By Ganesh Gupta
It all started in 2007 when a visionary Andy Ridley initiated an Earth Hour Concept resulting in the formation of a partnership between WWF, Leo Burnett and Fairfax Media to address climate change. The Initiative has been a change maker and spread its echoing message from political galleries to common man’s doorstep. Five years later, the question strikes: what have we achieved? Where we successful to create a wider impact? Did the Earth hour message reach far and wide? Have a Common man’s feelings changed about Earth Hour? The answers can be condemnatory. Can an hour change mindset and traditional practices of people and government.
Applaud able progress when the clock ticks to reach. Started by 2.2 million Sydneysiders in 2007 the initiative is now celebrated as a common festival by 4616 cities of 128 countries. Cities mark their participation by dimming the light of their monuments. The other good news is that WWF is thinking beyond Earth Hour this year. Participating individuals and organizations are being encouraged to share their commitments to continue the good work they’ve started.
Undeniably, this noble initiative has conveyed strong message to people to make this planet greener and sustainable. The impact of Earth Hour has forced many governments & corporate houses to discontinue their environment endangering projects for mere profits. Still I think the Earth Hour Project is concave.
According to the Earth Hour website, one of the highlights of the event is that “people transcend race, religion, culture, society, generation and geography, switching off their lights in a global celebration of their commitment to protect the one thing that unites us all – the planet.” Sounds good when put on paper but tough to implement. But there’s a poignant reality that contrasts quite sharply with the 1.3 billion participants of Earth Hour: the over 1.6 billion people who involuntarily participate in Earth Hour every day because they don’t have access to electricity. But even those numbers pale in comparison to the 3 billion people who rely on traditional biomass such as wood for cooking, heating, and light according to the United Nations.
Initiatives are meant to inspire and involve. It’s an ultimate decision of a person what it imbibes and how far he has more developed as a person. If you care about the planet, then you have to care about the people you share it with. An Hour can’t decide a fate of a planet but yes it can certainly define your future course of action and unfortunately an earth hour is woefully blind to a huge portion of those people and the issues which they live with every minute.
Mr. Ganesh Gupta is a Social media marketing and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Professional working in the core competencies of Health, Hygiene, Nutrition and Food Safety. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author in this article are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of INDIACSR.