Friday, March 28, 2008

Earth Hour: U.S. cities to dim lamps, illuminate climate-change

Today the Christian Science Monitor had an article on WWF's upcoming campaign called "Earth Hour." Twenty-five cities around the world will participate and go dark between 8-9pm on March 29th, 2008 (http://www13.earthhourus.org/).

For example, the city of Chicago will experience a "lights-out" from everything as high as the Sears Tower to the multiple McDonald's located on its streets. But it doesn't stop there - the initiative includes cities such as Bangkok, Thailand; Dublin, Ireland; and Tel Aviv.

Naysayers point out that impacts from such events are too minimal to make a difference; promoters refute that the idea is to get people talking.

I agree with the promotors. Recently, I've seen more and more articles similar to this idea popping up - how do we get people to think and talk seriously about their personal energy use?

Behavioral economist at the University of Chicago and the authors of "Nudge" (featured in the NY Times - http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/25/science/25tier.html) are analyzing how people think about climate change - their idea is to help people understand how their energy use compares to the social norm and provide more guidance to the average user on their daily impact. For example, bring in more home devices such as energy counts on thermostats that allows homeowners to compare themselves to everyone else on the block. Is your home the highest or lowest energy user?

Campaigns and finding such as these will help us find a way to make climate change something that EVERYONE readily thinks about and understands.

The quote I loved most about "earth hour" from the Christian Science Monitor: "It's like the Boston Tea Party... dumping tea in Boston wasn't going to bring down the British Empire, but it created a spark that started the Revolution."

1 comment:

adrian2514 said...

Hey thanks for the great blog, I love this stuff. I don’t usually do much for Earth Day but with everyone going green these days, I thought I’d try to do my part.

I am trying to find easy, simple things I can do to help stop global warming (I don’t plan on buying a hybrid). Has anyone seen that www.EarthLab.com is promoting their Earth Day (month) challenge, with the goal to get 1 million people to take their carbon footprint test in April?... I took the test, it was easy and only took me about 2 minutes and I am planning on lowering my score with some of their tips.

I am looking for more easy fun stuff to do. If you know of any other sites worth my time let me know.

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