Earth Hour Exemption?


While  much of the world took part in Earth Hour Saturday night, it would appear that Saugeen Shores considered itself exempt.  Perhaps, it's living so close to a 'power source', that most feel they don't have to contribute to the energy concerns and climate change being expresses by the rest of the planet, even in a symbolic way.

From a reliable source, who took the time to get into their vehicle and drive throughout Saugeen Shores, and in particular Port Elgin and Southampton, there was no noticeable difference in power usage anywhere.  "All the lights were on as usual," said Jim,  "all the streetlights, the store lights, the Beer store signs ... everything was as it is every other night.  It was very disappointing."

Even Toronto took part and thousands filled Nathan Philips Square downtown, participating in the turn-out-the-lights endeavour.  Tens of thousands of businesses in the big city immediately signed up to take part in the edeavour that saw the CN Tower, Air Canada Centre and public buildings go dark.   According to the count, 80 communities in Ontario took part, which lead the world overall.

While Earth Hour may simply be a large global gathering that people can join to make themselves part of a wider community, it may just be that Earth Hour is, in fact, part of a change in social norms.

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 It may signal the beginning of the same process that makes it unacceptable to smoke in public places, to drive drunk or to not take part in recycling.

According to the Canadian Press:

At eight p.m. local time, enthusiastic participants turned off lights and appliances for the 60-minute event that swept around the globe in what was possibly the world's largest voluntary power outage since the invention of the incandescent bulb.

So many people did their part in Ontario, that demand for power fell by 900 megawatts during the hour - a drop of just over five per cent.

"Canada is a leader in this," Mike Russill, head of World Wildlife Fund Canada, told a crowd of thousands who jammed a downtown Toronto square for the hour. "Climate change is the biggest threat to this planet and your individual actions count."

It's too bad that Saugeen Shores didn't feel the same way. Oh well, there's always next year ...