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Was Earth Hour Meaningless

March 30, 2008

I read an editorial this afternoon in the Barrie Examiner from Ontario, Candada entitled "Earth Hour Meaningless." I probably wouldn't have known about Earth Hour if Google hadn't decided to support it and turn it's home page black. Earth Hour was last night and willing participants were supposed to turn out the lights from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. top raise awareness of conservation and global climate change.

The author of the editorial argued that Earth Hour was really just an unnecessary waste of time because anyone who didn't realize conservation was important wouldn't be helped by some silly event like Earth Hour. Well, I suppose we should just give up then.

I'm not so sure about Canadians but last I checked many powerful politicians in this country are still denying that global warming even exists. There are many strong and powerful interests that are greatly influencing this debate and national and international environmental policy. It will be difficult to overcome the powerful special interests that influence this policy and for Americans and Canadians to learn to live more conservatively. But that doesn't mean we should give up after a decade or so of this movement. There are significant changes in policy and human behavior that need to be made and these things won't come easily.

Did Earth Hour fix global warming? Did it make Americans or Canadians less wasteful? Well, I'm fairly sure that it didn't solve global warming but it was far from worthless. If we need to have an Earth Hour and an Earth Week, and an Earth minute and any other number of occasions to keep this important issue at the forefront of the national consciousness than its worth it.

Hats off to Google for bring this event to the attention of millions of people around the world.