Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Earth Hour vs Human Achievement Hour

The weekend saw another Earth Hour:
Futures Forum: Earth Hour: 8.30 - 9.30pm: Saturday 19th March

It happened in the Philippines:
Earth Hour focused on renewables | Inquirer News

It happened in Sydney, Paris, London:
In pictures: Lights go out for Earth Hour - CBBC Newsround

There was an alternative way to spend the Hour - as reported back in 2009:
Not Taking Part in Earth Hour? How About 'Human Achievement Hour'? | GreenBiz

This alternative idea is brought to you by the Competitive Enterprise Institute:
Human Achievement Hour 2016 | Competitive Enterprise Institute

And this blog featured a piece from the Foundation for Economic Freedom last year:
Earth Hour and How the West Plays at Poverty | Foundation for Economic Education
Futures Forum: "Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century."

Here are a couple of videos:
Rejecting Earth Hour HOAX: Why you’re right to keep lights on for human progress - The Rebel
Forget Earth Hour: Celebrate Human Achievement Hour with The Menzoid - The Rebel

And here's a piece from the Australian version of the Daily Telegraph:

Earth Hour: Sixty reasons you need to lighten up
March 20, 2016
Tim Blair The Daily Telegraph

Tim Blair: Sixty reasons you need to lighten up | DailyTelegraph

Which has created quite a debate in Australia - where the whole Earth Hour thing started:

Earth Hour Australia organisers hit back at the haters

MARCH 21, 2016

The Sydney skyline during Earth Hour in Sydney over the weekend. Picture: Sam Mooy

Matt Young news.com.au@MattYoung

THE organisers of Earth Hour have hit back at criticism that the now nine-year-old campaign is a “silly fad” that should be “ignored”.

On Sky News’ Viewpoint program last night, host Chris Kenny joined social media naysayers and called out the campaign for being a “pet rock”.

Meanwhile, Earth Hour organisers have criticised Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for not switching off over the weekend “despite countless requests…to protect the places we love” and despite international momentum including support from the United Nations.

Today, Earth Hour Australia’s Manager Sam Webb responded to the criticism, calling out Australian leaders - namely PM Turnbull - for “still dragging their feet”.

“There are some very cynical people in the world,” Ms Webb told news.com.au. “There are also those who have very closely held interests that are threatened by the move away from fossil fuels on to clean, renewable energy. Sadly, a small number of powerful people make a lot of money from creating the pollution that is causing global warming and they are doing all they can to keep polluting, with no regard for the devastating impact this is having around the world.”

Ms Webb said Australian leaders aren’t keeping “up with the demands of the Australian people by putting strong policies in place to transition Australia as a whole away from dirty fossil fuels that are causing rising temperatures and more extreme weather, and onto clean, safe, renewable energy”.

Opponents have long fought against the campaign since its inception in 2007, arguing that switching off for an hour one day a year will make no difference to the planet’s fragile ecosystem, and in fact, could cost the planet more by switching your lights on and off.

“We need something more. Much more. An hour is just a gimmick,” wrote the Australian Business Review’s Daniel Palmer in a 2013 editorial.

“It’s a bit like the Valentine’s Day of the environmental movement. Aside from the strident environmentalists, most people who commit to it are ‘guilted’ into it. Flowers on Valentine’s Day can’t make up for 364 days of selfishness, just as turning the lights off for an hour can’t make up for 8,759 hours of lazy energy inefficiency (or 8,783 in a leap year).”

But Ms Webb says the awareness that Earth Hour generates does more for the planet than not doing it at all.

“One of the most valuable things about Earth Hour is that it is a catalyst for millions of people to have a conversation about climate change, what this means for us in Australia in particular, and why it is so important that we take action now to ensure we avoid the worst impacts of rising temperatures and extreme weather that we are currently facing,” Ms Webb said.

“We need moments like Earth Hour each year to ensure that climate change stays at the top of the agenda and so that we can continue to demonstrate to our leaders that there is huge support in the Australian community for transitioning away from dirty fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas that are causing the impacts of global warming and onto clean, renewable sources of energy like solar and wind, that Australia has in abundance.”

Earth Hour could not confirm to news.com.au how many Australians participated in the event this year, citing its most recent figures dating back to 2014, which “found that 1 in 3 Australians, or over 7 million people, took part in Earth Hour Australia”.

The campaign began in 2007 when 2.2 million Sydneysiders switched off their lights. By 2014, they told news.com.au, over 7 million Australians had joined the switch across the country.

Earth Hour Australia: Organisers hit back at ‘switch off’ haters

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