'Earth Hour' Is a Joke
We need real green solutions, not just 'feel-good' movements: Bjorn Lomborg
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 24, 2011 11:08 AM CDT
A woman talks on her mobile phone on the steps of a bank decorated to mark Earth Hour in Hong Kong on March 14, 2011.   (Getty Images/AFP PHOTO / LAURENT FIEVET)

(Newser) – This Saturday night, environmental activists are calling on the world to dim the lights for “Earth Hour”—a nice idea, but one that may actually be counterproductive. Look at it this way: "If everyone in the world participated in this year's Earth Hour, the result would be the same as turning off China's carbon emissions for roughly 45 seconds,” writes author and activist Bjorn Lomborg in USA Today. It’s “symptomatic of an environmental movement that has become too focused on hollow, feel-good actions that at best only inch us in the right direction."

Today’s biofuel, for example, means less corn is being used for food; now, “forests are being razed for agriculture, causing more emissions than will be saved from biofuels over the next hundred years.” What we need is an effort to reduce the cost of green energy to less than that of fossil fuels—and the investment required will be “something in the order of 0.2% of global gross domestic product, or $100 billion annually,” Lomborg notes. “Instead of just dimming our lights, we need to get much brighter about solving global warming.”