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I was reading a friends blog (very funny by the way!) and he blogged about Earth Hour.
Now although I am a fairly well read sort of guy and keep up to date with the different news media, this one almost slipped under my radar this year.
It’s not that I don’t want to “save the planet”, in fact most of my friends would describe me as a bit of a green nut; which I probably get from my father, who has been “into” recycling for about 20 years or so, long before it was the “thing to do”.
I push my family to recycle more at home, we are a one car family (I don’t drive) and I love the idea of composting and growing your own food, reducing energy consumption (which also reduces my fuel bills) and above all I don’t like to waste things. I think that is pretty green.
So why don’t I support things like Earth Hour?
I’m sure that everyone taking part was doing it for the right reasons, sitting in the dark, feeling ashamed about Mankind’s negative influences on the Planet, and it probably got a very nice “and finally” on the evening news. But how many peoples attention was drawn to the topic by all those sitting in the dark? And how many peoples attention was caught who didn’t already know about Earth Hour and worry about climate change?
It would surely have been better to use that hour (and the electricity) to have coordinated mass email and letter writing campaigns to make various stores and companies more aware of consumer power and call for them to “do their bit”. It would have been better to spend the hour sorting household rubbish and walking down to the local recycling point. It would have been better for the organisers to think up something more novel to do this year, rather than the same group of people doing the same thing, with diminishing press coverage and interest. It might have been better to donate some cash to charities and bodies that actually achieve green things (like all those firms that will offset your carbon for a fee).
Personally I think Mankind has an incredibly inventive streak, and yes we are responsible for messing our planet up a fair bit. But I think we will be able to figure out a way forward, with everyone playing their part. The one thing I am certain about is that not much is going to be achieved in figuring out a solution with the lights out!