What about Earth Year?

The second anniversary of Earth Hour has passed. Many people participated by shutting off their lights and other energy-consuming products in support of the global fight against accelerated climate change.

The rest of us, though, did not participate in Earth Hour because it was either too much of an inconvenience or some may not have even known about it.

Though “Saving the Earth” may be part of a popular fad, it’s also a small step toward something more sustainable in the long term. But some have problems about the longevity this initiative seems to lack, which is the inaction before and after Earth Hour. What’s going to happen when everyone flicks on all their electronics and lights after Earth Hour is up?

If these 60 minutes of the year is all you have to feel good about yourself for making a difference, it’s time to get your head out of the sand. Step back and look at the bigger picture.

When you look at the bigger picture you will see that a global recession could have been prevented if it was not for careless overconsumption and widespread greed. Now we have a bigger problem – there is too much demand on our planet’s fragile ecosystem. Something bigger, better, and more innovative is needed to stop temperatures from rising, to stop our icebergs from shrinking, and to stop our sea levels from rising.

People need to put more pressure on their governments to make long-term decisions on low carbon growth technologies and alternative energy sources to reduce greenhouse gases. The Canadian government has been lacking in making these long-term goals. It has ignored the Kyoto Protocol and failed to meet any of the greenhouse gas emissions standards set in the treaty.

In a society so transfixed on technology, taking responsibility is the first step to a sustainable future. If you do decide to look at the bigger picture, you will see in the battle of action versus inaction, the cost of action is far less.

To be part of a real change, sign up for One Million Acts of Green, a project supported by CBC and The Hour’s George Stroumboulopoulos.