Justice Louis Brandeis wrote: “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.” Greens in Östersund, Sweden acknowledged the truth of that adage when they canceled Earth Hour for the sake of crime prevention:
A Swedish town has refused to turn its street lights off for just an hour amid fears that women will fall victim to sex attacks.
Police in Östersund have taken the measure to ban Earth Hour, a festival organised to raise awareness on climate change, after 14 separate reports of sex attacks in the area.
Victims have ranged from adult women to 10-year-old girls and perpetrators have managed to avoid capture.
I confess that, after ridiculing Earth Hour a few years ago, I had completely forgotten it. This year, once again, I didn’t notice anyone turning his lights off for an hour to fight global warming.
You might wonder: have small cities in central Sweden traditionally been such hotbeds of sexual assault that townspeople didn’t dare turn off their lights? Well, no:
Police have refused to give information on the appearance of the attackers but victims have reported characteristics to be of a foreign origin.
The decision to cancel Earth Hour, which involves lights being turned off around the world at the same time, was made in partnership with the local council and comes just weeks after police warned women to stay indoors at night.
European countries have two options, apparently: they can regulate immigration to benefit their own citizens, or they can warn women to stay indoors at night. So far, they have mostly chosen the latter course, but it is hard to see how that policy preference can be sustained for long.