Earth Hour: symbol or token?

There have been lots of attacks on Earth Hour by bloggers. A perverse twist has emerged according to the libertarian/conservative blog Australian Politics:

An anti-Earth Hour group urging Australians to keep their lights blazing this weekend is a sign of waning interest in environmentalism, experts say. The global Earth Hour movement – founded in Australia in 2007 – is asking people to switch off their lights for one hour on Saturday night. But a Facebook group is urging people to “keep every light you own running during Earth Hour”.

Australian interest in environment issues wanes as Facebook group urges Earth Hour power ON

I won’t be participating for a few reasons:

  1. Some of us are going to Etihad Stadium at Melbourne’s Docklands to watch the AFL football match between St Kilda and Sydney. The mind boggles as to the carbon contribution of all those lights. Bringing back more daytime games would be an unlikely solution. Bad for television, bad for sponsors. Money makes the world go … Another local sporting event this weekend is the Grand Prix at Albert Park. Noise and carbon pollution!
  2. Did our bit in 1996 when the lights went out two thirds of the way through a night game between the Saints and Essendon at Waverley Park. They played the remainder of the match during the week. We still lost!
  3. We’re feeling holier-than-thou as we had solar electricity installed this month. A bit useless at night but thanks to the government for the subsidy.

I’m usually into symbolic gestures or tokenism (depending on which side of the skeptical chasm you stand). Anyway they can turn the lights out tonight if we’re getting beaten. It was a relief in ’96.

Kevin Rennie

Update by joni: Here is a before and after image of the bridge in Sydney (sorry about the noise in the image)

BeforeAfter