Sunday, March 29, 2009

Earth Hour 2009: The Recap

Live blogging would have been more conducive to describing my experience with Earth Hour 2009, however, since I am still a little green (excuse the pun) when it comes to blogging I did not realize that I should blog about the event while it was actually happening. Thus, a retrospective account.

First, click the link to gain some background information on Earth Hour, since that will be more efficient than my explanation. Currently, the website is a little slow to update the results of what happened last night, so I can't really expound on the global impact. In my little corner of the world, Earth Hour 2009, was just that...little. 

Based on the website it seems as though Earth Hour received a lot of international attention, however, it did not seem to get a lot of press in the U.S. When I approached my 18 housemates about participating in the event, all but two appeared dumbfounded. I found out about through WWF updates sent to my email inbox and that seemed to be the case for my other friends who were also in the know. 

Furthermore, during the actual hour in contention there did not seem to be a lot, if any, participation on a campus that is regarded as one of the most green-minded in the country. Still, we soldiered on and dutifully turned out all the lights in our large four-story for an entire hour. That is, all the lights except the T.V. As the house organizer of the event, I granted permission for the T.V. to remain on because we have a rather influential contingent of college basketball fans (myself included) that simply could not miss the Villanova-Pitt game. 

Unfortunately, with the T.V. on, my good intentioned effort to support Earth Hour seemed a little anti-climactic. Basically, we were just watching basketball in the dark with lots of little tea lights on the floor threatening a fire hazard. On a positive note, we probably saved a ton of energy because our house is usually lit up like Christmas!

Earth Hour's good-intentioned effort, like my own, may prove to be a bit anti-climactic. With the mission of presenting a global "vote for Earth" to the world leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this coming December, it is difficult to predict how an event that happened in March will influence international policy. 

On the other hand, global support for the effort in any capacity shows a growing awareness of global warming that is crucial to effective policy changes. The more people who join the movement, the more likely it is that world leaders will take notice. 

Although Earth Hour 2009 was a bit of a flop in my own house, it is worth hoping that it is impactful in December, when it really counts. And, in retrospect, it wasn't exactly a failure for me either. Motivating 18 people to turn their lights out on a Saturday night (with the exception of the T.V) is both a personal achievement and a demonstration of support for efforts to prevent global warming. 

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