Saturday, March 31, 2012

Earth Hour Myth: Life in Medieval Europe

For earth hour enthusiasts, take into account the lifestyles of the 14th & 15th centuries in Europe [quoted from Will Durant’s 1957 volume The Reformation by Professor Don Boudreaux]

Social and individual hygiene hardly kept pace with the advances of medicine. Personal cleanliness was not a fetish; even the King of England bathed only once a week, and sometimes skipped…. In all Europe – not always excepting the aristocracy – the same article of clothing was worn for months, or years, or generations. Many cities had a water supply, but it reached only a few homes; most families had to fetch water from the nearest fountain, well, or spring. The air of London was befouled by the odor of slaughtered cattle, till such carnage was forbidden in 1371. The smell of latrines detracted from the idyllic fantasies of rural life. London tenements had but one latrine for all occupants; many houses had none at all, and emptied their ordure into the yards or streets. Thousands of privies poured into the Thames; a city ordinance of 1357 denounced this, but the practice continued.

No electricity, no fossil fuels, no automobile (as well as no consumer gadgets iPad, mobile phones, computers etc...), no industries and basically little infrastructure and economic progress-- but looks very earth friendly, no? Or is it?

Yet is this the life that we desire?

Or is the environmental politics of earth hour all about the promotion of social control by would be tyrants and the advancement of the economic and financial interests of a few?

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