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Earth Hour 2023


This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA-NC

It’s Earth Hour tonight at 8.30 pm wherever you are.

Earth Hour is an annual event that began in 2007, which is celebrated on the last Saturday of March every year. During this event, people around the world turn off their non-essential lights for one hour, from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm local time, as a symbolic gesture to show their support for the fight against climate change and other environmental issues.

The Earth Hour event is organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), a global conservation organisation, and is now observed in over 180 countries and territories around the world. The event aims to raise awareness about the impact of climate change on the planet and to encourage people to take action to reduce their carbon footprint.

Earth Hour is not just about turning off the lights for one hour, it is also about taking action to make the world a better place. Some of the things people can do during Earth Hour include switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, reducing their water usage, using public transport instead of driving, and planting trees.

Over the years, Earth Hour has become a powerful symbol of the world's commitment to protecting the planet and has inspired millions of people to take action to reduce their environmental impact.


That’s the summary according to ChatGPT. There are criticisms of Earth Hour however. Michelle of MOTUS.AD for example, regards it as empty virtue signalling. Others see it as another form of greenwashing, namely shifting the blame yet again onto consumers, rather than fossil fuel companies or governments.

Here's a list generated by Chat GTP

While Earth Hour has gained widespread support, here are some of the criticisms:

      1.      Earth Hour is a symbolic gesture that does not lead to any significant change. Critics argue that turning off lights for one hour once a year does not have a significant impact on the environment. They argue that real change comes from consistent actions over time, rather than symbolic gestures.

2.      Earth Hour does not address the root causes of environmental problems. Critics argue that Earth Hour focuses on individual actions, such as turning off lights, rather than addressing systemic issues such as climate change and environmental degradation caused by industries and governments.

3.      Earth Hour can promote "slacktivism" or "feel-good" actions that do not lead to real change. Critics argue that participating in Earth Hour can give people a false sense of accomplishment and make them feel like they are making a meaningful difference, without actually leading to significant change.

      4.      Earth Hour can be inaccessible to some communities. Critics argue that turning off lights for an hour may not be feasible for individuals and communities who rely on electricity for essential services, such as healthcare facilities or public safety services.

      5.      Earth Hour may not be an effective way to raise awareness about environmental issues. Critics argue that Earth Hour may be seen as a one-time event, rather than a sustained effort to address environmental issues. They argue that other forms of education and awareness-raising, such as community engagement, public education campaigns, and policy advocacy, may be more effective in promoting lasting change.

It's worth noting that while Earth Hour may have its limitations and criticisms, it still serves as an important reminder to individuals and organisations to take action on environmental issues. Whether it's turning off lights, reducing plastic waste, or advocating for policy changes, every action counts when it comes to creating a more sustainable future. At the very least it will make us aware of our dependence on electricity and reflect on how we can keep the magic going without destroying the lily pad on which we sit. If enough of us take part, it might  also send a message to our elected representatives and others that we want action on climate change such as fewer subsidies for fossil fuel companies and more action on renewables than simply reducing personal consumption. 


Image by garten-gg per Pixabay