I’ve just read a blogpost promoting Earth Hour 2011. I think what I found more interesting than the author’s post itself were the many comments that people had left- I have to admit to not having read all of them. Of those that I did almost all were enthusiastic about the project, practically all intended to participate, some suggested other steps people can take, and many shared happy thoughts about Earth Hours past. One even interpreted the 8:30-9:30 hour as being 60 seconds- meant well though!

Symbolic? Certainly. In my view the ‘thing’ actually achieves very little other than perhaps raising awareness, and then probably only for a brief 24 hours for most (sorry for the cynicism). In the days following we will be given numbers and statistics that will show there were some savings in power consumption and participation by enormous numbers of people. But will we find out how many people actually change their own habits permanently and become responsible energy users? Will we learn how permanent any savings have become? Will there be associated announcements decrying REAL despoilers of the planet- space-shots, smelters, super-cities and such? I doubt it.

Will it be worth the effort? Probably. I hesitate to subscribe to the premise that ‘the path to damnation (or the road to hell) is paved with good intentions’. The intention is good and the more people who participate in symbolic undertakings such as this, the better, I think.

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