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29.3.08

Praying To Al Gore

Am I the only one who finds this whole "Earth Hour" thing -- where everyone was supposed to turn off their electricity between 8 and 9 tonight -- basically silly? This is more than my usual attitude of "your protest is stupid because it has no immediate concrete results you can point to." I'm too tired right now to put my finger on exactly why, but Earth Hour seems to reinforce the conceptualization of environmentalism as a spiritual practice rather than a movement for socio-political change, a closer cousin to observing Lent or Ramadan than to making fun of Sheriff Joe or taking pictures of people who stare at your disability. The "spiritual practice" trap seems to be an especially big pitfall for environmentalism and animal rights, more so than it is (in my admittedly idiosyncratic and incomplete experience) for other foci of agitation for social change.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Shelby Meyerhoff said...

I think Earth Hour has a political side too. It seems to me that people need to get mobilized, form coalitions, and learn to lobby in order to convince the government and local businesses to turn out the lights for one hour. Even though the immediate gain is small, those same networks and skills can then be used to pressure the government and businesses into more substantial commitments to reduce global warming. I don't if that's what's happening in practice, but it seems like the potential to build on Earth Hour is there.

7:07 AM  
Blogger Anna Banana said...

Thank you! I agree Earth Hour was silly. I'm a pretty intense shade of green, and I found it annoying to be told what to do and when. I can't say I know what would be better, but there's got to be something more effective than this.

6:40 PM  
Anonymous h sofia said...

Wow; did I miss Earth Hour? I didn't even hear about it.

4:49 PM  
Blogger rabi said...

yeah, I actually thought it went beyond silly to pretty annoying. turning the lights off for an hour does not make you an environmentalist.

4:31 AM  

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