Posted tagged ‘Climate change’

One Hour On Earth

March 29, 2009

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Last night, here in France, we both lost and gained an hour.  Lost because we finally passed to l’heure d’été, daylight savings time, an event that normally involves an hour of one’s life being lost until the autumn time change rolls around.  But in this case we also gained precious time by observing Earth Hour,  just us and a few million other people on the planet, apart and together, in the semi-darkness.  Gaining nothing tangible but a sense of hope for the future, and a feeling of holding hands around the world, which is gaining most of what’s worthwhile in life, when you think about it.

I’m not going to wade into the raging polemic on whether Earth Hour is just a lot of commie pinko enviro radicalist hyped encroachment of marketing into the hard cold reality of energy development and profit to the military industrial complex, or just a waste of good candles.  Nope, I’m not touching that for a nanosecond. 

What I do want to say is hats off to those folks who are in  Bonn today negotiating an international climate change treaty, a few of whom used to be my colleagues.  Hats off to those big countries that are making a serious commitment to change.  Hats off to those little countries that are speaking up for their right to have what the rest of us take for granted.  And a toast to those of you that were with us in darkness last night, expressing in the simplest possible way our collective hope for a planet that’s safe for our grandchildren.

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If we reduce electricity use and the lights go out and you can’t see your supper, will you still enjoy it?  But then, how easy is it to enjoy an Indian meal by candlelight, knowing that what’s on your plate would feed an Indian family of four, although they would have probably had to cook it over dried cow dung?

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If the glaciers melt and the pastures dry up, will there still be great French cheese?  If temperatures rise as predicted in Portugal, will you still be able to have a glass of Port with your dessert?

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If Mother Earth gives us the spanking we well and truly deserve, will we still feel like singing?