Are You In The Dark About Earth Hour?

Posted: Friday, March 27, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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People of the world UNITE!
Shut off all your lights and electrical appliances Saturday evening between 8 and 9pm local time (or 8:30 to 9:30 depending on who you ask) because it’s EARTH HOUR.
Just think, if you hadn’t checked out Lund at Large today, you might have missed your chance to participate in this global election aimed at saving  planet Earth. 
Earth Hour was dreamed up by the World Wide Fund for Nature/World Wildlife Fund; The WWF. (Not to be confused with the World Wrestling Federation)
Here’s the official explanation from the organization’s web site:
This year, Earth Hour has been transformed into the world’s first global election, between Earth and global warming. For the first time in history, people of all ages, nationalities, race and background have the opportunity to use their light switch as their vote – Switching off your lights is a vote for Earth, or leaving them on is a vote for global warming.
Well..there you go. You’re either with us or agin us. 
I’m not quite sure how the WWF  plans to wrestle with the problem of getting an accurate world wide head count unless they have access to some super secret satellite that can spy down on us to see if our lights are on or off…but they plan to present their findings to world leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009.
Silly, you say? Well, some apparently don’t think so. Last year, for example, lights at global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome’s Coliseum, the Sydney Opera House and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square were all unplugged for an hour.  (Glad I wasn’t on the bridge)This year, they’re hoping a billion people in 74 countries take part. Apparently parts of Africa, Siberia and South America are exempt.
WWF does ask only non essential electrical items be shut down. Don’t for example, turn off your headlights if you’re on the road at that time. Plus, it must be okay to run your computer because the web site would like participants to blog them during the blackout. I wouldn’t  be shutting down my house alarm either because I can imagine Burglars are salivating at the upcoming opportunity to enter a dark house without setting off any bells or whistles.
I’ve always had a problem with these meaningless symbolic gestures.For example, when a group gets together to sleep outdoors overnight in a cardboard box to get a “feeling” of what it must be like to be homeless..then gather afterwards over a cup of hot chocolate to discuss the problem and congratulate themselves.  You want to do something for the homeless? Take a homeless person home for a hot meal and a warm bed.
Even the WWF admits that this proposed 60 minute stand-down won’t do much to save electricity or reduce our dependence on foreign oil or make managers at generating plants nervous. But it will raise AWARENESS about the dire straits our planet is in.
My thinking is such noble causes often have just the opposite effect; once people hear about Earth Hour..they’ll crank up every light in the house in open rebellion.
What do you think? Feel free to comment below.

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