Friday, 28 March 2008

Earth Hour Tomorrow!

Just a reminder that Earth Hour is tomorrow, from 8 to 9 pm your local time. I found out yesterday that my home town of Fort Saskachewan will be participating, which is very neat!

Not everyone agrees* that gestures like these make any real difference, or cause any long term habit changes, but I'm going to be radically optimistic and say that it sure can't hurt, and that you never know what small action will be the catalyst for bigger action!

*See comments


kale for sale said...

Earlier this week I pulled in my courage and contacted our high-rise building manager to inquire if they had been contacted about this event as San Francisco is one of four cities in the US officially participating. The response was not only is the building participating but he sent me a list of actions the building is already taking in other areas to be more green. And then they sent a notice to every tenant about the lights out event. It was radical optimism happening before my eyes. And they asked for more ideas on keeping things green.

Hazel Nut said...

Canada has the 2nd highest number of registered participants for earth hour tomorrow. I just registered another friend (with her permission) today so it keeps growing. I used to be quite cynical about these sorts of gestures but am changing my attitude. After all, last year it was just Australia, this year - it's world wide. If it could grow to once a month, then once a week it could make a huge impact.

jen x said...

We love Canada! Participating far south of you in Wisconsin, too :-)

green with a gun said...

It passed me by with me ignoring it.

We do things every day, leading to our household emissions being about 3.5t per person, compared to the Western average of 12t. And 2.1t of that was my spouse's trip interstate and to Japan...

I make real efforts, not token ones. I'm not a slacktivist.

I think this sort of thing does do harm, because being a token effort, it diverts people from making real efforts.

"What? But I turned the lights off for an hour last year!"

Much more useful would be Ride Your Bike to Work Mondays, or Take The Train Tuesdays, or Meatless Mondays, and so on. You're then getting people to try something out which they can continue.

Theresa said...

GWAG - Yup, I know you don't like these things at all, which is why I referenced your previous comments to my previous post on this event because I think all views are important. Thanks for reposting them here, where they are more accessible.

I don't think I'm a slacktivist though, nor that I am encouraging only token efforts. Our carbon emissions are down quite a lot (by 55% on average), and all of my days are meatless.

We make incremental changes in our lifestyle along with the incremental developments in our learning. This blog is an account of those incremental changes, along with a description of some of my 'eureka' moments. Learning takes place by considering all points of view, so once again I thank you for expressing yours here.

Nonetheless, I'll still be turning off the lights, computer and TV for an hour tonight, to be part of a global collective act, not because I think it is the answer to climate change.

green with a gun said...

I obviously don't think you're a slacktivist, just that that's the root of most people engaging in it.

For example, our federal government made the grand announcement that Parliament House would have "all non-essential lighting" turned off on Saturday night.

Why is "non-essential" lighting on at all on Saturday night in Parliament ever, when nobody but security guards are there? Are they telling us they'll be putting it back on after that?

Theresa said...

Thanks for clarifying GWAG.

I agree with you entirely about the "non-essential" lighting issue. Lights should never be left on for the sole purpose of decoration or ambiance. We stopped turning on Christmas lights last year for this reason - it just seemed so hypocritical. There are much more meaningful ways to celebrate Christmas than by using energy needlessly.