Toronto Star gets a bit creepy over Earth Hour

Toronto Star gets a bit creepy over Earth Hour

The dividing line between public citizens and private individuals can be murky for any media, and there’s bound to be a slip-up every once in a while when a newspaper steps too far in either direction. A newspaper could, for example, publish pictures of a young woman for no real discernable reason at all. In a substantially less creepy but still kinda weird move, they could skulk around some of Toronto’s tonier neighbourhoods, taking pictures of people’s homes in the dark. Yes, really. According to the Toronto Star, some of Toronto’s prominent greens didn’t take Earth Hour seriously enough.

The lights were going full tilt in the living room and front hall Saturday night at the home of Jed Goldberg, president of Earth Day Canada.

That evening a Star photographer showed up out front and a next door neighbour asked him what he was shooting. Shortly after the neighbour entered her home, the lights went out at Goldberg’s.

But the lights went on again minutes later, and a young man ran out of Goldberg’s saying the picture was unfair because the house has solar panels, and the family drives a hybrid vehicle.

In an interview Sunday morning Jed Goldberg said he and his wife were at a candlelight dinner party at a friend’s home a few blocks away during Earth Hour. His teenage daughter stayed home with some of her friends.

Also nabbed by the Star’s crack investigative team were energy minister Brad Duguid and former mayor David Miller, both of whom left lights running in their homes. While we haven’t been the energy minister’s fondest ally over the last few months, this story reads like it was designed to provide talking points about as sophisticated as “Al Gore says he cares about the planet, but then he flies everywhere, what a hypocrite.”

Given that Earth Hour is a bit of a joke to begin with (anyone really concerned about the Earth would do better to turn off the AC in August, and not worry about the lights in March), reacting to some prominent non-participation with this mash-up of creepy stalking is, to put it mildly, an overreaction.

• The lights were on, but they weren’t home [Toronto Star]