Earth Hour - why bother?
As the organisers prepare for the switch-off at 8.30pm next Saturday, the event, in its third year and rapidly expanding internationally, is being criticised from both the left and the right.
Clive Hamilton, climate campaigner and author of Scorcher: The Dirty Politics of Climate Change, says that "we are well past the time for feel-good exercises aimed at raising awareness … it's like the band playing on as the Titanic sinks". There is a real danger that Earth Hour convinces people that we are making progress on climate change when we are not. And it lets business and government off the hook," he says.
An analysis of the key sponsors of Earth Hour (among them Fairfax Media, owner of The Sunday Age) reveals that most have reported increased emissions in their most recent figures.
That's because the reality of cutting emissions is nothing like the fairy-tale computer modelling carried out at the Treasury - it costs money and jobs... However, that doesn't stop WWF from claiming some authority from the participation in Earth Hour:
WWF plans to interpret a huge switch-off as a global poll on climate change, a demand from 1 billion people that politicians take "strong action" at the international forums including the Copenhagen climate-change conference in December.
Read it here.