Earth Hour

I didn’t “do” Earth Hour this year.  Two years ago I turned out all the lights as requested, and I sat in the dark. It was a very long hour. Last year I was better prepared. I sat in the light of some candles and played solitaire. This year, I didn’t bother.

I can’t figure out why we are asked to do it. Oh, I know all the environmental issues, and I realize it’s a gesture, but still it doesn’t make much sense to me.  Do we really need yet another set of pictures showing us what our capital cities look like with the lights out? Anyway, as my niece said, “I’ll turn out all the lights when I go to bed.”  That’s a palm smack to the forehead, it’s so obvious.

Of course, it’s all a part of the ongoing campaigns to save the earth from its human inhabitants, but I have to say I’m getting a little ho-hum about it all. I have been reducing, reusing, and recycling my whole life. That’s what you do when money is tight. Not much changed for me when the environmental missionaries started their work. I’m glad we now have places to take our recyclables, and that the waste management people now sort the trash. It’s good that we don’t harvest too many trees or cod, but please, you guys, let it be. I get it.

As I left the library today I was stopped by a charming young man with a starter beard and a knitted Alpaca hat. He had a clipboard showing a picture of burned trees, and he asked if I had heard of Greenpeace. I said, “Yes, you caused a lot of trouble in British Columbia.” He then started asking leading questions like, “You don’t want to see the rainforest destroyed, do you?” And so it went; he taught me something about palm oil in beauty products, and then asked me if I wanted to join their organization.

Before walking away I said, “No. I won’t join Greenpeace” and when he asked why, I mentioned my concerns about some of their guerrilla tactics. I also, very briefly, said I could not support the apparent lack of concern for the lives of native people negatively impacted by their “successes.” In particular, I identified the Inuit and the seal hunt.  When he started talking about baby seals I knew he hadn’t done his homework.

As religions decline, good causes proliferate. On my way home I thought about the evangelical nature of environmentalist charities. Believers are fed a steady diet of a limited range of information and motivated to spread the word.  The methods of maintaining the faith haven’t changed much, and we are still burning candles in the dark.


  1. Anne, did you notice that Red Deer College is planning their Earth Day for tomorrow, April 1st?

    I’m drawn to Mike Kozlowski’s idea of biking: “I’ll share some of the challenges and advantages associated with year round cycling, some tools and strategies to get you going, and personal experiences that demonstrate how this is a lifestyle that has encouraged me to be more present, drawing me into the moment and ultimately increasing the amount of joy in my life.”

    I want to be more present, in the moment, and experiencing more joy in my life. But, those blasted bicycle seats are literally a pain in the butt. When I purchased one of those gel seats, someone promptly stole my bike!

    Maybe I’ll settle for one of the other Earth Day ideas – visit a local consignment shop here in Utah.


    • There seem to be multiple Earth Days–from 20 March to 22 April, so I guess it doesn’t matter much which date you pick.

      As for the cycling, I think I’ll stick to walking, thanks. The traffic discourages me from cycling around town. And yes, the seats are uncomfortable, too!

      Post Script: I just discovered that Earth Hour is not on Earth Day! Who knew? I will edit the post accordingly.

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