A Different Earth Hour This Year

Earth Hour 2020

While probably not high up on many Australians’ to-do lists at the moment, the nature of Earth Hour means it can go ahead this year – but there will be some changes.

Earth Hour is an annual event occurring in late March when participants turn out their lights for an hour. The event is an action designed to draw attention to the urgent need for real action on climate change and biodiversity loss, and spark related global conversations.

Observed globally, the first Earth Hour event was held on 31 March 2007 in collaboration with WWF. It originally targeted those in Sydney, but the idea quickly spread. According to the Earth Hour web site, more than 7,000 cities in 180+ countries now take part. As well as participants turning off lights in their homes, some local governments turn off lights on landmarks and other facilities, while participating businesses switch off non-essential lighting in their facilities.

This year’s event is occurring on Saturday evening here in Australia (March 28), starting at 8.30pm.

“2020 is a critical year for us and for the planet. It’s a year of important global meetings on environmental policy,” states the Earth Hour web site. “These meetings are our opportunity to persuade global leaders to make decisions that will benefit our planet’s future, and that we have to protect and restore nature before it’s too late.”

The organisers note Earth Hour isn’t an energy or carbon reduction exercise, but simply a symbolic action.

COVID-19 Measures For Earth Hour

As well as the symbolic switching off of lights, Earth Hour has previously involved community events where large numbers of people gather; which isn’t a good idea or will be permitted during these troubled times.

“In light of the coronavirus crisis, WWF-Australia is committed to doing everything we can to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19. But social distancing doesn’t mean losing social connection. So we’ve decided to celebrate Earth Hour a little differently this year and take it unplugged and online.”

Some may feel shifting their attention from one crisis to another might not sound like a particularly good way to spend a Saturday night, but it doesn’t seem like this year’s event will be a “gloom and doom” affair. Earth Hour organisers are promising a great line-up of music, comedy and special guests.

And everyone could do with a good laugh around about now – if you’re interested in learning more head out to the Earth Hour website.

“Now is not the time to pause our collective work, but a time to respond more creatively, work more collaboratively, and listen and adapt more effectively.”

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. Earth Hour is a waste of time and effort, it doesn’t actually do anything. It’s just a showoff – lip service at worse. Nobody I know does it….. just a mindless, fruitless waste of time. Just a facetious token “I’m doing something for the planet” Look at me, look at me. My lights are off…. whoopee do.

    Why would I switch off if I have a Tesla Powerwall and solar panels. I won’t see the need to turn off the lights for one hour 🙂

    I dare people to put their money where their mouths are. If they are serious about Earth Hour, then they invest in solar panels, solar hot water systems, and if possible batteries. Then it becomes Earth Hour 24/7. Simple… no need to put aside a special hour once a year – what a ridiculous concept. We should be living Earth Hour 24/7 all the time if we are to take care of the planet.

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