opposing the commercialisation of earth hour

this is the article that is going to make me unpopular with the cool people. but this article is necessary. it separates the aware from the unaware. the people who are in it for the fad. or those who really believe in its cause.

i put forth two statements on behalf of myself alone (i am not affiliated with WWF or the earth hour organisers, and my statements do necessarily not represent their stance on the issue):

statement 1:
the best place to be during earth hour is AT HOME.

statement 2:
do not attend the gatherings held in conjunction with earth hour.

the whole point of earth hour is to demonstrate that climate change is a real problem. we are wasting too much energy. we want to call for a change in policies, but in this act, we need to show that we are willing to make a change in the way we live.

having gatherings means getting people to drive to landmark locations, shopping malls etc. it also possibly means getting and event going: fancy sound systems, more lights (oh the irony!), fireworks etc. ALL OF THIS GOES DIRECTLY AGAINST THE WHOLE POINT OF SHOWING THAT WE NEED TO SAVE ENERGY. traffic congestion means fuel is being burnt. generators running means diesel is being burnt. late night events means lights will be left on until later than normal. all of this combined actually uses more energy than what it is meant to demonstrate for.

the best place to be is at home. stay at home. turn off your lights. when you stay at home, you don’t use your car. this way, you actually contribute to a reduction in energy use. this way, you actually demonstrate a reduction in energy use.

it makes me angry to know that events and concerts are being held to “celebrate” earth hour. how can earth hour be a celebration, when the celebration uses more energy than a regular evening?

earth hour is an environmental project, and i believe that this is the first thing we need to understand before we decide to support it. it makes me angry when it is turned into a fad.


in an era when we more or less have sold out everything else for money, we must draw the line where environment is concerned. protecting the environment is something you do because you believe in a greener future. not because you think it is cool and all your friends are doing it and there will be a big party for it.

so if you believe in saving energy, be at home this earth hour. more importantly, cast your vote. you cannot cast your vote while staring at a landmark with all its lights off. you cast your vote by switching your lights off at home. that is your ballot box. that is your Vote.

make it count.

update: i stand corrected on the point that earth hour will be of any reduction to energy use (thanks CK!:)).

i believe in symbols however, and if this is going to be a symbol, then i am compelled to support its original noble intentions. whether or not the demonstration achieves its purpose in invoking policy change is secondary to me.

my contention is, while people know what is earth hour, they support it not knowing what is climate change. they don’t know what is the kyoto protocol. they don’t know anything about carbon reduction and perhaps worse of all, they don’t do anything in their daily lives to conserve energy.

and this is what i personally campaign. i take the opportunity to spread awareness about the state of our environment. earth Hour, is a symbol. is a gimmick. to make things interesting. but if i could use this as a vehicle to spread the word on being more energy efficient in our daily, everyday lives, then i’m all for it.

to those who responded to me via FB and emails, you guys are awesome :)


6 thoughts on “opposing the commercialisation of earth hour

  1. methinks the original intentions are noble, and despite it being used, misused and misunderstood, it remains relevant and therefore warrants some support ;)

  2. I agree with you! If we are to “celebrate” Earth Hour, it should be at home with our family, neighbours, or both, rather than travelling (probably by car) to a location to watch a film, listen to music, etc. We should turn off the lights and, although it might sound corny, hold hands and look up at the sky (we might actually see some stars!). Regardless of our beliefs, Earth Hour is a time to reflect on the majesty of the universe and our tiny place within it. It is a time to connect with other human beings and talk meaningfully about what we can do about climate change, rather than being entertained because we have been brainwashed into believing that only consumption can make us truly happy. Indeed, the reason many people are so unhappy is because consumption doesn’t make us happy in the long term: it is like a drug that promises the world but never delivers. The world is already here: we need to connect with it, and Earth Hour gives us a reason to do for one hour what we should be doing every day!

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