Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Earth Hour Brings Out the Best, Worst in Humanity

Earth Hour was observed on March 28 across the world, as more than 1,000 famous landmarks and households and businesses across the country turned off their lights and electronics in a show of solidarity.

The day was designed as a political statement to show how important it is to get serious about climate change.The event was deemed a success as researchers predicted that the amount of participants would top the 2008 Earth Day total of 53 million people.

Of course, much more action is needed to solve the problem of global warming. The main problem is that no matter how many steps are taken in the United States and other well-developed nations like Great Britain, the staggering potential growth in population and energy usage in India and China will continue to eclipse other nations’ progress.

That’s not to say it’s India and China’s fault, they have the right to experience a comfortable lifestyle as much as people in the US do. But it’s going to take a monumental effort to keep global warming in check and to stave off disaster in the coming years if you want to be brutally honest about it.

While the amount of people participating in Earth Hour was encouraging, some of the complaining I saw in the days leading up to the event was embarrassing to say the least:

“I’m going to make sure to turn on all my lights that day and leave them running all night long!”

The above is an example of one of the comments I saw while perusing Earth Hour articles in major newspapers. Resistance to the idea that global warming is an issue is still strong.

Personally, I attribute it to pure gluttony and laziness. Other people scoffed at the notion of Earth Hour by saying “Pfft, one hour? It won’t make much of a difference anyway so what’s the point?”

Earth Hour was mostly about the message, and the numbers show that plenty of people still care about making the world a “greener” place. We’re all going to have to shake that attitude one-by-one if we’re going to preserve the future for our children on this planet.

Even if global warming does somehow appear to be not as big of an issue as most scientists are making it out to be, what’s wrong with developing cleaner energy and taking good care of our natural resources?

We want to sustain life on this planet for many generations, not just “the next 100 years” or whatever other conservative estimates people like to throw out there.

To conclude, my message is this: ignore the complainers, and keep fighting the good fight.