Earth Hour is tomorrow.  My kids are asking whether I’ll be participating.  Alongside them, I will.  At the same time, I’m wondering just what does this really accomplish?  Many buildings and landmarks will power-down for that 1 hour.  It does a little bit of good, but really, if it doesn’t produce any life change, then really, what’s the point?  To feel like we did something?  To put our conscience to rest at least for 1 hour?  It’s like other artifically-generated remembrances like Valentine’s day or Father’s day; if we really cared, we’d show our appreciation and affection everyday in meaningful ways, not just on designated days.

It seems, at least in North American western society, we do these little tokens to clear our collective conscience so we can continue on without really making a change in our lives.  If we really want to make a significant impact on the environment, we’d make lifestyle changes that would actually produce a sustained result.  These little tokens seem like nothing but gimmicks and fads.  I bet, if I were to crank up my heat, turn on all my lights and crank the stereo while keeping my car idling in front of my house for that 1 hour, I’d be frowned upon.  “Oh, he doesn’t respect the earth because he doesn’t observe Earth hour.”  Yet the collective damage of those same people with their 3 SUVs in their garages ready to throw up another smog cloud into the sky won’t care when 9:35pm hits and all the lights crank back up once again.

Perhaps it’s time we put less emphasis on these fads/gimmicks and aimed to make sustainable change if we truly believe in these causes.