Yesterday was the first I heard of 'Earth Hour'. Where across the globe, folks turned off their lights for ONE HOUR from 8pm to 9pm. The purpose was to show concern/some action/awareness for Global Warming. Light a candle, and hang with your peeps. Feel good for a cause. Sigh. Sorry... but this is just too quaint, even for me, a self proclaimed conservationist/holistic resource management advocate.
I'm sure you can tell by my tone where I am going with this. I'll try to be tactful.
First off, perhaps yes, in a major city ONE HOUR might be a big whip, to not have those big buildings lit, restaurants, a few select bill boards. But again, IT WAS JUST LIGHTS! Restaurants still served meals (they had the use of their stoves, etc., and the restrooms were still operable, and of course hot water was a plenty)... Try it without heat, all electricity, all power. Try cooking then. Try listening to your tunes, radios, heaters kicking on and off. Try going to the bathroom or washing dishes or preparing a meal or bathing, or meeting the needs (food, shelter, hygiene) of small children without All YOUR POWER.
Seriously. Have you ever gone WITHOUT ALL YOUR POWER for 3, 4, 8 hours or even days at a time - without a heads up? We, did it for a week... before my babies were born. And, later, for three days when Sami was a baby, and this past winter, for just 4 hours... I love electricity and all it's wonders... I am so grateful for modern technology.
THAT is when awareness really kicks in... When you want to take a shower, heat a baby bottle, drink a glass of water, wash your face or under your arms, or sit on the toilet, cook a meal for your family - and all you have is a trickle of cold water (if your lucky), before the water pump no longer works... Or, here, lets add a few dimensions - your monthly womanness is at full throttle, someone in your family has the flu, or you have a newborn, or even, God forbid, one of you is hooked to a life support system.
I gotta tell you.. One hour doesn't seem 'huge' or to have a major impact - in terms of really being aware or taking big steps toward making an impact on reducing Global Warming. It's easy to plan for one hour. You can call a few folks, say, hey, come on over and we will sit together and play lets turn the lights off! Drink some wine, have some snacks. Your life really isn't impacted, and you haven't grasped the full meaning of 'going without' and needing to reduce, reuse, consume less.
Here's a recommendation... Get Real. Go for 24 hours. In the dead of Winter. Try living without all electrical power - go off the grid.. Pick a meaningful day. Winter Solstice. When the light is at it's least availability. At least you can prepare for the day, and still 'have fun' ... unlike so many whose power goes off without a heads up, during a storm or a natural disaster.
Perhaps then we can all light candles, in the dead of winter and pray for those that have gone before us, the ones that have really felt the impact of knowing what it's like to be without power for hours, days, weeks. And be grateful. For what you really have...at the flip of a switch.
I have the deepest respect for those that have chosen to go off the grid, and live their lives without electrical power. They are resourceful, and an example of really taking action.
I don't know if I could do it. I, am a wuss.