Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Hour

Earth Hour will be here in one hour and twenty minutes. As I type the beautiful late afternoon sun that was shining in as I began wanes over my left shoulder. The light from the laptop screen is sufficient for typing. The furnace is running, because I have simply reached a point where I am so tired of being cold that I have decided to be warm. Not in keeping with Earth Hour, but there it is.

For decades I have lived frugally, partly out of commitment, primarily from necessity. Disability impoverishes people because of the weird health care system that we have and the lack of access for those who are disabled unless they are willing to submit themselves to the indignity of institutionalized poverty that is our so-called benefit system.

I think that I might be happier with Earth Hour if those who invented it would link the over use of energy (and perhaps other resources) to the rising costs of these things and the effects that has on the lives of those who are poor, including those who are made falsely dependent because of government benefit programs that are really forms of entrapment.

Nevertheless, I will put the heat back a degree or two for the requisite hour; turn on only the most necessary lights (as I do anyway) and power down the laptop. The television, that gobbler of energy, can stay off for this evening and I will work at the other computer. I will be grateful for my blessings and that I can join in this symbolic effort.

In addition to conserving energy, I believe that we need much greater and systemic economic change in this country. The Fall will arrive all too quickly--with cold weather again and higher energy needs. Let's join together to see if we can do more than just symbolic moments to make Earth livable for everyone; to eliminate poverty not only in the Third World but in our own country as well.

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