My Earth Minute of Reflection

I’m typing this on the Earth Hour. Immediately after, actually. By the time we’d thought to look at the time, we’d missed the whole thing. Our usually regressive city council had registered Colorado Springs as an official participant, and we wondered if we’d watch the city lights go dark, on a Saturday night, when offices and stores are vacant anyway. Except for the clubs, which would surprise me if they even dimmed the music to mark the event.

Earth Day became Earth Hour became an Earth Minute of Reflection.

Had we observed Earth Hour, extrapolating that by advocating turning off the lights, the organizers had meant all power, I would have unplugged by laptop, to rely on my battery until such a time, the hour later, when I could plug back in to recharge and resume my online connection.

I’m playing right into the comparison described by a friend. He said the Earth Hour effort reminded him of the calls to boycott gas stations on a collectively agreed date, which keep circulating via email. Even if everyone is able to conspire to stop buying gas for one day, the gas companies can count on twice as many customers the next day. Nothing changes unless we curb our consumption of energy.

Earth Hour is wonderfully pragmatic by offering a palatable measure of ECO effort for attention spans which could no longer apply themselves to a whole day of green etiquette required by Earth Day. Perhaps this hoopla garnered more adherents. I missed it. The thought I gave to the environment and Global Warming was my Earth Minute or two. Talking about it. Probably next year I can shorten that.

What does it accomplish when we lower the bar to accommodate the slower adapters? Earth Hour seems all the more a tragic opposite of another progressive concept, the Long Now. Thinking in terms of expanding our sense of responsibility to the future, by tying it to our present, seems a more promising revelation. Earth Minute seems to me like Pennies For Peace, it suggest we can get away with paying the fiddler from just the change in our pocket.

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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1 Response to My Earth Minute of Reflection

  1. Karin Karin says:

    Earth Hour felt the same to me. In fact I had to talk my friend into turning off the stereo because she wanted ambiance for the occasion. She did however concede and we were treated to a full-on piano concert from S her husband.

    And while we lit our candles and made promises to do more for the environment in the coming year I suddenly had this sinking feeling that this effort would soon go the way of Halloween.

    I probably should have saved the gas and stayed home.

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