Saturday, January 17, 2009

Earth Hour - I just don't get it

I'm loathe to say - it's that time of year again.  I think the popularisation of Science is a great objective, there should be more done and more often.  For a few years now there has been an event called 'Earth Hour'.  If you don't know of it, what essentially happens is that people are asked to turn off lights for an hour.  The event itself originated in Sydney, Australia.  The event became national and then international and I think in concept it is a good idea.  However the organisation that runs it wasn't the first.  A bit of research would uncover I think Sydney Observatory attempting with some success to get Sydney City buildings to turn out their illumination and then in latter years some amateur functions managing the same.

In essence though 'Earth Hour' is simply a Green marketing event, a feel good exorcism of Green and energy wasting demons.  Like the concept of World Peace the participants cry 'If only it could be every day - then the world would be a better place'.  Soon a lot of energy will be wasted promoting this event and the event itself will cause much wastage of energy as people are encouraged to go out and organise events for 'Earth Hour'.  I can only think that the act of turning off lights is a visible signal that something is happening or maybe it's just the imprint that a neurotic Grandmother or Grandfather has had or some poor kid - who now inflicts the neurosis on us.  Then nothing more is heard for another year - and someone in the meantime is getting fat.  All that is achieved is a glowing, energy wasting example of viral marketing.

The outcome of Earth Hour is that people feel OK over wasting energy.  I think this year they've managed to run it outside daylight saving and twilight.

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