- I'm a big fan of Earth Hour. Same thing applies to Earth Day, and any other event designed to raise awareness, generate discussion and motivate proper behaviors.
- I have no interest in debating whether global warming is or is not a myth. It's patently obvious that human behavior is wrecking the planet. We need to fix it. Arguing over labels is pointless.
- I'm on the fence as to whether headline-generating events do more harm than good in the long-term drive to repair our planet.
My issue isn't with the event itself, but in the way some folks choose to use their involvement to balance off eco-piggish behavior the other 364 days of the year. They'll turn their lights off tonight and broadcast it, often loudly and obnoxiously, to the world, and then tomorrow morning they'll be hopping into their Hummers to pick up cigarettes and subs from the convenience store four blocks away. Their hypocrisy galls me more than a little, because they'll be the first ones to justify their wasteful ways by saying they can afford it. They bought the Hummer. They fill it with gas. They drive it without guilt.
That it-revolves-around-me attitude persists despite events like Earth Hour. And despite the fact that awareness-raising is helping the adults of tomorrow build the right attitudes early on, there are still too many overweight, middle-aged, Hummer-driving, self-back-patting folks out there, and they, unfortunately, outweigh anything my 9-year-old son can do at this stage of his life.
Years ago, I remember when Earth Day was a global phenomenon. But like all elements of pop culture, its star soon faded and we all went back to ignoring it when it rolled around every year (quick, without looking it up online, when is it scheduled for 2010?) What we need is sustained growth in awareness and action. What we get is a short-term, feel-goodness that may or may not go far enough in kicking all of us into gear.
I suppose none of this is too surprising. Nothing can stay at the top of the charts forever. Less than three months after an earthquake leveled its capital city and killed almost a quarter of a million people, Haiti may as well not be on the world's radar. The news crews have returned home, leaving survivors to rebuild their lives out of the global spotlight. I humbly suggest that Earth Hour, like Earth Day before it, will enjoy a similarly brief period as a media darling before it, too, fades into obscurity.
To which the planet would be perfectly justified in wondering, "What then?"
Your turn: Thoughts?