Earth Hour Dims Planet


As the rolling blackout swept across the globe during Earth Hour, we kept our eyes on the clock waiting for our turn. This was the third year in a row we shut everything down for 60 minutes as part of a viral environmental awareness and conversation campaign that has captured the imagination and participation of millions.

As the big hand on the clock approached 8:30 pm, I got the fireplace lit while Heather grabbed a few candles and scattered them around the living room. Lights came off and the computers were powered down leaving the house in a cloak of beautiful silence. We have become so familiar with the background symphony of noise that comes from electronic devices that it is somewhat discomfiting when the symphony goes silent, kind of eerie.

Sitting in the glow of the roaring fire, I was leaning close to a candle reading Next Man Up by John Feinstein, the inside story about life in the NFL. Heather and Ben were wrestling on the floor, laughing. It was lovely.

In the social media universe, friends from around North America were getting into Earth Hour. "See you on the other side," wrote one Friend. "Lighting the candles and playing Monopoly" texted another.

And each year there is the suggestion of "why don't we do this more often?" Why don't we? Barb and her husband Gerry in Guelph are committing to a practise of shutting things off every first of the month. I'm sure many others are coming up with their own traditions.

Earth Hour is an example of a great idea, an idea that became an event, that grew into a movement. It is a movement so steeped in good intentions that it truly has the potential to change our planet and how we human beings choose to interact with it.


March 28, 2010 - 193.8 pounds, 27.5% body fat

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