James Burke writes: Re. “An hour to ponder why Fairfax bothers turning off the lights” (yesterday, item 15). I agree with David Salter’s criticisms of the hypocrisy and futility of Earth Hour. But his “distress” at what he calls “the ethical issue: a purportedly independent media organisation adopting and endorsing a partisan, activist position” is nonsense.
Stripped of all its marketing baloney, the message of Earth Hour is that it is a bad thing to waste electricity, when the generation of that electricity produces greenhouse gases. That is no more partisan or activist than to advocate the use of seat belts to reduce trauma from traffic accidents, or to encourage smokers to quit for the benefit of their lungs.
Is Salter going to start demanding “bipartisanship” from the mainstream media on debates over vaccination, fluoridation, the Twin Towers, and how many corpses were actually dug up at Srebrenica, where one side is supported by science and the other by sinister cranks?
I’d like to think a founder of Media Watch might be more in favour of the pursuit of truth than the sort of “balance” we’ve seen promoted by Fox News, the ABC board and other politicised media.
Niall Clugston writes: Jackie French (Wednesday, comments) might be right that Anzac Day is “the day that we remember”, but obviously history is the stuff we forget.
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Like the fact that the Gallipoli campaign was fought by forces from across the British and French empires, with Australians a minority. And that the campaign was no more a disaster than the western or eastern fronts. And that the Turkish Empire was eventually conquered with the involvement of Australian troops, setting the stage for unparalleled peace and national self-determination in the region (or not, as the case may be).
And, no, Gallipoli wasn’t a “baptism of fire”. Australia joined every imperialist war possible since the First Fleet, from the Boer War back. Even in the First World War, Australia’s first battle was the capture of German New Guinea, not Gallipoli.
But official commemorations are really a case of false memory syndrome, aren’t they?