them.

I'm not going to say don't join in. I might even join for my kid's sake (since I am really really careful not to teach them my rebellious ways--I assume they inherited the inclination, since it comes from both sides of the family, but I don't need them to think that's the best and right way to interact with the world).

But don't be too surprised if you drive by my house that day and find all the lights blazing for the other 23 hours of that day, just for spite.

1 comment:

morelightthanburden said...

This is how I feel about "Celebrity Save-the-Homeless" dinners--what a joke, please!! Instead of reigning in their spending and donating, they spend a lot of money on an absolutely over-the-top, ridiculous party for which everyone pays more money to be donated. Why don't they just all stay home and live good lives, sending their money on instead?

I also have a hard time doing what others want for the sake of doing it . . . especially when it's superficial.