Letter: Earth hour to Energy Hour?

The following letter is in response to our article Morinville shines during Earth Hour. The organization’s website can be found here. a general article ont he group can be found here.

To the editor,

Morinville’s 11.8% power reduction during Earth Hour is very good, far better than most Canadians towns and cities. However, it may be that the public would take the event even more seriously if the stated reasons for the activity were more solid.

While reducing energy consumption to conserve natural resources, reduce pollution and save money is a very worthwhile activity and something all sensible people support, Earth Hour is not based on these goals. It is based on the hypothesis that humanity is causing dangerous climate change because of our carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. An increasing fraction of the public are coming to understand that CO2 is not pollution and the connection between our emissions of this colourless, odorless, non-toxic gas and climate is the subject of intense debate among scientists.

While some commentators promoted using as much energy as possible during Earth Hour to demonstrate opposition to the event, a more constructive approach would be to change its name to “Energy Hour” and encourage citizens to use as little energy as possible for reasons that are not in the least controversial. Besides raising environmental awareness of the known impact of our energy use, participants in Energy Hour would also get a sense of what societies without adequate power are actually like. This would hopefully increase public pressure on politicians to ensure that reliable power generation will be available for years to come.


Tom Harris
Executive Director
International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC)
P.O. Box 23013
Ottawa, Ontario K2A 4E2


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