Eggertson: It's time to go beyond Earth Hour

By Bill Eggertson, Ottawa Citizen, March 29, 2019

If we assume that most people now understand the reality of our changing climate, perhaps this is a good year to drastically change what we do during Earth Hour.

Launched in 2007, this annual ritual asks us to turn off all non-essential lighting from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday. The admirable gesture has raised public awareness of the need to take action on climate change — but the event is badly flawed in almost all other aspects.

First, how can there be any non-essential consumption of any energy at any time Someone must pay for that waste. If any company or politician expects a pat on the back for briefly turning off lights that should not be on, the appropriate response is public condemnation … not commendation.

(...)Earth Day on April 22 is another example of a false starter. For years, Ottawa has planted a tree in a park; heaven forbid we would offer free transit on that day, or do anything to encourage residents to adopt greener behaviours, or promote the many available options that can reduce carbon emissions.

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