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)



7 Responses

  1. I won’t be participating for a few reasons

    I won’ t be participating for a few reasons, too. One reason was explained nicely in a quote at the above link:

    “I don’t believe the vast majority of those participating have given it enough thought to get to that point. ‘It’s helping! I don’t know how, but it’s helping! I’m helping! I don’t have to do anything else because I’m doing this now! Go me!'”

  2. While Its true enough that Earth Hour is tokenism and will make bugger-all difference to Australia’s carbon emissions (after all, they’re still gonna keep those coal-fired generators online, whether we flip the switch or no), I’m not convinced its a bad idea.

    It might get people thinking.

    As for that Australian Politics Blog you linked to, I’m not surprised they’re against it. The guy’s hero in Menzies fer fuxsakes. Anything after 1955 is some sort of pinko plot to pollute our precious bodily fluids and purity of essence. And he links to an odd assortment of blogs: Gun Lobby blogs, Anti-Obama blogs etc etc. It’s easy to see where they’re coming from, that’s for sure.

    Ultra-Conservative, certainly, but Libertarian? Pigs arse.

  3. Agreed Evan

    This is what most/all opponents fail to realise.

    Earth Hour itself will probably save zilch. Could in fact cost more. (C02, that is)

    But the awareness raised is what makes it worthwhile. It keeps it on peoples mind, and that is half of the battle. Like Kyoto, is is one of the first, tenatative steps.

    Although, as Tony points out, there are also those who do this and then think their job is done. Unfortunately, these are also the people who probably vote for……..oh, it doesn’t matter, as they have probably already forgotten, if they noticed in hte first place.

  4. T O K E N

  5. As opposed to Tokin’, which is what I’ll be doin’ next after the Crows fantastic triumph…

  6. Stone the Crows!! Toiletboss

    Yes, it was a great game to listen to, although, I did get pretty nervous at the end there

  7. No lights out here due to the aforementioned footy game. Tom R, yes indeed a meeting of equals. Well done to both teams. (Min chokes on sour grapes due to the ‘pies losing).

    However, back on topic (novelty item)..have planted 12 grevilleas, 2 banksias and 12 lilly pilly in this small suburban block since arriving and so this is the A’ family’s effort…to be improved on.

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