Earth Hour 2009 in Edmonton

Edmonton is one of five Canadian cities taking part in Earth Hour 2009, the “lights out phenomenon” led by the World Wildlife Fund. No matter your take on the event (I’m not a supporter), many people in our city will be shutting off their lights and other electronics for an hour on Saturday evening. The official time is from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM on Saturday, March 28th, 2009.

Here are some Earth Hour events taking place in Edmonton:

Know of any others? Let me know!

It’s a little silly to think that we still need to raise awareness for climate change (in my opinion), but that’s all Earth Hour can hope to accomplish. Last year, Epcor initially said that power consumption increased during Earth Hour but later revised that to say that consumption dropped 1.5%. In other words, it had no real effect. I doubt this year will be any different.

You can learn more about Earth Hour in Canada here or on Facebook, and if you’d like to register online, you can do so here. According to the Edmonton Examiner, just 1400 Edmontonians registered for Earth Hour 2008.

16 thoughts on “Earth Hour 2009 in Edmonton

  1. I really think you’re missing the point though. It’s not really about the consumption saved (or used) during that hour or even really about raising awareness – it’s a symbolic gesture to say, “I care about the earth and I’m gonna let others know about it”. The same way people wear red ribbons for AIDS awareness or have a parade to celebrate Gay Pride. It’s entirely gesture of symbolism.

  2. I understand that. I’d encourage you read my previous posts on this subject, but essentially I’d rather promote the idea of making changes that actually make a difference. It’s all too easy to turn out the lights for an hour and say that you’ve done your part to fight climate change.

  3. I don’t disagree. But let’s be honest, some people (i.e. my parents) are slow to change. If this is a small step they can take that leads them to do something bigger, than great. It’s not hurting anyone. And maybe a few participants will realize just how easy it can be and use this as their jump-off point for larger change. That’s not to say we stop promoting other programs (side-note: Congratulations to St. Albert for finally implementing curb-side recycling) but as far as I’m concerned if this gives some people a warm, fuzzy feeling inside and they decide they like that warm, fuzzy feeling…maybe they’ll start to embrace a more green lifestyle. We can only hope.

  4. It may no longer be necessary to improve awareness in this country, but certain nearby neighbors still haven’t quite gotten it yet.

    But I agree in general… the danger with these symbolic acts is that far too many folks are content to simply turn off the lights for an hour and then decide “well, I’ve done my part”. To which we must of course reply “Um… no, you haven’t. Not even close.”

  5. Truth be told the only reason to turn off your electronics is to save yourself some “green”. I turn off lights to save money not energy. If you don’t realize that money comes before the enviornment in this world then your just ignorant of how things really work. When our leaders sit down at the big round table and discuss “Going Green” its a tax increase rather then anything to do with the enviornment. It would be nice not to worry about energy consumption but theres no money in that. Do you really think that the oil companies would tell you that we have enough oil to last for the next 500 years even at the current demand. Who told you that the earth is running out of oil? The news?, a magazine? A scientists? They too would be without a job if everything in the world was fine and our future was never in doubt.

  6. I find is truly amazing that someone would declare themselves “not a supporter” of Earth Hour. What planet are you living on?

  7. Excellent response Mack.

    I was having this conversation in Kelsey’s (with dimmed lights) saying our their light dimming was a useless gesture (if you compare the amount of power they use in the kitchen compared to a few dimmed lights).

    It’s the sheep mentality. People get behind an idea without examining the real facts. Then a wave of emotional blackmail ensues like “you don’t support our troops” when challenging foreign policy, but “you don’t want to save the Earth”?

    There is no force on Earth than can make people do what they need to do. People have to make the decision for themselves or get to a position of power to do it (which is largely impractical given demoncratic goverment structure – though governer or mayor is not a bad way to try for it). Most city power is used by businesses, not homes. Street lights use huge amounts of power, but what mayor will invest the money in their term in office to change to LED?

    As I’ve said before, people also often mix in pollution, energy and reduce/re-use/recycling together. They are separate things with different degrees of impact.

    A person can easily choose to reduce their footprint on the Earth and this is something that will (and likely only with with any significant impact) be passed on to the next generation as a good habbit (just like racism is being significantly reduced in many areas in the same way), so long as it isn’t offer preached like some sheep habbits.

    It’s so easy for people to lose site of the purpose or details in these things.

  8. It’s one thing to raise the very valid points that the whole gesture is symbolic, or an easy way out for people to say that have or are doing something for the environment. What gets me are the people who actively waste power to make the point… I remember in 2008 (and saw some evidence on #yeg twitter in ’09) people saying they would throw on every light in their house during that one hour. What’s the point of that, other than being contrary and peevish?

  9. Mack–… how is supporting Earth Hour inconsistent with taking the bus to work? And do you know how much power was saved around the world (or even within Canada) by that single hour? Good for you for taking the bus to work (I do mean that!). However, I would encourage you to support Earth Hour as well–it is based on the same sentiment.

    Colin–your comments are simply misleading, making artificial efforts to juxtapose things that all share in common the fact that they facilitate survival of the planet. Although it is true that pollution, energy use, and recycling are all different issues, they are all relevant to how habitable our planet is for future generations, and they all work in the same direction in that respect.

    (Your point on racisim as a matter of individual choice is not a strong point, and I would rather not embarrass you by calling you on it…)

    In the end, I guess that I agree with you when you say, “it’s so easy for people to lose sight of the purpose or details in these things.” However, my sense is that we have different reasons for agreeing with the statement.

  10. You wrote “Edmonton is one of five Canadian cities taking part in Earth Hour 2009, the “lights out phenomenon” led by the World Wildlife Fund.”

    In fact, Canada had more than 250 cities and towns participating in the event, compared to 160 last year. More than 4000 cities in over 80 countries participated this year – meaning people had a chance to say something and they did. Let’s hope the governments start listening – including ours.

    But- to everyone who participated – turning off your lights last night was great. Now follow through with a decision – no matter how small- to reduce your own carbon footprint this year. Don’t make a statement and then walk away.

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