Lisa Hendey over at FFL recently blogged about Earth Hour this evening. She blogged about how some diocese were urging their members to participate as part of their Lenten sacrifice and more than a few were using it to help teach conservatism and stewardship of the Earth.
Maybe I'm more Franciscan than most, but I believe we are called to be a part of nature not apart from it. I have read Genesis, so I am more than aware that God gave man dominion over the Earth and the animals. I have also read Revelations 7:3: Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees. I don't believe dominion means that we use and abuse. A father has dominion over his home, does that mean he can behave in any manner he would like toward his wife and children? No, it means he must act responsibly and with their best interests at heart.
What gets me down about these ideas like Earth Hour is the response given by many: the act is so insignificant, it won't make a difference there for we should not even bother. It is a stunt and we will just double our consumption in the following hour. And four out of five posts read this way in the comments to Lisa's original one.
Have we become so numb in our views of the world that we believe no one can make a difference? Seriously, the March for Life each year is small scale compared to how many people are pro-life and the number in our country, should we stop marching because we are in a first world country and a bunch of do-gooders who can accomplish nothing? Let me tell you the women who responded negatively about Earth Hour would scream NO! NO! NO! at the top of their lungs. Nor would they ever consider that a stunt.
We have free will so we can pick and choose our battles and if these women feel that conservatism and stewardship of the Earth is not worth their time, so be it, but I hardly feel that justifies putting down people everywhere for trying to make their world a better place for their children, ecologically speaking. I live minutes from a military arsenal dumping ground and a nuclear power plant. If one hour less of NCAA basketball and lights on in my house means that nuclear power plant's chance of melting down goes down even minisculey, you best believe I am going to do it. If my planting a small garden to nourish my family with helps to cut down on the CO2 emissions coming from the dumping ground, well, I'm all for it.
What these women fail to realize is when they rail against something that they are politically opposed to (as they all came to admit they were) by saying it cannot make a difference is that they then dilute their very powerful beliefs that they can make a difference in areas they are passionate about (pro-life issues for example).
One commenter took a different tone, saying she admired the ambitions of Earth Hour (regardless of the actual impact it would have) and pointing out that Pope Benedict XVI is referred to as the "Green" pope because of his focus on conservation and stewardship. I wanted to stand up and cheer because while I know full well that Earth Hour will have probably no effect on government or public policy, it's the intent to try and make this world a bit more positive and safe, is noble. And if I can be an example in anything positive for just one of my neighbors, I know it can be paid forward.
Don't fall into apathy for any cause. When you do this, you set a dangerous precedent for yourself. If you are against something, don't use apathy as a defense for your position, instead, argue your points strongly. Apathy is a cop-out, no matter what way you slice it.
Oh, and for those who believe that conservation and stewardship are not "Conservative" issues, I urge you to re-read Newt Gingrich's Winning the Future.