Monday, March 30, 2009

Earth Hour: Success?

Did you turn out your lights in recognition of Earth Hour last Saturday? Personally, I was at a birthday dinner, and the restaurant seemed to think lighting was somehow necessary to conduct their business. I tried to prove them wrong by assembling my fajita with my eyes closed, but I just ended up with third degree burns on my fingers. So it goes. But the organizers of the very first Earth Hour are convinced it was a smashing success, even going so far as to claim the world now has a mandate from the people to stem climate change. While I'm not normally in the business of shitting on people's parades (unless it's a Sons of Confederate Veterans parade, of course), I can't help but wonder how anyone arrived at the "hundreds of millions" participation rate people are claiming. Earth Hour sure had plenty of play on the Internet (note to Twitterers: tweeting about how you're turning your lights out probably consumes more electricity than just leaving those lights on), I'm not sure how much traction it had in the real world. Internet-based excitement doesn't necessarily translate into any kind of offline impact, as the box office returns for Watchmen and Hellboy II sort of prove. Regardless, I hope Earth Hour doesn't become just another useless bit of Facebook-style quasi-activism that's forgotten within a wee-- HEY LOOK! A SHINY THING!

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