In the past 4 years I’ve shared my thoughts on the “your with us or against us” non-event dubbed Earth Hour. Here they are:
Earth Hour is a token gesture, with no meaningful or lasting impact, something it shares with other environ-mentally branded initiatives floated in the Region like Bullfrog Power and Clear GLAD garbage bags.
Earth Hour is Slacktivism at its finest, which makes it no real surprise that it is endorsed by Regional Councilor John Taylor in his motion from February 26th:
This from the same out of touch Taylor that thinks “the public is starting to develop an expectation that budgets are brought in at or around the cost of living.”:
And the same Taylor who doesn’t have a problem with the Region’s Development charges being among the highest in the GTA: https://wattstrending.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/what-does-sustainability-mean-to-you/
Now he’s advancing the belief that Earth Hour sends a “powerful message to every citizen and business around the world”.
Taylor is one of our Regional politicians that believes that all of the world’s problems can be solved through “awareness.” Meaning the process of making other people aware of problems, and then magically someone else will fix it.
This belief allows Taylor and company to feel that sweet self-satisfaction without actually having to solve anything or face any difficult challenges.
What makes this even more appealing is that you can raise “awareness” through expensive dinners, parties, marathons, selling t-shirts, fashion shows, concerts, eating at restaurants and bracelets. In other words, just keep doing stuff they like, EXCEPT now they can feel better about making a difference.
So to summarize – all the benefits of helping (self satisfaction, telling other people) but no need for making difficult decisions.
Yes the “biggest environmental threat to our planet” is best served by participating in a campaign that has promised to arbitrarily raise the level of “awareness”.
This event is in its 8th year.
If climate changes is a “major concern for all Canadians” as Taylor suggests how is it they are also unaware?
Even though Earth Hour is defined as a symbolic event, every effort is taken to measure the insignificant drop in consumption as a way to further the confirmation bias that people have become more aware.
Powerstream has released this year’s numbers here: http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/powerstream-reports-6-less-electricity-used-during-earth-hour-2015-2004606.htm
Compared that to last year’s numbers of 7.7% Reduction and 3.98 MW Reduction.
So are we supposed to derive from this that Earth Hour is a “success” because a marginal number of people are now more aware than last year?
What happens if the numbers go the other way, as they have in Aurora in the past couple years?
That happened in Toronto this year and Toronto Hydro spokesperson Christina Basil offered this explanation:
“The good news is one of the reasons why we might have seen a lower drop this year is that we have been spreading the conservation message all year round and perhaps customers have already taken that into account and are already practicing conservation in their daily lives.
Here is the full CP24 article: http://www.cp24.com/news/city-sees-3-5-per-cent-drop-in-power-during-earth-hour-toronto-hydro-1.2302118
Damn straight the awareness is already out there.
But that’s not going to stop an ass-hat politician like John Taylor from wrapping himself in an evironmental cause so he can flaunt it come election time.
Awareness itself isn’t the only problem with politicians that follow Taylor’s lead.
It’s all about what is deserving of our attention.
Where is all the awareness about the fact that Newmarket’s Mayor endorses Photo Radar as the only way to address traffic safety?
Where’s the awareness over Newmarket only created 100 jobs in 5 years?
Where’s the awareness over the Region’s debt that is approaching $3 Billion?
The enlightened response when you have no clue what it is you really should be doing is to sit in the dark, because obviously under the leadership of the ultra-aware politicians that serve York regional council all of these problems are under control and will sort themselves out.