LETTERS

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April 16, 2010

“Dark meaning behind Earth Hour” misrepresents goals of environmentalism

I was saddened to read Mr. Moya’s column (“The dark meaning behind Earth hour,” 4/13/2010) chastising those who participated in Earth Hour

I was saddened to read Mr. Moya’s column (“The dark meaning behind Earth hour,” 4/13/2010) chastising those who participated in Earth Hour. Mr. Moya’s attack mischaracterizes the purpose and the value of Earth Hour and environmentalism as a whole, attempting to shut down any discussion by claiming that environmentalists are anti-progress.

I know few environmentalists who advocate for utter abandonment of technological progress. His comparison with North Korea makes no sense because Kim Jong-Il’s purpose in keeping his terrorized citizens in “perpetual darkness” is not to preserve the land but to exercise control over them. One must not confuse the executed results of an ideology with the logical value of its beliefs.

A far better analogy would be to compare “extreme environmentalists” (such that they exist) to Amish communities in the United States. The Amish also “celebrat[e] Earth Hour, indefinitely, every hour of the day, 365 days a year,” but their goal is to maintain a holier/healthier lifestyle, not to preserve the land. (It is also relevant to note that the Amish openly excommunicate members of the community who do not adhere to their strict standard.) Even the radicals who wish that we’d all live “off-the-grid” rarely advocate an overthrow of the U.S. government to install a pro-environmental dictatorship. Rather, they want everyone to live like the Amish.

Finally, I’d like to answer Mr. Moya’s initial question, presumably meant to make me reconsider my “crazy” environmentalism. He asks, “If you lived far away from work, would you be willing to sacrifice the comfort and privacy of your own car for a ride on public transportation?” Mr. Moya: Yes. I can and do so daily (and have been doing since senior year of high school)000. And so do hundreds of people on the South Side of Chicago, who have no other choice.

See you in the twilight,

Talia Barzel

Class of 2011

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