This Saturday night between 8.30 and 9.30pm local time, earnest hippies, browbeaten parents and other folks of conscience will turn off all their lights, sit round a candle and believe they are saving the planet. Or at least appearing to save the planet, which is the same thing to a hippie.
Then, at 9.30 they’ll give up on attempts to roast a marshmallow over a candle and fire up everything in the house again. The power companies understand this stunt, which means that lots of spinning capacity will be ready for the end of Earth Hour and not a drop of oil/coal/wind/nuclear energy will be saved.
Even the WWF admits saving energy isn’t the point. The point is to make a statement about global warming and ‘raise awareness‘. There is apparently a lone guy somewhere out there who hasn’t heard that Gaia has a fevah and the only cure is more cowbell, or something. The chances of this sole soul appearing the very moment people sit in the dark ready to raise his awareness may be slim, but you never know.
UK readers may want to participate in the 2011 Earth Hour just to exercise the choice to turn out the lights before the government takes over the switch for them – or not.
Chez Bayonet will be lit brightly, joining in the counter-protest of Human Achievement Hour, a tradition also celebrated by David Menzies, who lives in Toronto and may cause hippie seizures during the darkathon:
“While everybody else has their lights off I will have every light in my house on,” said Menzies, as he prepared for his second installment in mocking the “phony” Earth Hour movement. He’s also gone a step further. “I have rented four rotating Hollywood movie lights which will light up the sky for miles,” he said. “I don’t need to give you my address because all you need to do is look to the sky.”
Other suggested ways to enjoy the life-enhancing benefits of abundant, affordable energy abound – take your pick from the suggestions here.
However you choose to spend Earth Hour, be safe and remember that setting your house ablaze with an errant candle is bad for Gaia.