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Mark Steyn

Seasons of Steyn

Lighting Out for the Territory

My book Lights Out takes its title from a famous observation by Sir Edward Grey, the British Foreign Secretary, as he looked out of his window at London at dusk on the eve of the Great War:

The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.

Lights Out is about free speech (you can order personally autographed copies here, or the new eBook version at Amazon et al), and thus relevant to my current battles against the Big Climate enforcers. But let us not forget that the warm-mongers literally want the lights out. At 8.30pm in my corner of New Hampshire, we are supposed to extinguish every blazing bulb and sit in the dark for "Earth Hour". Most of my neighbors seem to turn in around 8pm, so it won't be noticeably different out there.

My favorite Earth Hour of recent years was spent in London in March 2011. At the appointed hour, I sauntered down Piccadilly, but that brilliant thoroughfare was dark and all but deserted, because so-called "anarchists" (an odd term for pro-government welfare-funded thugs) had cheerfully spent the afternoon firing fireworks into knots of startled shoppers (including young children) who hadn't expected the coppers to lose control quite so easily, and smashing windows not just of the Ritz but off humdrum sandwich chains, before proceeding to Trafalgar Square, where they set fires, lobbed bottles and desecrated my old pal Boris Johnson's 2012 Olympic Clock.

Was this London's all-time greatest "Earth Hour" or what? Massive disruption of commercial activity (doubtless heartening to the famously anti-consumerist eco-Prince of Wales) and normally glittering storefronts darkened except for the reflected glow of burning garbage. If Earth Hour is indeed a celebration of "ignorance, poverty and backwardness", then all three made great strides in London that day.

Light 'em up!

SAD FOOTNOTE #1: Tim Blair calls Earth Hour the Johnny No Mates of climate activism.

SAD FOOTNOTE #2: The Brampton, Ontario Fire Department advises:

Have a safe earth hour tonight and use flashlights and battery operated candles instead of real candles

from Seasons of Steyn, March 29, 2014

 

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A Song for the Season by Merle Travis Happy Labor Day, or Labour Day, according to taste. We'll be back with a Song of the Week bonus audio edition later this week, but in the meantime here's labor lyricized at the lower end of the register in a great Merle Travis song. This essay is anthologized in A Song For The Season: I was born one mornin' and the sun didn't shine I picked up my shovel and I walked to the mine I loaded 16 tons of number nine coal And the straw boss said, 'Well bless my ...

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