Whose Hour Is It Anyway?

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Around the earth last night individuals and cities joined in to play the now established game of grown-up peak-a-boo called Earth Hour.

With the exception of North Korea the game ends with everyone turning their lights back returning the earth to regularly scheduled energy consumption with no clear winner.

A decade of collectively spending hours in the dark are starting to add up.

But David Miller, CEO of World Wildlife Fund Canada is quoted in the CBC denouncing critics who measure the event’s success in megawatt hours:

“It’s certainly never been about the amount of energy saved on the night.”

Just how certain can Miller be about that when cited in the article is PowerStream reporting a 4.3 per cent drop in electricity consumption.

If measuring the amount of energy saves misses the whole point of Earth Hour  PowerStream certainly goes to great lengths to record and share the energy savings each year.

So who exactly is all excited to pour over these junk metrics that are meaningless in the eyes of World Wildlife Fund Canada?

Why Municipalities of course, so they can flaunt them as some sort of green merit badge.

The Town of Aurora shamelessly turned participation in last year’s event into some sort of dick measuring contest with other municipalities and printed this on page 6 of their Annual Report:

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We get it, Earth Hours is all look-at-me, but this makes the town come across like an attention seeking celebrity douche-bag

Moreso when you recognize the 2015 Annual Report document was printed on glossy stock and mailed to a large number of households.  The irony of back patting itself on meeting environmental goals was obviously lost in this initiative which lists in fine print on the back cover:

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By recognizing Earth Hour power savings alongside its other measurable achievements the Town of Aurora risks the public viewing listing of achievements as meaningless as these:

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Notice of Motion 

WHEREAS the CEO of World Wildlife Fund Canada has publicly declared that Earth Hour has never been about the amount of energy saved on the night; and

WHEREAS distributing printed Annual Reports to all households that have not requested receipt in this format is a waste and runs counter to the town’s Strategic Plan goals for Environmental Sustainability

NOW THEREFORE BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED THAT Council disregard PowerStream’s announcements regarding power consumption during Earth Hour and direct staff that these metrics not be used to quantify the Town’s environmental goals in any communication materials going forward.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT guides like the Annual report be made available electronically, and the alternate format of print be made available upon request.

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