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Earth Hour: Is it a right approach for sustainability?

It all started in 2007 when a visionary Andy Ridley initiated an Earth Hour Concept resulting in the formation of a partnership between WWF, Leo Burnett and Fairfax Media to address climate change. The Initiative has been a change maker and spread its echoing message from political galleries to common man’s doorstep. Five years later, the question strikes: what have we achieved?  Where we successful to create a wider impact? Did the Earth hour message reach far and wide? Have a Common man’s feelings changed about Earth Hour? The answers can be condemnatory.  Can an hour change mindset and traditional practices of people and government.

Applaudable progress when the clock ticks to reach.  Started by 2.2 million Sydneysiders in 2007 the Initiative is now celebrated as a common festival by 4616 cities of 128 countries. Cities mark their participation by dimming the light of their monuments.  The other good news is that WWF is thinking beyond Earth Hour this year. Participating individuals and organizations are being encouraged to share their commitments to continue the good work they’ve started.

Undeniably, this noble initiative has conveyed strong message to people to make this planet greener and sustainable. The impact of Earth Hour has forced many governments & corporate houses to discontinue their environment endangering projects for mere profits. Still I think the Earth Hour Project is concave.

According to the Earth Hour website, one of the highlights of the event is that “people transcend race, religion, culture, society, generation and geography, switching off their lights in a global celebration of their commitment to protect the one thing that unites us all – the planet.” Sounds good when put on paper but tough to implement.  But there’s a poignant reality that contrasts quite sharply with the 1.3 billion participants of Earth Hour: the over 1.6 billion people who involuntarily participate in Earth Hour every day because they don’t have access to electricity. But even those numbers pale in comparison to the 3 billion people who rely on traditional biomass such as wood for cooking, heating, and light according to the United Nations.

Initiatives are meant to inspire and involve.. It’s an ultimate decision of a person what it imbibes and how far he has more developed as a person.  If you care about the planet, then you have to care about the people you share it with.  An Hour can’t decide a fate of a planet but yes it can certainly define your future course of action and unfortunately an earth hour is woefully blind to a huge portion of those people and the issues which they live with every minute.

Photo Credit: Earth Hour  portal.

Copyright  © – Ganesh Gupta.



6 thoughts on “Earth Hour: Is it a right approach for sustainability?

  1. s it just a PR vehicle for corporations

    Posted by Daniel Boon | July 10, 2012, 8:57 pm
  2. To Save Earth from major climate change consider these:

    Move cities Underground- see Logans Run movie
    More cities into Domes
    & or Undersea.
    & to the Moon

    Move population into Space: Mars,Moon,Io, planets & L-5 points.

    Then the Earth can become a new Eden again after 100 yrs time.

    Everything on Earth would use solar, wind , biofuels, etc for energy
    Combo Low & Hi Tech.
    Eco Tech Living.
    No more hi rises.
    More suburbs & rural areas.

    Posted by Stephen Russell | July 10, 2012, 8:58 pm
  3. It’s an approach among others. That’s all.

    I mean…The first time it has been made, it was surely impressive. Now, it’s common and used because after it’s done, there is nothing coming with it. It’s finally another party like Happy New Year from which we get out with nothing at all. And we repeat it year after year without questionning its utility or reasons for making it.

    Sustainability starts from a point, like the Earth Hour, and must continue with a plan of action. This latest portion is missing, and makes Earth Hour just a reminder but with no action and no deliverables.

    Why not suggest to persons who organizes Earth Hours through the worls to work on an action plan and deliverables for the next Earth Hour in your area.

    Posted by Marc Brousseau | July 10, 2012, 8:59 pm
  4. I have been trying to capture that same approach to sustainability. While our area is viewed as pristine and forest recreation to many, there is much history and current practices that engender a deeper consideration of the same principles you bring forward. All that is green, is not golden, and deserves the same depth of scrutiny of non-renewable energy sources.

    Posted by Dorette English | July 10, 2012, 9:00 pm
  5. Is Earth Hour the right approach for sustainability? Earth hour seems to be a powerful tool for awareness. However, we have a huge attribution gap between an awareness activity, and the world actually changing towards a more sustainable economy. So, maybe it is a good approach, maybe not. We can hardly find out. More easily measurable is the impact of financial incentives towards sustainability (such as e.g. fossile fuel taxes — those countries which had high energy prices during the past 20 years are having much more energy-efficient economies today).

    Posted by Franz von Weizsäcker | July 12, 2012, 10:11 pm
  6. Bonjour my name is June and I’m a writer and this site really helped me. I’m enthused! Thank you!

    Posted by swtor powerleveling | July 21, 2012, 10:35 am

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