Earth Hour never had a chance in the USA; from the start it got politicized.
The professional climate change deniers at the Competitive Enterprise Institute counter-programmed it with Human Achievement Hour. "Instead of looking to the “dark ages,” like Earth Hour, Human Achievement Hour promotes the idea that we should be looking to technology and innovation to help solve environmental challenges and problems."
The conservatives are rallying around it, including this guy who is famous for saying that his goal was to cut government "down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."
It's not an uncommon view in certain circles. A writer on a business site that I will not give the pageviews to writes:
It’s bewildering that many Americans will see virtue in turning off their lights and never stop to think that their self-imposed blackout is actually a luxury in advanced economies while in Venezuela and North Korea and other nations that reject capitalism, blackouts are just a way of life. Many of these folks who will happily turn off their lights — thereby signaling their virtue to their neighbors — also support the self-declared socialist who is running for president. Why can’t they make the connection?
In America they tried to drown Earth Hour in the bathtub and did a pretty good job. But this year it is more important than ever to stand up and make this visible statement about which side we are on in the fight against climate change. What I wrote in 2013 is even more relevant today:
I am celebrating Earth Hour to stand up against negativity. To stand with millions around the world in a visible demonstration that we actually care about the planet, about climate change, about the future. Consider it a symbol of solidarity against those who mock environmentalism. In particular, Americans have ignored Earth Hour; that might be because the climate skeptics were so quick off the mark to shut it down. Recent research has shown that nasty comments can polarize discussion and lead people to misunderstand the original intent of articles; Earth Hour never had a chance in the polarized American environment.
I am celebrating Earth Hour because I am sick of trolls and of deniers and I want people to know where I stand. I hope you will do the same; turn out your lights and light a candle at 8:30 local time.
Two years ago our Earth Hour coverage was all about Peabody Coal's attempt to reposition coal as the answer to all our problems of poverty. CEO Gregory Boyce said "The greatest crisis we confront is not an environmental crisis predicted by computer models, but a human crisis fully within our power to solve. For too long, we have been focused on the wrong priorities."
Today, Peabody Coal is warning that it might file for bankruptcy. Things can change in this world.
It’s extremely cold in NY & NJ—not good for flood victims. Where is global warming?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2012
This is the year to stand up and be counted and be seen as a supporter of Earth Hour, as someone who wants something done about climate change, and as someone who votes for parties and people who actually have some comprehension of what is happening. And maybe the idea of climate denial will get so small that we can drown it in the bathtub.
So turn out the lights, 8:30 Saturday night. It's political now.