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Celebrate Human Achievement Hour

Posted by DrEdwardHudgins 3 years, 8 months ago to News
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Celebrate Human Achievement on Saturday by turning on all your lights and posting photos of your illuminated act on the Atlas Society Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/AtlasSociety/
SOURCE URL: http://atlassociety.org/commentary/commentary-blog/5957-celebrate-human-achievement-hour


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  • Posted by Zenphamy 3 years, 8 months ago
    Yes, turn on the lights, the heater, all your appliances, your faucets and the safe drinkable water from them, get in your car and drive around the block, place a phone call or text, write and count and measure, look up at the heavens and see stars, galaxies, and even a moon that men have walked on instead of holes to a god's home, plant a bush or flower in a location of your choice instead of nature's--celebrate the achievements of men using their minds to discover energy past fire in a pit, to understand life and make it better for all without having to count on the supernatural or gods. .
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    • Posted by blackswan 3 years, 8 months ago
      This discussion took place in 19th century America, between the industrial North, the agrarian South and the so-called nature loving Indians. Here, you had all 3 cultures at play: the hunter gatherer Indians (living off the land), the agrarian Southerners (extracting wealth from the earth) and the Industrial Northerners (extracting wealth from ideas), each with their own set of values beliefs and behaviors. We saw that the industrial culture prevailed in spite of the valor of each of the other sides. The fact is, the industrial culture, driven by the extraction of wealth from ideas, will win out. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
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  • Posted by 3 years, 8 months ago
    It's dark and cold outside with a mixture of freezing rain and snow. But I sit inside with my wife and children, warm and under bright lights. All of my lights are on in recognition of Human Achievement Hour. I celebrate the technology that lights up our lives and our world, making it a fit place for humans because we humans created it!
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    • Posted by  $  HeroWorship 3 years, 8 months ago
      "It's a terrible night for any animal caught unprotected on that plain," said Francisco d'Anconia. "This is when one should appreciate the meaning of being a man."
      Rearden did not answer for a moment; then he said, as if in answer to himself, a tone of wonder in his voice, "Funny . . ."
      "What?"
      "You told me what I was thinking just a while ago . . .”
      "You were?"
      ". . . only I didn't have the words for it,"
      "Shall I tell you the rest of the words?"
      "Go ahead."
      "You stood here and watched the storm _with the greatest pride one can ever feel—because you are able to have summer flowers and half naked women in your house on a night like this, in demonstration of your victory over that storm. And if it weren't for you, most of those who are here would be left helpless at the mercy of that wind in the middle of some such plain."
      "How did you know that?"
      In tune with his question, Rearden realized that it was not his thoughts this man had named, but his most hidden, most personal emotion; and that he, who would never confess his emotions to anyone, had confessed it in his question. He saw the faintest flicker in Francisco's eyes, as of a smile or a check mark.
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    • Posted by  $  HeroWorship 3 years, 8 months ago
      I drove home at midnight the other night, 50 miles in the pouring rain. My car was temperature controlled, comfortable, and quiet, allowing me to dictate text into my phone as I drove.

      Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed. I thank the genius and hard work that others have done to obey/command such that I can have such an amazing vehicle.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 years, 8 months ago
    "[The ideology behind Earth Hour] holds “the environment” to be of value in and of itself, separate from and even in opposition to humans."
    This is categorically false. The opposite is true: The environment only has value to the extent someone enjoys it.

    The article reasons logically from this false premise and arrives at mostly wrong conclusions.

    Carbon emissions are correlated to GDP. They are also a form borrowing from the future, more surely than if we floated a bond or promised a new Social Security benefit. The point of Earth Hour is not to reduce emissions by keeping the carbon emission to GDP ratio constant and reducing GDP. The point is to reduce the ratio and eventually find ways to engineer the environment to human needs or to bring the net release of carbon from our activities to near zero so we can have ever growing economic output without it needing to be paid back in the future when someone has to clean up or work around our mess. So the point of Earth Hour is to celebrate human achievement.

    It's a symbolic celebration, but it's powerful. Standing in front of my house a couple years ago with everyone's lights off, though, was a powerful symbolic demonstration of how committed people are to solving the problem.
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    • Posted by  $  WilliamShipley 3 years, 8 months ago
      If the people advocating for low carbon emission generation were actually serious about that, they would be putting their energies behind nuclear power. The 24/7 energy source that has zero emissions with minimal waste volume.

      There is actually no problem to solve. The people advocating for this just don't like the solution.

      Obviously there is a different agenda in effect.
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      • Posted by blackswan 3 years, 8 months ago
        A thorium molten salt reactor is the purest form of nuclear energy available, particularly since the radioactive waste problem is virtually eliminated. BTW, the economies of scale of this type of nuclear energy is so much smaller than traditional reactors that we could see the whole world bursting with unlimited energy.
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        • Posted by  $  WilliamShipley 3 years, 8 months ago
          That's the thing. The "Global Warming" people are willing to spend a fortune (of someone else's money) on windmills and solar. Thorium seems to be so close to being production. If you want to spend money on reducing CO2, spend it there!
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 years, 8 months ago
        "they would be putting their energies behind nuclear power. The 24/7 energy source that has zero emissions with minimal waste volume."
        Yes! We should have started long ago instead of stopping building new nuclear plants.

        There's a funny cartoon where a nuclear plant is sneering at a coal fired plant. The nuclear plant is saying, "Yeah... but there's no safe way to store your waste either."

        The problem is grave. We absolutely should be going to nuclear power.
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        • Posted by  $  WilliamShipley 3 years, 8 months ago
          Everyone worries about the half-life of radioactive waste. What's the half-life of lead?
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          • Posted by  $  HeroWorship 3 years, 8 months ago
            OK - some research.
            avg adult population has estimated 2-3 ug/dl lead in blood.
            Estimated 16 ug/dl lead in blood before we stopped adding lead to gasoline (for performance).
            now, around Flint, >5 ug/dl is considered "elevated"
            at 30 ug/dl, avg IQ estimated loss = 7 points.
            at ~10 ug/dl, avg IQ loss = 4 points
            half life in blood = 25 days.
            half life is soft tissue = 40 days
            @40 days, in 1 year, 99.8% of lead leaves blood and soft tissues.
            half life in bone/teeth = 10 years.

            it is a very interesting question Mr. Shipley. In order to avoid radioactive fuel "leftovers" which are contained at nuclear plants, while transmitting electricity everywhere, we increase the amount of EVERYTHING ELSE that comes from fossil fuels.

            There are no solutions, only tradeoffs.
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    • Posted by  $  HeroWorship 3 years, 8 months ago
      I do not believe that it means what you think it means. I think Ed is much closer to the real reason that most people support it.

      IF it meant solidarity in championing the value of energy and the cost of not having energy, I would support it. Most of my friends/community are advocates of Earth Hour - and they are much more on the 'humans are a plague' side of the equation than the "technology will solve the problem" side. They are more than happy to cut human beings down a peg or three and are morally righteous about that.

      Perhaps the event was meant to celebrate human achievement - but I have never experienced that when I engage with people who promote it. Not once. (before your post).
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      • Posted by 3 years, 8 months ago
        I'd suggest you follow some of the links in the piece plus a few of the reading suggestions at the end to read in their own words what motivates the radical environmentalists. Most people who turn off their lights will be unfocused but not necessarily malicious; they feel they're doing something in part that's good for humans. But the radicals really don't like people..Check out especially my review of "Merchants of Despair." It will shock you. http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/13-04...
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        • Posted by  $  HeroWorship 3 years, 8 months ago
          That is a charitable interpretation Ed. Most people who promote altruism also feel like they are doing good for humans - and that is PART of the problem.

          Earth Hour is not virtuous, it is "virtue signaling." To participate in Earth Hour is to be part of the elite, non-assholes-who-are-killing-the-planet, group of people. When you turn off your light, you show that you are one of the special people that "care about the planet." WORSE YET, if you then look through your neighborhood to see who HASN'T turned out their lights, you are determining TO WHOM you are superior. Anyone with their lights on - needs to be "educated" about the importance of being part of the special/enlightened group of symbolic (virtue-signaling) action-taking people who "are part of the solution rather than part of the problem." Earth Hour is about pecking order, us/them, and obedience to the group.

          Scratch the surface of 95% of people who participate in Earth Hour and you will find self-righteousness and virtue-signaling - superiority.

          Seriously, try it. Ask people about whether they participated, then ask they why. The answer will jump out at you.
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          • Posted by 3 years, 8 months ago
            You're probably right. There's an "I'm part of the caring elite" thing going on here in many case. Turning off one's lights usually signals a non-thinking moral smugness. It signals someone who seeks a cheap, fake way to feel good about themselves.
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          • Posted by  $  jlc 3 years, 8 months ago
            Point for excellent targeting of "virtue signaling". I will keep that in mind in the future as a touchstone to use when reading discussions on this topic. I am reminded of the way that 'honor' became confused with 'display' in late Medieval times - another method of virtue signaling.

            Jan
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            • Posted by  $  HeroWorship 3 years, 8 months ago
              As a pre-teen, I got fascinated with Arthurian legends. Your note helped me integrate an incomplete/nagging realization about that. Lancelot vs. Gawain. Thank you.
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              • Posted by  $  jlc 3 years, 8 months ago
                This is a conversation I frequently have. Older societies - bronze age and before - had 'braggadocio' as a required virtue for alpha type leaders. The thought of honor being an aspect of quiet integrity vs virtue display was quite novel...and we still get confused about it. Both models are correct in their own times and societies, but we use the same modern words to describe them.

                Jan
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 years, 8 months ago
        "They are more than happy to cut human beings down a peg or three and are morally righteous about that."
        I have definitely seen this unfortunate attitude.

        Even my wife fell into it a few years ago when we were heading to legal conference at a huge indoor water park. One the way she said using all that water is so bad for the environment, and she was annoyed her professional org picked this venue. I said if it provides joy for people, that's why the environment's for. We need to make it sustainable and not unwittingly trash something we want even more in the future, but fundamentally the environment's there for us. I cared for our 1 y/o while she attended the meetings. After a day of meetings she sat by the pool pushing our baby on swing that dipped his legs in the water as he swung. He got a kick out of it, and she was able to relax. On the way home she was saying waterparks are probbaly worth their cost to the environment-- a total 180. :)
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        • Posted by blackswan 3 years, 8 months ago
          How much of ANY innovation has been readily accepted by most of the population? You're more likely to have the villagers with the pitchforks at your door than ready acceptance of a new innovation.
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          • Posted by  $  jlc 3 years, 8 months ago
            Change is difficult for people, even when it is to their benefit...Especially when it is 'claimed to be for their benefit' just like a hundred other things 'claimed' to be - but were not. There is a large loss of faith involved in our lack of enthusiasm for progress.

            Jan
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          • Posted by  $  jlc 3 years, 8 months ago
            Change is difficult for people, even when it is to their benefit...Especially when it is 'claimed to be for their benefit' just like a hundred other things 'claimed' to be - but were not. There is a large loss of faith involved in our lack of enthusiasm for progress.

            Jan
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    • Posted by ewv 3 years, 8 months ago
      The article does not start from a false premise. The viros start with a false premise. They are not celebrating human achievement, they despise us for displacing "nature". They are misanthropic nihilists who regard nature as an intrinsic value above the interests and values of human beings. They regard humanity's means of survival changing the environment for our needs as unnatural and want to suppress it, as illustrated in their constant clamoring for the impossible "zero emissions" from human activity, "leave no footprint", and punitive fees for "mitigation".

      Environment means our surroundings. Those who want to control and preserve the environment want to control everything around them, i.e., everything, i.e., all of us. Their nature worship motivates their eco-fascism. It is unspeakable, misanthropic evil, and demanding that we turn the lights out is not the only example of it.

      A group of people standing around in front of their dark houses on their dark street mindlessly feeling righteous about their self inflicted deprivation once a year is not solving any problem at all. They are the problem as their emoting for the impossible at the expense of human life is used to pressure government policy to destroy industry and private property in every realm they can. It's a "powerful symbolic demonstration of how committed" they are all right, but it's not a commitment to human value. It's a desire to solve the problem of humanity as if we humanity were by its nature "pollution" to be suppressed. And that is why we are getting eco-fascism in the name of "fighting pollution".
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 years, 8 months ago
        "Those who want to control and preserve the environment want to control everything around them"
        I'm sure this isn't true by one counter-example. I want preserve and control the environment and eventually the unvierse to serve the needs of sentient beings, and I don't want to be a tyrant.

        The rest of your post is about a stawman notion misanthropic nihilists who you called viros who don't actually exist.
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        • Posted by ewv 3 years, 8 months ago
          As a supporter of Obama and Clinton you are no counterexample. You can't control the universe without being totalitarian, let alone a tyrant.

          The viro movement certainly is trying to control us in the name of the environment, and it is misanthropic with the premise of nature as an intrinsic value superseding human values and rights, including private property rights. This is pervasive throughout politics today. When their new political initiatives become known and controversial they typically try to claim their opponents are for "pollution", just as they deceptively try to market their imposition of primitive wilderness preservation as for the "economy". You are trying to tell people who have fought this movement for decades that it "doesn't exist".
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