Simon Patkin is not giving up his one-man campaign against Lights Out (from the SCMP):
It is very disappointing that Wellcome, ParknShop, Mannings and Ikea have agreed to support the Lights Out campaign. (Retail chains turn on to lights-off campaign, July 10). I believe this to be representative of a so-called "pragmatic approach" to green groups in general.
Instead of appeasing green groups and fulfilling their desire to plunge Hong Kong into darkness for three minutes, businesses should take a principled approach. They should defend the idea that man must reshape his environment to survive.
They should also identify this Lights Out campaign as part of what can be seen as a larger, systematic attack on modern society by environmentalists. For example, green groups have previously targeted plastic bag manufacturers, shark fin restaurants, property developers and electricity suppliers.
It's time for businesses to realise that any support for green groups is corporate suicide. They should not only actively band together to oppose Lights Out, but should also stop funding green groups entirely; especially those green groups that threaten their business. Where possible, these businesses should also refuse to deal with any organisation that helps the Lights Out campaigners.
Hong Kong needs progress, not regression to thrive and prosper. Lights Out is one giant leap backwards.
Simon Patkin, Causeway Bay
I can see that pragmatism would not appeal to Simon, but large corporations do not commit suicide by listening to their customers and adapting the way they do business. Quite the contrary, in fact.
On Saturday, Alastair Robins from Lights Out challenged Simon on one of his favourite phrases
I must ask him to clarify what exactly he means when he states that supporters of the Lights Out Hong Kong 888 campaign should instead, "defend the idea that man must reshape his environment in order to survive".
Does he perhaps mean reshaping the land by dynamite fishing or slope clearance? Or perhaps he is a firm supporter of filling in the harbour so that no one may drown?
I rather fear that he does, Alastair.