Why Earth Hour Isn't A Joke

earthPeople love to hate Earth Hour. As with last year and the year before, I found myself in several heated debates tonight with people who think it's a big joke and enjoy flaunting their refusal to participate in my face. You know the type... from 8:30 to 9:30 they ensure every light in the house is on and that they're running their dishwasher, washing machine, dryer and vacuum.

It's not about the energy consumed during Earth Hour. One hour with the lights off won't make a difference in the grand scheme of things. It's a symbolic gesture meant to educate and promote conservation. It's an awareness campaign.

My kids come home from school talking about Earth Hour, because they discuss it in class. I make a big deal about Earth Hour for my kids and use it as a tool to discuss other things we can do to reduce the strain on mother earth's natural resources. It's a great excuse to spark the conversation, and that's more than enough reason to celebrate it year after year.

It's not a joke. Stop fighting it and turn off your damn lights!

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Comments (24 - click here to join in!)


How about we use Mike Harris' idea and have a free market in energy which would allow the true cost of power to be paid by the customer?

March 27, 2010 @ 11:47 PM



March 28, 2010 @ 1:10 AM


The more we conserve, the more we pay, so I might as well just keep up with business as usual. Everyone's favourite Ontario premier's increasing our hydro bills to fund his ideas for conservation. During a recession, I'd much rather conserve dollars. The single hour of turning my 3 lights off in here won't do much to help me do that.

March 28, 2010 @ 1:13 AM


Well said Mike.

Those members of the Flat Earth Society are the same folks who don't want to recycle, can't see the harm of the tar sands and don't think they should have to wear seat belts. Insular is the word. My little world, my little brain. That's it. Big picture people, big picture. While the idea of Earth Day is a little naive (of course, no one believes turning off lights for an hour is going to save the earth!) it's the idea that counts. It's called symbolism people. Wearing a poppy on Remembrance Day won't stop wars and wearing a daffodil won't cure cancer - but it symbolises an acknowledgement and an awareness of the problem. What's wrong with that?

March 28, 2010 @ 5:52 AM

Il Duce

Nothing's wrong with it Romy. But what you, Toronto Mike and the members of the More Advanced Society fail to realize is, we (the Flat Earth Society) don't have to buy into it.

We all do our part to reuse, recycle and conserve in helping make our world a better place. Are we monsters if we don't turn our lights off during Earth Hour? Should I feel guilty? I think not. I think this is more of the ‘Chicken Little Syndrome’ and nothing more. Everyday should be 'Earth Day/Hour.'

As far as the 'symbolism' thing and the comparisons to Remembrance Day and Cancer references, may be a bit of stretch. But then again what do ‘we’ know.

March 28, 2010 @ 12:32 PM


Earth hour??? What's that?

March 28, 2010 @ 2:40 PM


I take your point on board, "Duce", about everyday being Earth Day. But I think the analogy to poppies and dafodils are valid. To use your reasoning, just because I don't "buy in" to wearing a fake plastic flower on my lapel or a dafodil wouldn't make me anti war vet or non caring about cancer sufferers, but if I made a big point of not wearing a poppy because I didn't "buy into the hype", I think most people would think that I was missing the point of the gesture - as I think Flat Earthers are.

March 28, 2010 @ 3:09 PM

Freddie P.

"More advanced society" I love it. Perfect.

As for the Romy's poppy and dafodill analogy.. you lose me here.
We "KNOW" veterans fought in the war and died for their country.... we "DON'T" know if half the global warming / tempeature change bullshit we're being fed is valid.
Big difference.

March 28, 2010 @ 3:50 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Freddie my man, I couldn't resist... this one's for you.

March 28, 2010 @ 3:54 PM


One hour a year accomplishes nothing.

Yeah I know its more about awareness but I'm already aware that global warming caused by man is just a bunch of crap.

March 28, 2010 @ 3:56 PM


A gesture LOL. Get REAL Mike. You turn off your lights for an hour but still continue to eat your 3000 km Caesar salad & enjoy fresh mango's in March. And live in a region of Canada that defines "Urban Sprawl". You think that banana you just ate was grown in Leamington?

Earth Hour was designed to pacify the guilt of a modern world filled with energy pigs. You know the urban granola hippies that think they're so green yet they pour European Beer in their glass (shipped 8 000 kms so you can look like a hipster). Or the dudes that buy a Hybrid car but forget it takes the energy equivalent of 50 barrels of oil to produce that car.

I didn't turn off my lights. Then again 100% of my electricity is produced by a wind farm in Pincher Creek Alberta.

And I noticed someone dissing the tar sands (oil sands is the correct term). The single largest source of poison & green house gases in Canada is the Nanticoke Coal Fired Generation plant. I love when Eastern douche bags get mad at the oil sands. Same folks burn more gasoline per capita than any other province in Canada. And no one in the East seems to mind the 21 billion in Petrol dollars sent to Ottawa yearly to bail out GM, fund your hospitals or give you a deal on tuition. Then that 'dirty oil money' is a good thing. And of course let's not forget that Toronto certainly doesn't suffer from the 100 billion dollars of investment (banking, finance) in the oil sands.

So Mike, do you use renewable energy?

March 28, 2010 @ 4:08 PM


Hey Freddie P - you're the one who used the word "symbolism" in your post on your site, not me. Obviously, wearing a poppy is symbolic, the same as turning off your lights for an hour.

And Irvine... please, keep the Western Rube arguments to yourself, will ya?

March 28, 2010 @ 7:57 PM


I can understand indifference toward earth hour - but why the anger toward it? Seriously...

As Romy said, it's just meant to create awareness about this sort of thing. Why would that piss anyone off? Seems like a pretty reasonable idea to me.

March 28, 2010 @ 8:55 PM


Fred - lets say your suspicions are right and the climate change stuff is bullshit. What do we really lose in trying to be a little more careful with things like carbon emissions? In the big scheme of things, probably not that much.

But lets say you're wrong, and the climate change stuff is very real. Then we have an awful lot to lose by sticking our heads in the sand.

Why not just err on the side of caution in this situation? Why take a stand against this of all things?

March 28, 2010 @ 8:58 PM


If I had a dollar for every questionable cause that was ever floated, I wouldn't need to worry about paying too much to support Ontario's new green energy initiative. And, like it or not, the existence or lack thereof of anything related to global warming is still questionable, unless you're in the direct employ of the UN.

Also: not turning lights off for an hour == Earth is flat? Really? Wow. No black and white here, is there?

March 29, 2010 @ 6:57 AM


Also: Irvine +1. Good points all over.

March 29, 2010 @ 7:00 AM

Freddie P.


That comeback from the "advanced society" is wearing thin.

Do you really think I "don't" want all those wonderful things for the planet earth?"

Of course I do, what I don't want is to be taken for a sucker by an growing industry that's fuelled by fear mongering.

Earth Hour is silly. Probably lucrative for a select few, but silly just the same.

March 29, 2010 @ 8:15 AM

Chris in EY

Of course they teach it in school -- that's how the government gets their agenda in, case in point the global warming fake out. They present one side to get kids to guilt their parents. I'll never participate. Of course I won't intentionally increase our consumption. I believe we have to a better job than what our buy and throw out society currently does. However the people who see the benefits of decreased consumption will do it naturally. Earth Hour will not change anyone's opinion in a positive way; it will only increase the other side.

I bet if they save all the energy they consumed to promote this crap they'd send a better message.

March 29, 2010 @ 10:54 AM


Quoting Irvine:

"And I noticed someone dissing the tar sands (oil sands is the correct term). The single largest source of poison & green house gases in Canada is the Nanticoke Coal Fired Generation plant. I love when Eastern douche bags get mad at the oil sands. Same folks burn more gasoline per capita than any other province in Canada. And no one in the East seems to mind the 21 billion in Petrol dollars sent to Ottawa yearly to bail out GM, fund your hospitals or give you a deal on tuition. Then that 'dirty oil money' is a good thing. And of course let's not forget that Toronto certainly doesn't suffer from the 100 billion dollars of investment (banking, finance) in the oil sands."

Toronto will do fine regardless of Alberta. Ontario has been sending transfer payment to other provinces for many decades and we fund our own hospitals. Nanticoke is scheduled to close. (The same can't be said of the oil sands.) Earth Hour is a symbolic gesture about awareness. You'd have to be really ignorant to think the point was to reduce greenhouse emissions by turning off lights for one hour a year. Alberta is not some hero of Canada, so get off your high horse. I don't know why you're so bitter. The east built this country.

March 29, 2010 @ 11:18 AM


@A.R.: And the east is doing a pretty fine job of ruining it too. I can say that, what with living in the east and all.

Also, like it or not, Irvine makes several valid points in his comment. I'll make this one. Ontario's officially a have not province (thanks, Dalton). Which means some of Alberta's oil money? Yeah, it just got deposited in Ontario's bank account. And promptly wasted before we even got it, but that's neither here nor there.

March 29, 2010 @ 11:52 AM

Il Duce

@ Romy

Your comparison is still a stretch and being a 'flat earth member', you lost me with your response to my post. Like FreddieP said, the War really happened and Cancer is still killing.

Not wearing a poppy or buying a dafodil doesn't mean you don't support the causes. Saying you don't believe they exist can be proven by fact and history. War and Cancer are factual, global warming is something that a bunch of westerners have invented to make us all feel guilty.

Global warming is now an industry that must convince the world that there is a problem to ensure it's existence. Like I said, everyday is Earth Day.

March 29, 2010 @ 4:24 PM



I would encourage you to read more thoroughly.

March 30, 2010 @ 5:30 AM

Mark Panzani

Awareness is great, but ignorance appears to be bliss in most peoples cases.

It is really sad to see that schools are teaching all the great things "we" can do to help the earth on the "earth hour".

When I ask someone, Q: Do you know about [see below]...
[Legend: Question, "typical response"]

1. Earth Hour. - "Yay, I'm all for it!"
2. Earth Day. - "Oh yeah!?"
3. Earth Week? - "Week what now?"

...this is the typical response I get.
Please tell me that's not ignorance.

When I went to high school, we had Earth Week. We talked about all the things we could do to help the planet, learned about future technologies that would change the world, went out to plant trees.
Whatever happened to that?

Earth hour, day or week is not a joke, rather human awareness about our environment and our planet have become sadly a joke.

Let me put it this way, if you are the type that gets all tingly & "feel good" about saving the world by turning off the lights for an hour once a year, than your a sad example of a human being.

1hr really? - So, what do you do for the rest of - 8764.81 - hours out of the year?

Do you drive your gas guzzling BMW X5, Hummer or Escalade to impress your snob friends how bling you are?

Personally I conserve energy & other resources every single day of the year, not because its cool or trendy, but because its RIGHT, its economical, its efficient & moral.
That is what I teach my kids. This way they don't have to come home excited about one hour.

This Earth Hour, I will watch a movie with my kids =) and I will feel a little better knowing that my Led TV which barely uses 40Whr along with my electric car is powered by my solar panel array, and which all together help the world just a little bit.

Thankfully I've noticed that about a dozen of others in my neighbourhood installed solar arrays as well in the past couple of years. Now that's a big YAY!

So obviously ignorance can be fought as shown by some of my neighbours, and if the world and it's resources was run & managed by intelligent people like Elon instead of a bunch of greedy corrupt government twits, the world would truly be a better place.

There's still hope for our civilization self destroying, and it begins with you.

So by all means remember & tout Earth Hour, just don't forget about all the other hours in the year.

March 10, 2015 @ 5:31 PM

Mark Panzani

PS: The comment about "hope for our civilization self destroying" is correct, in case your wondering.

Just keep driving those lumbering dinosaur SUVs, & see what happens.

Will people prevent self destruction? Maybe?

...though it's not looking good so far boys & girls.

March 10, 2015 @ 5:40 PM

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