Earth Hour 2009: Fox News Focuses on Critics… Of Course

  • Published on March 29th, 2009

At 8:30 PM local time on Saturday night, people around the globe celebrated Earth Hour by turning out the lights at home and on such landmarks as Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium and Water Cube, the Empire State Building in New York City, Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue, and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, to name a few.

But as the hour-long public display of unity cascaded through the timezones, not everyone was buying-in and Fox News was determined to give facetime to anyone who wasn’t.

Instead of focusing on the millions of people who turned their lights off and lit candles at home, or, those who went outside to public places to watch city lights dim with their neighbors, coverage of the event from the right-of-center Fox keyed in on the far-right-of-center punditry, featuring “experts” from the Freedom Alliance, a nonprofit organization founded by Oliver North and the Foundation for the Protection of Democracies.

Two reports at Fox Newsone article, and one televised piece—honed in on some of the right’s favorite targets, namely:  celebrities and the United Nations.

>>Watch the Fox News piece on Earth Hour 2009

To provide even more “balance” Fox gave the “Skeptical Environmentalist,” Bjorn Lomborg, more undeserved attention. Lastly, former U.S. representative to the United Nations during the Bush administration, John Bolton also spoke out against the effort.

‘Earth Hour a vehicle for UN’s agenda of wealth redistribution’

“It’s an attention-grabbing gesture that they expect to pay off for them big time,” Claudia Rosett of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, told FOX News. “For the U.N., climate change is the biggest cash cow of all time. They expect it to pay off for them big-time at the enormous and unaffordable expense of this and future generations,” said Rosett.

“It’s like a lot of what the U.N. does — it’s a gimmick, it’s empty, it’s shallow and it’s not going to lead to anything,” said Thomas Kilgannon, president of Freedom Alliance.

According to Fox, “Critics like Rosett say the U.N.’s role in Earth Hour is merely the public face of its much larger push to reorder the world’s economy with new taxes, tariffs and subsidies for greenhouse gas abatement.”

About the Author

is the founder of ecopolitology and the executive editor at LiveOAK Media, a media network about the politics of energy and the environment, green business, cleantech, and green living. When not reading, writing, thinking or talking about environmental politics with anyone who will listen, Tim spends his time skiing in Colorado's high country, hiking with his dog, and getting dirty in his vegetable garden.


  • I think it is a publicity thing. Make a good topic such as "Earth Hour", report it with a sprinkle of controversy, and this is a recipe for a "big internet buzz".

    Just imagine how many people have visited their site now that this thing is on Digg.

  • This is why the Republican party was kicked to the street in the US in 2008. There will be another kickfest coming up in 2010. More of them will open their mouths before that, so we'll be able to identify them.

  • I think you missed the number of candles per 100 watt bulb substantially.

    A 100 W incandescent bulb produces about 1750 lumens or 137 foot-candles

    A 23 watt fluorescent light produces about 1600 lumens or 125 foot-candles

    While Lomborg may be an idiot he is correct on the point of candles being the worst thing.

  • Actually, Tim, it was "balsamic vinagrette"…yeah, go figure. This guy would also get a charge out of throwing newspapers, bottles and cans in the garbage and then smirk in our direction while doing it. He also saw "gay" and "liberal" the same way. Might have to propose a sitcom with this character one of these days…

  • Salad dressing that is too liberal? LOL! I'm taking a wild guess here, but was it Newman's Own or Amy's?

    I'm not particularly surprised, but one of the best tools we have at fighting the media bias is too call BS as often as possible.

    You should really watch the video, I wasn't able to embed it, but to see their "reporters" making the link between Earth Hour, the UN, and the redistribution of wealth was almost funny.

    The best part was when the journalist finished her story and said something along the lines of: "Fox News: we report and then let you decide."

  • It's difficult for some people to get beyond an ideological perspective on any and all matters. It can actually be funny sometimes. (I once had an uncle who would seriously say things like "I don't want that kind of salad dressing, it's too liberal.")

    Science and the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community should guide public policy—particularly environmental policy.

    Unfortunately, there is a very loud and often unhinged minority that sees any efforts to clean the planet's air and water as "liberalism" instead of as good, common sense. Outlets like Rupert Murdoch's Fox "News" deliberately portray any attempts to implement environmental improvements as "anti-American". Fox uses this propaganda to expand their brand, gain more viewers, sell more commercials.

    Any questions? Anyone surprised?

  • So, it all boils down to "you're either with us, or your with the communists?" I've got a lot of respect for genuine philosophical conservatives… unfortunately, as this stunt by FOX shows, there aren't many of them out there..

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