This past weekend it was Earth Hour, a global climate change event in which millions of people from around the world participate in by turning off their lights. For one hour. According to the campaigners of Earth Hour this will â€œmake a statement about the urgent need for action on climate changeâ€. But isnâ€™t Earth Hour just a huge and pointless greenwash stunt to make us feel good about our self?
George Marshall, founder of the Climate Outreach Information Network and the author of Carbon Detox and the blog climatedenial.org, argues that Earth Hour is "misguided" and "counterproductive" saying it makes more harm than good.
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Photo credit: Dan Zen
Now donâ€™t get me wrong here. I am happy that Earth Hour has grown from a local event in Australia into an extraordinary global event to highlight the climate crisis. All honor to the WWF for making it to what it is today. But unfortunately I think a publicity event like this is a few years too late. Everyone already knows what kind of devastating threat man-made climate change is, although a few people foolishly try to deny it.
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Instead I think Earth Hour should be transform from a one hour event into a day of action. A day where you go out on the streets and protest in favor of action and against inaction. The elected officials and the media will definitely take notice of a day like that.
Last year on the day before Earth Hour I asked if this, one hour, of turning down your electricity, is all we in the developed world is willing to do? I hope that is not the case. But time is running out.
Simply put. If this is all we global citizens can muster up in support for meaningful actions against climate change, well, then we are pretty much screwed.
What do you think? Does Earth Hour make more harm than good? Is Earth Hour just a pointless publicity stunt? Or does it actually send a strong message about the urgency for action on climate change?