A Free-Market Energy Blog

Human Achievement Hour (Shine those lights this Saturday night as the late Julian Simon would have it!)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 25, 2011

Kudos to the Competitive Enterprise Institute for countering the anti-energy (and thus anti-industrial and anti-capitalism) campaign to keep the electricity off this Saturday night with an electricity-is-good event!

Human Achievement Hour counters Earth Hour, which is explained at Wikipedia as follows:

Earth Hour is a global event organized by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature, also known as World Wildlife Fund) and is held on the last Saturday of March annually, asking households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change. Earth Hour was conceived by WWF and The Sydney Morning Herald in 2007, when 2.2 million residents of Sydney participated by turning off all non-essential lights.[1] Following Sydney’s lead, many other cities around the world adopted the event in 2008.[2][3] Earth Hour 2011 will take place on March 26, 2011 from 8:30p.m. to 9:30 p.m., at participants’ respective local time.

Here is what CEI recently distributed:

March 26th 8:30pm – 9:30pm

On Saturday March 26th 2011 from 8:30pm to 9:30pm individuals, business, and governments will shut off their lights for one hour as a symbolic vote against global climate change. Observers of Earth Hour want world leaders to “do something” about pollution and energy use.  What this means is that they want politicians to use sanctions and taxation to prevent individuals from freely using resources, hindering our ability to create the solutions and technologies of the future.

During this same hour The Competitive Enterprise Institute encourages you to leave your lights on for the third annual Human Achievement Hour (HAH), a celebration of individual freedom and appreciation of the achievements and innovations of humans throughout history. To celebrate Human Achievement Hour participants need only to spend the 8:30pm to 9:30pm hour on March 26th enjoying the benefits of capitalism and human innovation: gather with friends in the warmth of a heated home, watch television, take a hot shower, drink a beer, call a loved one on the phone, or listen to music. If you are in the DC-metro area, join CEI’s in-house party for drinks, food, good music, and conversation about human innovation.

HAH is an annual event meant to recognize that this is the greatest time to be alive and that we have come so far only because people have been free to use their minds and the resources in their environment to experiment, create, and innovate. Participants in HAH recognize the necessity to protect the individuals from government coercion in order to continue innovating and improving our lives and the world around us.

See how far we’ve come!


MasterResource Posts in the Julian Simon Tradition

Here Comes Ingenuity! Offshore Drilling Will Be Better, Cleaner, Safer in the New Era (Julian Simon speaks to us today)

Julian Simon Changed His Mind–Can Others Come to View Humans as the Solution, not the Problem?

Remembering Julian Simon (1932–1998)

Julian Simon on the Ultimate Resource (Forget Peak Oil, Worry About Peak Government)

Climategate Did Not Begin With Climate (Remembering Julian Simon and the storied intolerance of neo-Malthusians)

“The Cheaper the Energy the Better” (Julian Simon in 1993 speaks to us today)

Energy as the Master Resource: Where Left, Right, and Center Agree


  1. rbradley  

    I just got this from a Vic Forbes of the Carbon Sense Coalition (I do not know him or the group).

    Lights on for “Earth Hour”.

    A statement by Viv Forbes, Chairman of the Carbon Sense Coalition. (For Immediate Release, 25 March 2011)

    The Carbon Sense Coalition said today that celebrating “Blackout Night” at the time of the March equinox, half-way between mid-summer and mid-winter in both hemispheres, shows that “Earth Hour” is nothing more than green tokenism.

    The Chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, said that this date, with the sun exactly on the equator, was cynically placed on the mildest night of the year to ensure that the candles and champagne parties are unlikely to be inconvenienced by summer heat or winter snow.

    “Sensible people know that the sun, the planets and the seasons control earth’s cycles of weather and climate, and they appreciate man’s magic of electricity which allows them to moderate nature’s periodic extremes of heat and cold at the flick of a switch.

    “Instead of sneering at human achievements, they should salute the people who provide light, heat and cooling for the other 364 days of the year.

    “Our salute will be to turn on every light on our property, and we urge all supporters to do the same.”

    For those who would like to read more see:

    Return to the caves: http://carbon-sense.com/2010/05/06/earth-day-blackout-night/

    Hail to Electricity: http://carbon-sense.com/2010/04/01/hail-to-electricity/

    The Road to more Blackout nights: http://carbon-sense.com/2010/03/26/earth-hour-2010/

    Earth Hour – a Dissent http://carbon-sense.com/2011/03/25/mckitrick-earth-hour/


  2. Tom Tanton  

    I believe it should be more than just leaving the lights on, but a demonstration of what those lights actually enable…maybe if we all commit to, say reading Atlas Shrugged or Henry Hazlit’s One Lesson…lights-left-on can be productive or useless depending on their utalization (parties are good too…)


  3. Chris T  

    Are all lights supposed to be turned on or just the ones you need? Turning all the lights on is just as silly and counterproductive as turning them all off.


  4. rbradley  


    I’d say that to make a statement, some should leave the lights extra on as others are leaving the lights extra off. That way we can cancel each other out–and just maybe we can end the ill-conceived Earth Hour protest.


  5. rbradley  

    CEI pronounced the event a success:

    FEATURED STORY: CEI’s Third Annual Human Achievement Hour is a Success

    Every year in March, environmentalists ask cities and private citizens to turn off their lights for Earth Hour. A few years ago, CEI Policy Analyst Michelle Minton decided to celebrate great human achievements during Earth Hour in order to demonstrate to Earth Hour advocates how humans have made this world a far better—not worse—place to live in. This year, CEI hosted the Third Annual Human Achievement Hour on March 26th. The event was a success: for the first time, CEI analysts celebrated the holiday by web-chatting with our allies around the world. For more on Human Achievement Hour, read Michelle Minton’s Human Events op-ed and National Geographic’s write-up of the event. Also, listen to Ryan Young interview Michelle in the post-Human Achievement Hour podcast (below).


    March 28, 2011: Human Achievement Hour

    Human Achievement Hour founder Michelle Minton talks about the annual celebration of human creativity and innovation that happens at the same time every year as Earth Hour. Ecology and economy are quite compatible. One definition of progress, after all, is doing more with less. When people are left free to achieve and innovate, that is exactly what happens, to the environment’s benefit — and mankind’s.


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