Saturday, April 22, 2017

Earth Hour on Earth Day?

Earth Day, which is today, should by definition have 24 earth hours. But as it happens, Earth Hour has already been celebrated in 2017 on March 25. We missed it. And the reason for that is the confusion between the hour and the day. Those two words represent quite different environmental festivals.

During Earth Hour, which extends from 8:30 to 9:30 pm, all unessential lights must be turned off. The festival began in Australia and was first celebrated on March 31, 2007, a Saturday. Since then  Earth Hour is usually on the last Saturday of March. Our first celebration was on March 29, 2008—and we remember it distinctly—the first global celebration, on that day from 8 to 9 pm local time. The day and year was vague in our minds and took a fair amount of research to pin-point—but we were there, at our dining room table, a single candle separating us and doing is feeble best to contribute its carbon dioxide to Global Warming. That evening television brought coverage of lights going out at 8 local time as darkness covered the planet. And the feeling of unity across the earth was almost palpable.

Earth Day, by contrast, is celebrated on April 22. The first year was 1970. These days 193 countries across the planet celebrate the day under the coordination of the Earth Day Network.

Having missed the Earth Hour on March 29, we intend to celebrate it tonight at our house. Lights out at 8:30. We will endure an hour in darkness before rushing back to CNN and MSNBC to see what monstrosities DJT has managed in that hour of darkness: the Invasion of Tibet, perhaps, or the repeal of the U.S. Constitution by next Wednesday? One has to know these things in advance, you know.

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