This past Saturday millions of men, women and children turned off the lights to observe something called Earth Hour.
I first heard about this phenomenon a few years ago. It’s a nobel idea but I have a few questions about how it works:
1) Why are we focusing on what individuals consume when most waste is created by structural inefficiencies and large corporations? Recycling one glass bottle or turning off that light is meaningless if you don’t overhaul the system. It isn’t easy to change public policy, of course, and it isn’t something one does by sitting in the dark for an hour…but it’s the only way anything is actually going to improve.
2) Is technology evil? I find it kind of odd that Earth Hour is about not using technology. A lightbulb (or any other manmade item) is just a tool. Yes, they can be misused but they aren’t inherently “bad”…or “good”! It all depends on how you use them.
3) Is environmentalism a religion? Ok, so this question is a little facetious. It is odd to see so much attention paid to what one does for one hour once a year, though. How do you bridge the gap between that ritual – however meaningful it may be for those who participate – and what people do the other 8759-8783 hours of the year?
Did you participate in Earth Hour this year? What do you think of my questions?