It all happens tomorrow, Saturday 28th March, at 8.30pm local time around the globe. We are invited to switch off our lights for one hour – Earth Hour – as a worldwide vote of support for the Earth.
It can mean many things to many people. For me this year, I view it as an opportuity to sit in darkness and mystery, to open the senses and be aware of our absolute dependence upon our planet.
Courtesy: NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center
Limiting our sensory input obliges us to pay close attention to what we are able to perceive. And the longer and closer we attend, the more nature reveals itself to us. This whole Earth Hour idea reminds me of occasional workshops I have run, where I have asked people to wander through the woods in silence, or blindfolded (with guide!). The resulting art works, videos, photography, text and poetry have been staggeringly beautiful.
Last year I wrote rather sourly about the Earth Hour event being hijacked and used as a publicity stunt by some of those multi-national companies themselves partially responsible for the earth’s plight. This year I feel a bit different. I have decided that it doesn’t actually matter what others are doing: it is what takes place within one’s own heart that is the important thing.
I am planning to walk to the Burrows, then find a good place to sit in the dark, and listen to the ocean. That’s if there isn’t a howling gale and rainstorms of course! In that case I shall stay indoors and write or draw by candlelight.
Behind the whole concept is the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) whose website contains masses of news and ideas about the event. For a somewhat different and opposing view, read this article in the Guardian.
The Earth Hour website invites us to blog or tweet during the event. That’s a nice idea, though remaining hooked in to the power-consuming all-consuming internet, seems to rather defeat the purpose I think. But I can make notes…
Here are a couple of links I liked, that might lead towards beautiful Earth Hour experiences: Video-Art Haiku by Nohra Corredor
and William Shaw’s post: Earth Hour and the curious effect of candlelight in the RSA’s Arts and Ecology Blog.
I would love to hear your Earth Hour experiences. You can read my own here… soon.