On Friday, WWF, Fairfax and the City of Sydney announced an event called Earth Hour. The basic premise is that on March 31, all Sydney-ites are encouraged to turn their lights off for one hour between 7.30 and 8.30pm as a statement of action relating to climate change.
I’ve been reading some of the reaction in blogland and three themes seem to emerge: 1. that the time of year is wrong; 2. that big events like this don’t achieve much; or 3. that those damn greenies just want us to go back to the stone-ages (i.e. live in darkness).
On point 1 – it is true that there is a fine window on March 31 for the night to come in after 7.30pm – but there were many, many factors at play in deciding the date, and March 31 was the best fit given all those things (mother nature, of course, does play the most important role in choice of time – the impact will be greatly reduced if it’s not actually dark).
On point 2 – the point of the event is to help people understand the link between energy use and global warming, and that their actions, collectively, can make a big difference. Commentators are right to point out that 1 hour is not going to see a huge difference in energy consumption. But the event is not the end in itself – it is a means to an end, and it is in that sense that the team at WWF (myself included) hope for success. Will the event achieve that? Who knows. But we’re certainly working towards it.
On point 3 – if they actually listened to what we have to say, they wouldn’t be saying this 😉 It’s not about going without – it’s about being smarter in how we use energy, and not wasting it. Regular readers of this blog will know what I think about it. But I doubt the naysayers are regular readers of this blog 😉
Please consider signing up for the initiative if you haven’t already to show your support for an alternative, sustainable, future.
I’d be delighted to hear your feedback (good or bad) – any questions I’ll try to answer as best I can…