Monday, April 6, 2009

Earth Hour and Al Gore

It's interesting to observe how the Green movement is propagated at this day and age. 

On one hand, there's the Al Gore way of using what I will call broadly the traditional channels -- government lobbying, traditional media, press, and cinema (with the movie, An Inconvenient Truth) to flame the discussion on global warming. It was a success in most people's minds because you've seen it everywhere and it's been discussed everywhere also.

On the other hand, an ad agency in Sydney, Leo Burnett, has one simple great idea -- what if we could turn off our lights for one hour for Mother Earth, -- ties up with WWF, and turns it into a movement that has become global. 
I could argue that there were more people in the world who participated in Earth Hour than those who've even just seen "An Inconvenient Truth."  And just watching the movie is still a passive exercise.

We got an email last week from Lory Tan of WWF Philippines on an update from the recent Earth Hour:
Thank you very much for the support you gave to make Earth Hour 2009 the resounding success that it was, here in the Philippines.

We aimed to mobilize 100 cities and towns.  We got 647.  We aimed to motivate 10 Million Filipinos to turn off their lights.  We got 15 Million.  Last year, Earth Hour caused an 80 mwh drop in power consumption, nationwide.  This year, it was over 600 mwh.  Last year, the Philippines ranked number nine, on the global roster.  This year, we were number one - both in the number of participating communities, and on Web sign-ups.  

An incredible nation came together for a worthwhile cause, and a single specific action.  Together, we made history.  Your participation helped make all the difference. 

Maraming, maraming salamat po,


Some fabulous pics from Earth Hour here.

I've been hearing so many critics downplaying the success of Earth Hour: How much energy did you waste printing all those posters? People turned off their lights but kept their aircons and TVs on. Why only an hour? How much energy can we really save in an hour?

That wasn't the point. The point was that someone had a simple and compelling idea that moved millions around the world to ACT as one, together. The point was that it was more than Leo Burnett, more than WWF, more than other NGOs and more than governments supported it. The point was that it got regular folk to do something -- something simple, something individually insignificant, but something that changed human behavior. That I consider a true HumanKind Act.

Earth Hour is ours. All of us who participated. To those who didn't, there's still next year for your vote to be counted.

I will leave you with a report of one of the first few reports about Al Gore not participating in Earth Hour. Since then, he's rebutted and claimed he DID participate. I will leave the judgement to you. 

Al Gore ignores 'Earth Hour'
Driveway to Nashville mansion flooded with electricity

Posted: March 29, 2009
5:25 pm Eastern

© 2009 WorldNetDaily

Al Gore

Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" may have inspired many to participate in yesterday's "Earth Hour" by switching off their lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., but maybe the former vice president didn't get the memo.

Drew Johnson, the president of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, decided to drive by Gore's mansion in Nashville at 8:48 p.m. and records that floodlights were on illuminating the driveway leading up to the main quarter.

"I pulled up to Al's house, located in the posh Belle Meade section of Nashville, at 8:48 p.m. – right in the middle of Earth Hour," he wrote on his blog. "I found that the main spotlights that usually illuminate his 9,000 square foot mansion were dark, but several of the lights inside the house were on."

He added: "The kicker, though, were the dozen or so floodlights grandly highlighting several trees and illuminating the driveway entrance of Gore’s mansion. I [kid] you not, my friends, the savior of the environment couldn’t be bothered to turn off the gaudy lights that show off his goofy trees."

Earth Hour was deemed a huge success by its organizers, the World Wildlife Fund. The group estimated that 1 billion worldwide took part.

From an Antarctic research base and the Great Pyramids of Egypt, from the Colosseum in Rome to the Empire State building in New York, illuminated patches of the globe went dark last night to highlight what the group believes is a man-made threat of climate change. Time zone by time zone, nearly 4,000 cities and towns in 88 countries dimmed nonessential lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., according to organizers.

WWF called the event, which began in Australia in 2007 and grew last year to 400 cities worldwide, "the world's first-ever global vote about the future of our planet."

The United Nations' top climate official, Yvo de Boer, called the event a clear sign that the world wants negotiators seeking a climate change agreement to set an ambitious course to fight global warming.

The event was initiated with hopes of impacting talks in Bonn this week to craft a deal to control emissions of the heat-trapping gases supposedly responsible for "global warming." The talks are due to culminate in Copenhagen this December.

"Earth Hour was probably the largest public demonstration on climate change ever," de Boer told delegates from 175 nations. "Its aim was to tell every government representative to seal a deal in Copenhagen. The world's concerned citizens have given the negotiations an additional and very clear mandate."


  1. talk about practicing what you preach, huh, al gore? hmmm...

    this news now gives rise to the question: so what's really up with your environmentalist facade, al? is it just another political agenda?

    thanks for sharing, LV!

  2. @rye: I guess it's a lesson for everyone -- being public about supporting a cause means you need to walk the talk. If not, brace yourself for pointed criticism.


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