Speakers includie Tim Flannery (Australian of the Year 2007), Simon Sheik (Executive Director of GetUp), Larissa Brown (Young Environmentalist of the Year 2007) and more!
Power Shift will be held from 11-13th July 2009 at the University of Western Sydney Parramatta Campus.
On March 29 at 8 pm cities around the world will plunge themselves into darkness as a gesture in the fight against global warming. At a similar event in 2007, Sydney residents and businesses demonstrated their concern about global warming by switching their lights off for one hour. The Earth Hour campaign was launched by the World Wide Fund for Nature Australia (WWF) and the Sydney Morning Herald, and was part of a larger effort to reduce Sydney’s annual emissions by 5 per cent. The event reduced electricity consumption during the hour by 10.2 per cent, and nearly 2.5 million people (57 per cent of Sydney’s population) are believed to have participated. In 2008, Sydney will not be the only city participating. The following is a list of cities taking part in the event:
The actual reductions in carbon dioxide emissions as a result of Earth Hour will be negligible (less than one hundredth of a percent of Sydney’s annual emissions). Caroline Overington (The Austrailan) criticised Earth Hour in 2007 saying that it was a “monumental flop”. Readers should however note that The Australian is owned by News Limited (a rival of the newspaper that sponsored the event). One prominent neo-conservative blogger (whom I will not dignify with a link) has even started an ‘Anti-Earth Hour’ campaign in which she encourages readers to turn on as many household appliances as possible during the time when Earth Hour is scheduled.
Despite the criticism of a handful of individuals, the overall reaction by the world’s media last year was overwhelmingly positive. Whilst I agree with critics who make the somewhat obvious statement that actual emissions reductions will be negligible, I think the event is worthwhile for a few reasons:
It has received and will continue to receive a large amount of publicity. It is a very cost-effective way to promote the cause of preventing climate change.
It will raise the awareness of individual participants regarding the household activities that cause carbon emissions. People will feel empowered to make small changes in their daily lives on an ongoing basis (eg to switch unnecessary lights off every night!)
It sends a message to governments and political parties that this is an issue that people are concerned about. 57 per cent of the population is enough voters to win an election!
It could lead to future events that are larger in scale and scope
I strongly encourage all readers to participate in Earth Hour 2008 by switching their lights off for an hour at 8 pm on March 29. Please send photos (eg of your city’s darkened skyline) and I’ll be glad to post them here!
For more information, please visit the Official Earth Hour site or any of the following blogs with useful information and discussion about Earth Hour: