Op-Ed: How to Save the Earth in An Hour

Posted Mar 26, 2009 by B. Thomas Cooper
What if we only had one hour in which to save life on this planet as we know it? What if that hour were approaching faster than you think?
Sunset Over the Pacific Ocean.
Sunset Over the Pacific Ocean.
Okay, so admittedly, we are not facing our darkest hour, but on Saturday, lights throughout the world will go dim for an hour or so, and maybe with a little luck, we’ll preserve life on Earth for just a little while longer.
On Saturday, March 28th, over two thousand cities, and eighty-four countries will participate in Earth Hour, promoted as ‘An Hour Without Power’ to raise awareness in an effort to curb the effects of global warming. Yes, these kinds of events always feel over-hyped and under-appreciated, but then, this is the Earth we are attempting to save, and the inhabitants thereof. It is our responsibility as caretakers by default to mind the planet.
So what is our part in this grand scheme? Well for starters, we are being asked to switch off the power to our homes for one hour on Saturday. All considered, it’s really not much to ask. There will be foreseeable problems of course, such as resetting the electric clocks and any other timers in the house. My land phone and my satellite television box will both need to be reprogrammed. That should burn up a few minutes of my time. I’ll get over it.
More important, people will hopefully become aware of ways they can personally contribute to lowering causes of global warming. Global warming is more than a catchy phrase, it’s a threat to your quality of life and that of your loved ones. Especially the young and the unborn.
Obviously, turning out the lights for an hour on Saturday will have little impact on global warming, but what about an hour a day? What if we each found ways to cut down on things we do that negatively impact our environment? Yes, I'm talking persistent hassle and inconvenience, but then, such would still no doubt trump the alternative.
Will the last out the door please turn off the lights as you leave?
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