Sunday, March 30, 2008
AfterglowPerhaps Earth Hour was only a symbolic gesture, an iconic attempt to call attention to the climate change challenge looming before us, but it was something unseen before last night: a global symbol, spreading from the South Pacific to Europe to North America - keeping pace with the setting of the sun - and amping down first in Fiji and New Zealand. Today I have found stories from all over the world celebrating the event, and symbol or not, I find this to have been a hope-inspiring hour.
The Sydney Morning Herald boasts: Earth Hour Goes Global, accompanied by a photo gallery ranging from diners in Manila enjoying a candlelit meal to the nearly completely darkened skyline of Detroit seen from across the river in Windsor, Ontario. The Associated Press story, Cities Switch Off Lights For One Hour, tells us that In Chicago, lights on more than 200 downtown buildings were dimmed Saturday night, including the stripe of white light around the top of the John Hancock Center. The red-and-white marquee outside Wrigley Field also went dark. In Phoenix, AZ, stargazers were able to watch the skies for an hour absent the nemesis of light pollution. In San Francisco the lights went out at the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, the Bay Bridge, Ghirardelli Square and rows of downtown high-rises. Canada participated bigtime, with over 100,000 people pledged to turn off their lights, and Nelly Furtado taking to the stage at a green-powered concert at Toronto's city hall, singing her hit song Turn Off the Light - the official theme song of the Canadian event - along with thousands in attendance.
So, yes, it was a symbolic event, and no one expects it to solve global warming. What it may be is an ahah! moment for many people, the germ of a movement that will bring together the many efforts being made around the planet by separate groups and individuals, to hopefully coalesce into the united effort talked about in this interesting snippet from an article in today's NYT, Applying Ghandi's Ideas to Climate Change:
The guiding notion is that climate change today calls for the same kind of collective will, shared destiny, moral purpose, personal responsibility and strategic acumen as the other great movements, and that Gandhi’s ideas and achievements are entirely germane to what needs to happen now.Technorati Tags: Earth Hour, Ghandi, global climate crisis,
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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