why I skipped Earth Hour 2008 . . .
October 29, 2008
and why I changed my mind for 2009.
Earlier this year the big buzz was earth hour – everyone would collectively turn off their lights and appliances for one hour to raise awareness of the need to take action on climate change. It would be a representation of how little steps by many people can make a difference. I couldn’t pinpoint what bothered me about it, but I had a pretty extreme reaction – I was not going to participate. It’s not that I have a problem with doing things that reduce our impact – it’s normally just the opposite. So why did I skip it?
I have a problem with token behaviour with no substance or sustenance. A lot of the people who planned on turning their lights off didn’t do, or plan to do, much else for this earth – in fact they often openly scorned attempts at reduction. I was afraid that this token event would allow them to feel that they had done their “enviro-duties” for the year, and that they could now jump into their SUVs and shake their heads at all the people who missed the opportunity to go green. But it was more than that.
To be honest, it really irked me that people who had never taken a moment to consider the environment, were now momentarily evangelical about it – preaching to me and looking down on me, telling me about the things that I had continually told them about. The environment was now fashionable – and these people were clamouring to be the first to wear it. I should have been ecstatic that they were finally getting it, but sadly my ego was in the way.
Now I am trying really hard to put my ego aside and embrace any change in the right direction- no matter how small or temporary – because it normally contributes to the greater good. And as a side benefit, I get to work on my humility. That’s why on March 28th 2009 at 8:30 pm, I will be turning off my lights.