Friday, 29 March 2019

Earth Hour: 8.30pm: Saturday 30th March

Tomorrow at 8.30pm UK time is Earth Hour - when we are encouraged to switch off a few lights and appliances: 

This Earth Hour, join millions around the world to turn off the lights and speak up about why nature matters. #Connect2Earth

Nature is not just... - YouTube
Earth Hour |

It shows how mainstream these things have become when the World Economic Forum is keen to embrace the movement: 

Earth Hour 2019: switch off your lights, and become an innovator

29 Mar 2019
Sid Das
Director of Digital Engagement, Earth Hour Global

Let’s take 30 seconds to think about innovators. What do they look like? Where do they work? What do they do? You might imagine labs, research centres, NASA, spacesuits and white coats.

Some years ago, I would probably have agreed with you. Then - ironically enough, in a moment of “lights out” - I saw the light. The truth is each of us is an innovator. It has nothing to do with what you wear or where you work. Technology isn't innovation - the ability to transform lives is.

On March 30, the world will witness 24 of the most inspiring hours for the environment, as people around the world come together for WWF’s Earth Hour. From Singapore to Santiago and Nairobi to New York, millions will unite, switch off their lights and speak up on why nature matters. For me, each of them is an innovator.

Not because switching off a light takes much innovation, but because they share the vision that together, we can show the world we care about climate change and nature loss. These two threats are our planet’s biggest environmental challenge yet. It is easy to put your hands up and say the stakes are stacked against us, or they are too high to try. But each of the individuals who participate in Earth Hour has decided their ambition is higher, and I believe this changes the game entirely. Together, they are participating in creating a new future that will change the world we live in, not just for our generation but for our children, their children and so on.

In the past decade, Earth Hour has inspired millions to support and participate in critical climate and environmental initiatives, helping drive climate policy, awareness and action worldwide. Among its highlights, the movement has helped create a 3.5 million-hectare marine-protected area in Argentina and a 2,700-hectare Earth Hour forest in Uganda; ban all plastics in the Galapagos; plant 17 million trees in Kazakhstan; light up homes with solar power in India and the Philippines; and push new legislation for the protection of seas and forests in Russia. In 2018, French Polynesia moved to protect five million square kilometres of its seas to preserve ocean ecosystems. This was made possible because ordinary individuals like you and me decided that it was time for change.

The truth is that when it comes to climate change and the loss of nature, sometimes the numbers and facts just seem too big. Every year seems to be the hottest year on record. Each new disaster leaves a new reality for hundreds, if not hundreds of thousands, in its wake. WWF’s 2018 Living Planet Report shows an average decline of 60% in the population size of some species in less than 50 years.

We feel daunted and dwarfed. But it's exactly at times like these that we need to remember each one of us can innovate. Using the power of digital and social media to spur your friends, family and colleagues to take action will transform lives, across generations. If that isn’t innovation, I don't know what is.

When we started Earth Hour in Sydney 2007, we wanted a voice that could speak to those who were completely ambivalent about climate change. Five percent of people cared and 5% thought it was a hoax, leaving 90% who were a potential tipping point. We never imagined that today, Earth Hour would be the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, spanning more than 7,000 cities in more than 180 countries and territories. To think it all started with one symbolic gesture, one light switch.

The power of symbols to generate real change is amazing. In today’s social media-driven world, where 140 characters are too much to take in, the reach that symbolic gestures have is incredible. Indeed, if society really is at a tipping point, these gestures are what build intrigue and tip people over into taking concrete action.

Earth Hour 2019: switch off your lights, and become an innovator | World Economic Forum

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