Last night was ‘Earth Hour’ - an annual campaign in motion since 2007 (watch the 60 second promo spot) - whereby businesses and people all over the world are urged to turn off all unnecessary lights from 8:30pm - 9:30pm as a commitment to the conservation, environmentalism, and cooperation as a global movement for change. You can watch the official 'Earth Hour’ awareness video HERE.
This year, however - due in part to the ever growing social media platforms evolving the way we interact with each other across vast distances - the 'Hour’ incorporated other ways one could participate, and you can view all these options HERE.
One of the featured projects (above) was 'Power Up A Ranger’, which supported rangers in Indonesia who work to secure protected land and animal habitats.
Other projects (you can see all of them here) included 'Lights 4 Stripes’ - an effort to install solar lights in Sunderban’s villages to prevent tigers from entering; 'Bancas For The Philippines’ - introducing fiberglass technology to coastal communities devastated by Typhoon Haiyan; 'Stop The Killing!’ - a Singapore effort to stop poaching; a documentary film to highlight the importance of protecting the Great Barrier Reef and address climate change; there’s even a campaign to to help Canada go renewable.
The 'Earth Hour’ Starter Kit (available here) includes logos, web banners, videos, posters, encouraging everyone to promote the event, draw awareness, and spread the word. My favorite aspect of the campaign was the attention it drew to light pollution…
I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t “illuminate” the passivity of movements like these. Although awareness and a global force to instigate critical thinking and action are necessary as we progress forward as a collective society, time is something we are competing with…and an hour is simply not enough. And the commercialization of this effort is one small step for conservation awareness, one giant leap for mediocrity in the face of corporations and governments who are fully capable of implementing massive changes to infrastructure, overall business ethics, economics, society, by simply thinking about the long term habitability of this planet and the survival/welfare of all species that inhabit this great Earth.
“Earth Hour is a campaign, now eight years old, on behalf of the World Wildlife Fund encouraging people to turn out non-essential lights in their homes and businesses one day a year for an hour as a "symbol for their commitment to the planet.” The Earth Hour mission also includes pushing a more traditional spate of green actions, like girl scouts installing LED lights, rigging Indian villages with solar power, and pushing legislation. As of 2014, it is also a “crowdsourcing platform for the planet,” e.g. a future-branded vehicle for raising money for other assorted WWF activities.
The hour itself is tonight at 8:30 p.m. (local time), if you’re interested in expressing your “commitment” to the Earth while not exerting any actual effort or demonstrating the slightest capacity for real-world sacrifice. I understand, of course, that anything that calls attention to our whole Earth situation is good, even if it’s the smallest amount of good, but maybe we should be asking if campaigns like this that ask for so little are all that helpful in conveying the real-life 2014 gravity of our ecological/climate situation, which will not actually be solved by being more aware of household power usage.
I guess a more fair way of looking at it would be as a way to call attention to WWF’s many various (and worthy) green campaigns, an advertisement of sorts. If in the event that your neighborhood or town is noticeably dark, and a large percentage of that neighborhood or town is privy to the Earth Hour campaign, then maybe just maybe it will have had some effect. That said, public action that will only be recognized by those participating in that public action (via awareness of it) is kind of a tautology, no?
Anyhow, while I’m being a dick, there’s a quick point to be made about WWF’s related crowdfunding campaigns. You can find them all here, and I’m not about to say that any one of them doesn’t deserve lots of money, but this is pop environmentalism at its very most pop and there’s a point to be made about that and how it merges with the larger question of crowdfunding in science. Should things like this be subject to the crowd at all? The crowd after all isn’t made of scientists and doesn’t make decisions based on greatest impact/most scientific merit. It tends to make decisions based on emotions, on cuteness and fads and to what they can most relate in their day to day lives.
That’s not a body I’m very into trusting with science or big questions of Earth-fixing. The Earth Hour crowdfunding campaigns all deal with very significant amounts of money and range in mission from training puppies to saving the Amazon. Giving control over to the crowd seems to admit some amount of helplessness, I think, in the grand green scheme, that there is not an ordered and objective way to get at the larger, interconnected problems in the environment and instead we might as well let the people at home pick favorites.
So, that’s your asshole take on Earth Hour. You should probably ignore it and just celebrate popular action of any kind because maybe that’s just what we have to work with. Our scientifically determined mass-action will have to remain an illusory best case, subject to the whims of politics and other means of amassing deep feelings.“
“In 50 years of conservation, we have never seen wildlife crime on such a scale. Wildlife crime is now the most urgent threat to three of the world’s best-loved species — elephants, rhinos and tigers.”
This is to help support the wolves. Help me and WWF by donating a dollar or more. Help the discrimination stop. Wolves are amazing animals. Drop a like and or reblog and get the word out there. From me the WWF and all of the amazing wolves thank you for your support.
Our dashing Leo does not do anything half way; he tweets about this foundation, along with others like the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), almost every day. Not only that, but he also promotes other protection fights for a variety of different wildlife creatures.
I think if Leonardo DiCaprio-90s heartthrob who undoubtedly has his attention pulled in 300 different directions every minute-can find the time out of his glamorous life to stop and raise awareness about these kind of things, then we should all be able to, also. I mean, let’s face it, you could do a lot worse things with your internet surfing time (like watching that video with the skateboarding dog for the millionth time). It’s a great cause that everyone should at least be aware of, if not participate in.
And who knows? Maybe Leo will see how dedicated and aware you are and he’ll want to be friends. Fingers crossed!
With as few as 130 whales, the western gray whale teeters on the edge of extinction. Their critical feeding ground off the coast of Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East, is now under threat. WWF, with help from Mr. Scruff, have stepped in to help them. You can help them too.
Today it was announced that Leonardo DiCaprio has donated $3million to save tigers in Nepal.
He donated the money to the World Wildlife Fund via his charitable foundation.
Nepal’s tigers are classified as endangered and - as with the general tiger population - are under threat from “habitat destruction and escalating illegal poaching”, and his donation will help enforce anti-poaching patrols and protect and restore areas for the tigers to breed in Nepal.
This man doesn’t need an Oscar. He needs a Knighthood.
Leonardo DiCaprio is a brilliant actor, and an even better man.