Time to Get Out the Candles and the Crank Up Radio 'Cause Earth Hour is Tonight

Earth Hour, which is either totally ridiculous or a slick meme transfer device, 2012 is here. Tonight, March 31st, between 8:30PM – 9:30PM (local time), millions, maybe billions, of folks will be you switching off their lights, turning off their TVs, and huddling around the candle flame to show their involvement in the fight against climate change and carbon consumption.

The World Wildlife Fund, ground zero in tonight's exercise, says a total of 5,251 cities took part in 2011, as the movement reached 1.8 billion people in 135 countries. Sydney's Opera House and Harbour Bridge were the first landmarks to plunge into darkness and were followed by the Tokyo Tower, Taipei 101 and the Great Wall of China. Also on the big time landmark list going dark are the Burj Khalifa, the Eiffel Tower and Louvre in Paris, the cupola of St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican and Buckingham Palace in London. From Egypt's Tahrir Square to New York's Empire State Building and the International Space Station, which will watch over the event as it rolls across the globe it appears the arms of authorities are breaking from patting themselves on the back.

My skeptical warning bells keep chiming things like when all these authorities tells us something like they are going to observe Earth Hour by turning off 'non-essential' stuff in their offices and lights on their monuments for an hour why, if it is non-essential, it's on the rest of the time. Guess that's part of why Earth Hour has met with lottsa criticism over the years. Plus the fact that perhaps many individuals can convince themselves that by taking part in small, basically useless, things like Earth Hour, Earth Day and recycling they are doing their part in creating a better world.

Switching a light off isn't going to save the planet but if, on the other hand, this little individual act is done in a manner that raises awareness and gets folks to think about it and then take action in many different ways it could be a very valuable baby step. If then Earth Hour can be thought of as tool that can be used to slip a meme, a small idea packet, beyond the veil of our daily consumer culture it is worthwhile. So mr. mud and his trusty companion Pancho the wonder dog are gathering the candles and dusting off the hand cranked radio in preparedness for our hour of enjoying the 'want-less' meme and remembering that  “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors…we borrow it from our children.”