A collection of persuasive essays.
ON WHY EARTH HOUR MEANS PATTING OURSELVES ON THE BACK FOR DOING NOTHING AT ALL.
Facebookers are forever raising awareness by joining such awareness raising fan pages like "Cancer Sucks" and "We should help Haitian Earth Quake Victims"
It seemed stupid to me then and it seems stupid now. Because, everyone already knows that Cancer sucks. It was a self serving meaningless gesture that does nothing for anybody. Some may argue that it is "something", some kind of united gesture, at least, acknowledging that we should all agree to help Haiti, and that by at least coming together in unison that Cancer does not NOT suck, then, well, we're at least we're all one voice.
However, the ridiculous analogy is one person calling all their neighbours outside to witness the fire at the public library and the group coming together for a vote, in order to gain a unanimous decision that this is, in itself a bad thing. Once the vote is passed? Our work here is done!
Should I have seen one status message indicate that the poster had donated even $5.00 to cancer research, or Haiti, even volunteering some time towards the cause, I may have been less cynical.
And so I say with Earth Hour.
I remember the Northeast blackout of 2003, where I was in Strathroy, ON, a town of 10,000 people. For a few days there was no power save for shared candles, solar lanterns and neighbourhood barbeques as residents saved the contents of their freezers by sharing. It was a warm example of how a community could step outside the buzz of the electric grid and re-engage as neighbours and friends.
The 4% savings that Ontario showed it did not need this Earth Hour was enough to power 200,000 houses in the city of Brampton. The irony here is that this one hour every year is supposed to "raise" awareness of Climate Change, and every year, after accomplishing this, we return to our regular usage, hoping that government takes notice and makes the necessary policy changes to address that.
Hearing of people enthusiastic about lighting their candles for their quiet reading, family gatherings and general escape from the mad hum of street lights makes me wonder if maybe there isn’t something more to be gained from a chance to look at the stars with the noticeable silence that less electricity begins. Despite the constant to and fro of our own personal disagreements about Climate Change’s causes, any time we can turn the burden of our electricity use into a reason to connect as fellow humans outside of the digital fences we’ve erected is a good thing.
Earth Hour shouldn’t be about trying to make raising awareness. It should be about ourselves as communities, engaging with each other and learning that consuming less is not costly to our way of life. We should do it more often.