Friday, March 27, 2009

Has It Been An Hour?

Whenever celebrities talk about the environment they have to mention light bulbs. They can't help it. It's the one instance in which the figurative light bulb above their head is the literal answer.
"How do you reduce your carbon footprint?"
"Um, well... [ding!] Light bulbs."

In a symbolic act meant to bring attention to global warming and steps we can take to reduce energy use, Earth Hour will take place this Saturday night at 8:30. Conveniently, Earth Hour is basically about light bulbs so celebrities were able to get on board.

I'm all for symbolic acts. I do symbolic random acts of kindness as often as I can. Like when I see someone carrying heavy bags, I try to make whatever I'm carrying look heavy too so that person doesn't feel like they're alone.

For Earth Hour, people of the world are asked to shut off all unnecessary lighting at 8:30 PM. 8:30 local time. Your local time. So it's not really a single hour-- more of a shifting global hour. A stadium wave of darkness, if you will. That doesn't do much for the solidarity thing, knowing that people in France are already done with their dark hour and free to walk about their homes without bumping into furniture.

While discussing Earth Hour on his show, Larry King asked, "You don't want people to turn off their car lights if they're driving down the street?"

Well, no. Thanks Larry. But maybe you could turn off one of the 3,000 light bulbs you have on behind you. And maybe you could stop being on TV.

Not everyone is so keen on the idea of having to shut off a few lights for 60 minutes. In her article for the AP, Caryn Rousseau included a quote by ice cream shop owner Bob Gerense, who said, "I'm going to get everyone I know in my neighborhood to turn on every light they possibly can to waste as much electricity as possible to underline the absurdity of this action ... by being absurd."

You'd think a man in the ice cream business might be a little more concerned with climate change.

1 comment:

Criss said...

I'm running out the door right now (wit my car lights on, Larry, because it is a rather cloudy morning today) to not buy ice-cream from Mr. Gerense.

What a gem of a man, really.