You probably know that The Green Life is founded on a simple idea: starting with simple, everyday actions, we can all make a difference in protecting the planet. That’s the idea behind Earth Hour as well: a fun, global event that we can all participate in — and one that promotes awareness of big, global problems like climate change.
I’m excited to join millions of people in switching off my lights for an hour, this Saturday 3/23, at 8:30 PM. (In your local time zone.) It’s a worldwide event, something very visible and very accessible that we can all participate in. And celebrities, too!
Here’s something that seems almost too obvious to bother stating: Earth Hour is not enough. I don’t think any of us are fools enough to turn off our lights for an extra hour, sit back contentedly and crack open a beer, thinking, “well, I’m glad we’ve saved the earth!” (Though, lots of critics of Earth Hour are harping on this notion.)
In fact, as many Green Life members and readers are often quick to point out, our global warming challenge isn’t one that we can solve by consumer action alone: it’ll require energy producers and governments to get their act together, to stop the drill-baby-drill mindset, and to promote aggressive change in the way we make and use energy, the way we get around, the way we produce and dispose of goods. These are complex systems — as consumers we’ve got to signal our support; as citizens we’ve got to push for change — but no one is pretending that we’ll solve the problem by flicking the light switch off.
We like Earth Hour. It helps spark conversations about global warming, energy consumption, problems and solutions. If you are just starting to connect the dots and figure out how to create a greener future — then welcome on board, and we’re going to need your help. You can start by flicking that light-switch.
P.S. Now, if some coal-burning company attempts to clothe itself in green goodwill by embracing Earth Hour, then we’d be upset. Oil rigs, please don’t turn out your lights and pretend you’re “saving the planet.” Or you’ll hear from us!
Photo credit: both from Earth Hour Global, via Flickr. And yes, that second one is by Shepard Fairey!