Participation in Earth Hour declining

BY MARK ELGIE

On Saturday March 19 at 8:30 p.m., people all over the world turned off lights in their homes and businesses for an hour to conserve power. This annual global event, which occurs in March, is known as Earth Hour. It got off to a strong start in Sydney, Australia in 2007. However, over time, the number of people participating and the amount of MW (megawatts) saved has decreased. This infographic compares statistics on Earth Hour in Canada, from 2013 to last year.

2 Responses to Participation in Earth Hour declining

  1. Anna Pautler March 31, 2016 at

    Thank you for the interesting infographic.

    The goal of Earth Hour is to raise awareness about climate change. It’s a symbolic event rather than an energy or greenhouse gas reduction strategy. See the Insider article:

    http://insider.sheridancollege.ca/2016/03/28/earth-hour-at-sheridan/

    Also, the following is from the Earth Hour website:
    What does Earth Hour aim to achieve?
    Earth Hour aims to encourage an interconnected global community to share the opportunities and challenges of creating a sustainable world.

    In terms of engagement it looks like there was more social media reach and a few more countries participating in 2016 compared to 2015:
    https://www.earthhour.org/earth-hour-2015-highlights
    https://www.earthhour.org/EH2016-at-a-glance

    I think it’s more important that organizations and individuals address long-term energy and greenhouse gas savings rather than once a year turning their lights off for an hour.

  2. Tom Harris March 23, 2016 at

    Dear Editor,

    The decline Earth Hour participation in places like Toronto, British Columbia and Nova Scotia may be because people are realizing that the goal of the event is impossible.

    Rather than concentrating on worthwhile, achievable objectives such as reducing air, land, and water pollution, Earth Hour wanted the public to “shine a light on climate change,” to quote this year’s motto, as if we could control the climate like a thermostat.

    Climate has been changing for billions of years and it will continue to change no matter what we do. Yet Earth Hour spokespeople insist that all natural climate drivers are now dwarfed by the impact of humanity’s emissions.

    The fact that global temperature has remained flat for 19 years while carbon dioxide levels have risen 10 per cent has no impact on their narrative.

    But this inconvenient fact does appear to be having an impact on public opinion across Canada.

    Let’s hope this is the beginning of the end for Earth Hour.

    Tom Harris, B. Eng., M. Eng. (Mech.)
    Executive Director
    International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC)
    Ottawa

    http://www.climatescienceinternational.org

    Note: ICSC is not right wing (our participants come from across the political spectrum) and are not lobbyists or ‘shills’ for industry of any sort. I have never worked as a PR rep for any company or sector. Since 2008, all donations to help ICSC cover its operating costs have been confidential to shelter donors from harassment by activists.