So I noticed a lot of people felt really strongly about Earth Hour, both from the tree-hugging side, and almost equally from the skeptic side. I was surprised at how vehemently some people were scorning the idea, and I wanted to understand why they felt that way.
For those who haven’t heard of it, Earth Hour was intended to be a form of protest designed to raise awareness and to make people think about their energy usage. Basically the gist of the nay-sayers is that one single hour won’t make a difference. In fact, most sources have estimated that Earth Hour 08 only represented a 2% drop in overall power usage, which is not a huge number to be sure.
While I personally think that attitude is kind of missing the point, I also respect that many people think such protests are worthless without an overall commitment to change, and of course that’s very true.
My take on it is that maybe if more people sit down to a candlelit dinner, or a quiet hour or two of board games one night a week, that they might be surprised at how that hour improves their lives overall. One of my neighbors mentioned how she kind of liked it when the power went out because it made her kids turn off the video games and they were able to reconnect over a game of Scrabble.
(creative commons photo by avixys on flickr)
Earth Hour or no Earth Hour, who wouldn’t like to spend more quiet quality time with the ones they love most? Maybe if more people saw it that way, they wouldn’t think it was such a “silly” protest.