Earth Hour Was A Global Success
This year’s Earth Hour seems to have gone off pretty well, if the early figures are to be taken at face value. An increase in the energy saved as part of the global initiative has been reported, with some individual cities reporting results which represent a doubling of the decrease in energy use. Along with this, some cities which joined in for the first time have reported large savings of electricity which have exceeded expectations. The big headlines appear to be the Philippines, where 647 cities and towns (and an estimated 15 million people) joined in with the initiative to deliver results way beyond what was expected.
Although there has been controversy over the event, with many people and news outlets, among them FOX News, weighing in on the skeptical side of things, a cautious welcome has been given to the results that Earth Hour 2009 has managed to bring about. In The Philippines, while some data is still being ratified, more towns and cities joined in than anywhere else, with Greece coming in second. However, there are other results with importance too – not least in Delhi, India, a first time participant, where the power demand dropped by 1000 MW.
In Canada, Ontario as a province managed a saving of 6% on electricity with Toronto on its own displaying a decrease of 15.1% having posted 8.7% for Earth Hour 2008. Figures like these certainly seem to suggest that Earth Hour is getting a message through to people, and encouraging a more stable use of electricity. The skepticism which continues to ride high centres around the fact that savings on the financial side of the matter have been more or less symbolic, but this misses the point. By showing that it is possible to make large-scale energy savings, Earth Hour may yet be able to drive home the point that our dependency on non-renewable forms of energy is something that can be broken.
A message is getting through to people that if they want to cut their dependency on these forms of energy, such a thing is possible. If people can see that it is not too difficult to live without the constant use of electric lights and non-essential power-driven appliances, then it is something that can be harnessed to allow us to live a cleaner, greener future as a planet. For one thing that has come out of Earth Hour 2009 is the sheer spread of the message.
Canada has always been among the most prominent areas in the vanguard of the green movement, but the continuing advances made by this year’s most compliant countries are telling as well. Countries as distant geographically and as divergent culturally as Canada, Greece and the Philippines, along with the likes of Sweden, Ireland and Vietnam are showing an ability to take the message and run with it, something that gives us all hope for the future. With the positive news still being digested, it is now important that no-one thinks the work is done, as there is a lot still to do to ensure that the non-essential energy usage stays low, and that Earth Hour 2010 is one of the last ones we need.
To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Thegreenlivingblog.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to A Dawn Journal. This article originally published on the above website on April 6, 2009.
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