I truly don't understand this. If you want to use less energy, and save some money off of your utility bill, then get energy-efficient appliances (invented by really smart humans!). Try to make sure you don't have lights on in rooms that aren't being used. That's what we do.
"Going dark" on behalf of the Earth--which I'm afraid won't give a crap one way or the other--is anti-human to the core. Instead of bemoaning humans as some sort of blight, we should celebrate the achievements mankind has made throughout the ages. From the first humans who figured out how to control fire to Ben Franklin and Thomas Alva Edison, to peopleguys like my dad who use modern engineering knowledge to create enormous power plants to help human life flourish, we should celebrate how humans have used the resources of the Earth to create a world in which billions of humans live, create, love, and stay up late into the night simply because they can.
Now you know I have to quote from Anthem, Ayn Rand's fictional story of a civilization plunged backwards into the dark ages, a civilization that once had technology such as the light bulb but chose to lose that technology. One man rediscovered it (in case you're not familiar with the book, he has not yet discovered the word "I", his society had become so collectivized that the word "I" was lost, too--and so he uses the plural "we" instead):
We made it. We created it. We brought it forth from the night of the ages. . . .
We look upon the light which we have made. . . .
Tonight, after more days and trials than we can count, we finished building a strange thing, from the remains of the Unmentionable Times, a box of glass, devised to give forth the power of the sky of greater strength than we had ever achieved before. And when we put our wires to this box, when we closed the current--the wire glowed! It came to life, it turned red, and a circle of light lay on the stone before us.
We stood, and we held our head in our hands. We could not conceive of that which we had created. We had touched no flint, made no fire. Yet here was light, light that came from nowhere, light from the heart of metal.
We blew out the candle. Darkness swallowed us. There was nothing left around us, nothing save night and a thin thread of flame in it, as a crack in the wall of a prison. We stretched our hands to the wire, and we saw our fingers in the red glow. We could not see our body nor feel it, and in that moment nothing existed save our two hands over a wire glowing in a black abyss.
Then we thought of the meaning of that which lay before us. We can light our tunnel, and the City, and all the Cities of the world with nothing save metal and wires. We can give our brothers a new light, cleaner and brighter than any they have ever known. The power of the sky can be made to do men's bidding. There are no limits to its secrets and its might, and it can be made to grant us anything if we but choose to ask.
The Caxton Printers, Ltd. 1995. pp. 59-60.
The Earth will not care if we exterminate ourselves. If we take the lights seen here and extinguish them, the Earth will spin and revolve and all we will have done is stamp out the human race. If we annihilate ourselves, nothing will be gained, for there will be no one left to lose or gain anything.
The human mind, human ingenuity, is the only thing that can improve our lives here on our planet. Humans created candles and kerosene lamps and electric light bulbs and nuclear power. Humans will continue to improve upon existing technology and humans will benefit from it. Turning off your lights for an hour will not improve a thing, but symbolizes a willingness to return to the caveman days, as if living the short, violent lives of our ancestors is a goal we should strive for.
So I will celebrate "Earth Hour" by celebrating humans and the wonderful ways in which humans have used their minds to improve the lives of our species. I will light up my house because I don't want us to cower in the dark, afraid. I will light up my house as a beacon to those who can use their minds to make inventions (and yes! even energy-efficient ones!) that will make my life even better.
Because if we have energy problems, only humans using their minds will be able to solve them. Cursing the candle and embracing the night isn't a solution--it's a surrender.
UPDATE: More reading:
Hey, who turned out the lights? at The Rule of Reason
North Korean support for 'Earth Hour' near universal at The Rule of Reason
Protest Earth "Cower"--Celebrate Edison Hour at Kindredist
No Earth Hour at Mike's Eyes
Earth Hour Can Bite My Ass at bblog
A Righteous Anger at Titanic Deck Chairs
Earth Hour, Another Useless Ritual at Mike's Eyes
If I missed any, let me know and I'll add them in.