When I first heard about Earthhour, it struck me as not only a great, but also very doable initiative to take a stand against global warming. Everyone is talking about global climate change but it seems that nobody is willing to do something about it, for lack of faith or concern. Who knows? We believe we are powerless to make a difference, we believe it will not affect us, we believe it is a myth blown out of proportion, and we continue on our merry, earth-destroying ways. But here was something so simple to do: switch off your lights from 20h30 to 21h30 in your respective time zone, and register on www.earthhour.org if you want to go that extra mile. There was no fine print, no catch, no costs involved. But I find myself once again let down by humankind as we either find flicking a switch too higher grade, or we shrug our shoulders and say ‘Maybe next year’.
My plan was simple: friends, candles, conversations and some music. One hour out of the glare, going back to the simple life we so often abandon in our frenzied everyday lifestyles.I would have thought an hour of darkness would be the perfect excuse [globally] to dance on your bed in your underwear, to catch up on some sleep, to have candlelight sex... But when I ventured outside to take a peek at what the rest of Stellenbosch was doing, I thought I had the wrong hour! All around, lights were a-glowing like any other night. Porchlights were left on for no good reason, night time business continued as always and all around me people could not bear to shower in the dark, or wait another 45 minutes to decide on what shoes to wear for the night. People blame bad publicity. This is definitely justified. I mean, it’s not like Desmond Tutu and Roxy Ingram and Helen Zille and Beer Adriaanse and The Parlotones and Ryk Neethling and and and shot a collection of television adverts for the cause. It’s not like there were posters and flyers on every surface big enough, and it’s not like every form of media, from Facebook and Twitter to Mfm and every newspaper in the world, spoke about Earthhour to the point of exhaustion.
So what is it then? I say, if you are going to shrug off the emergency, at least be honest about it. It boils down to inconvenience: the inconvenience of changing our ways, of taking action. Because doing something about this means admitting that it is more than mere myth.
Hats off to those who took a stand and refuse to be left in the dark regarding the very real issue that is global warming. Ultimately, this battle is about those who are fighting, not those who are not.