This post by the World Wildlife Fund discusses the importance of placing Earth Hour in a larger context. Like many Canadians, I power down all electric devices during Earth Hour. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I am committed to leading a life that is as environmentally conscious as possible. A number of people I know dismiss Earth Hour as an example of green washing; it’s something easy to do to make ourselves feel good, but once the hour is over, we return to our carbon-guzzling lives. My approach is that even one hour is better than nothing. The WWF puts a positive spin on the effectiveness of Earth Hour:
Climate change is pretty unique in that it’s not a one-time thing. We can’t just rally people together for one night and come back to it next year. We need to build an understanding that climate change is something that extends far beyond election cycles. We need to engage communities for ongoing, lasting support for change. Over the 6 years that Earth Hour has been running, we can attribute a lot of conservation achievements to broad public support. Examples of such achievements include:
- –The Green Energy Act in Ontario
- –Carbon Tax being implemented separately in both B.C. and Quebec
- –Renewable energy legislation in Nova Scotia
- –Climate change targets in all provinces and territories
- –Climate change and energy subsides remained on the G8 and G20 agendas when Canada hosted in 2010 – all made possible with local support.
Earth Hour might be a symbolic gesture, but if it raises awareness amongst even a few people, it’s worth the effort.