Earth Hour is observed every year on the last Saturday of March to make policymakers bring in transformative changes for a sustainable tomorrow and build harmony with nature.
It is a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) initiative. Earth Hour urges people to switch off non-essential electric appliances for one hour at 8:30 pm (local time). This time it has initiated a programme called Earth Hour “Virtual Spotlight”.
Last year (2020) was a year of learning. We understood that human race cannot be healthy if the earth is not healthy. The only way we can transform our world and restore some order is by acting promptly on climate change (at policy level), biodiversity conservation (police and individual level) and bring in sustainability (individual level) in the way we live.
Earth Hour is an occasion that should be utilized to start conversations between governments and people on how to restore the balance of Nature.
The health crisis triggered by COVID-19 pandemic should be treated as a warning sign: Wake up now or perish.
For those who still do not believe that climate change is for real should look around to see how the frequency and duration of extreme weather events like heat wave, cyclones, floods, droughts etc has increased in the last few years and how these extreme happenings are having an effect on humans and the ecosystem.
India’s air quality has been deteriorating rapidly. In fact, air pollution has emerged as the third leading cause of death in the country (preceded by dietary risks and high blood pressure). No wonder 21 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities are in India. As against the common belief, air pollution is not only harmful for human health, but it also impacts farm output and accelerates climate change. There is a direct link between climate change and air pollution.
As a first step, India should very soon make renewable energy (solar, wind, biomass) its primary energy source and shun coal altogether. The Sun God has been very kind to us so we should promote and accept solar–powered energy whole-heartedly. Besides, the geography and topography of our country makes it ideal to harness wind energy as well. Biomass is generated on farms on a large scale. Instead of burning farm stubble and even dry leaves, we should use them to generate energy or at least put them back to ground and increase soil nutrition value.
While it is necessary to adopt renewable energy, it is equally important to increase energy efficiency. A joint study by WWF-India and TERI, The Energy Report – India: 100% Renewable Energy by 2050, highlighted that aggressive efficiency improvements across the energy demand and supply sides have the potential to reduce overall energy demand by about 59 percent in India.
We, the common people, should stand by our policymakers by adopting clean energy sources and bringing in the required behavioural changes. Besides, we should create awareness, consume responsibly and constantly look for technological solutions that will reduce human burden on Mother Earth. We should also engage with the political class, demanding action towards mitigating climate change and air pollution.
Occasions such as Earth Hour provide an excellent opportunity to show the collective power of the society in demanding a transformative change in the way we treat our earth and what efforts we can make to conserve it.
Though Earth Hour has a symbolic value, it is more than just switching off lights and fans for one hour. It shows our commitment towards accepting clean technology innovations that reduce harms to our ecosystems.
What’s new this time on Earth Hour
This year – amidst the current global circumstances – in addition to switching off your lights, the WWF has invited people to raise awareness and create the same unmissable sight online, so that the world sees our planet, the issues we face, and our place within it, in a new light. Click here to know more: https://www.earthhour.org/take-part
The WWF will post a video around 8.30 pm on Saturday (March 27) and it expects social media users to share it their contacts in large numbers using #earthhour