Earth Hour 2011 - Go beyond the hour

In less than three weeks it's time for another annual event of Earth Hour - the global happening which millions of people from around the world participate in by turning off their lights. I have complained earlier that I think this is just a pointless publicity stunt with no real effects. This time though it seems the campaigners want to do something more substantial than just encourage people to turn off their lights for one hour. For 2011 they are asking people to go "beyond the hour":

"At 8.30 PM on Saturday 26 March 2011, lights will switch off around the globe for Earth Hour. This year, when the lights go back on, we want you to think about what you can change in your daily life that will benefit the planet."

It's just too bad that they are still focusing on individual responsibility. Individual actions are important, of course. But they will never solve our climate crisis. It doesn't matter how many of us that change our light bulbs, drive less or buy more organic food. The climate crisis will still continue head-on in full speed. We need major and far-reaching collective actions, regulations and transformation from both the public and private sector for us to have a chance of slowing down the effects of climate change. Global warming is an effect of our current economic structures, and until we deal with that fact (corporate) events such as Earth Hour will continue to be meaningless in my opinion.

Next year I hope the campaigners turns Earth Hour into "a day of action", where they organize and encourage people to go out in the streets and protest against the current inaction. I've said it before and I say it again. The only thing that will get the politicians attention are mass protests. Something which we clearly can see examples of in the Middle East these days.

What do you think? Is Earth Hour still a relevant and important climate change event?

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Simon Leufstedt
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