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3/28/2008
02:39 PM
Cora Nucci
Cora Nucci
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Of Earth Hour And Toasty Undercrackers

I'll get to the undercrackers in a moment. First, a word about a global event scheduled for Saturday, March 29, which is either a planet-friendly gesture we can all feel good about, or a misguided act of "environmental indoctrination."

I'll get to the undercrackers in a moment. First, a word about a global event scheduled for Saturday, March 29, which is either a planet-friendly gesture we can all feel good about, or a misguided act of "environmental indoctrination."Earth Hour is an event sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund. The proposed hour of darkness is described by the WWF as "a global climate change initiative which calls on individuals and businesses around the world, to turn off their lights for one hour on Saturday March 29 2008 between 8 pm and 9 pm. The aim of the campaign is to express that individual action on a mass scale can help change our planet for the better."

In Chicago, lights will be shut in the Sears Tower, Wrigley Field, and the Boeing headquarters building. McDonald's will extinguish the glowing Golden Arches, but burger service will continue. In San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge will be dark, as will the head offices of HP in Palo Alto. (HP is a WWF partner.)

So is Earth Hour a benign global exercise in raising environmental awareness, or is it something … darker… ?

For the record, I will not be participating. I believe acts of commission are stronger than miniscule acts of ommission. Replacing one incandescent light bulb, for example, will net far geater savings than sitting in the dark for a single hour. But I'm a proponent of personal choice. If yours is to turn out the lights for an hour on Saturday night, go for it.

Peter Foster of Canada's Financial Post, writes much more passionately than I: "If you love civilization, freedom and the use of reason, keep on all the lights you need on Saturday. Take Back the Night." What do you think? Leave a comment below.

***************************

Earlier this week I wrote about Xerox's sustainability calculator, a tool designed to measure energy consumption and waste from office equipment. Given the current financial climate, more and more companies are tightening their belts. Evaporating budgets make powerful motivators, and cutting power consumption is among the most obvious places to start.

Yet somehow, one third of IT managers polled by 1E, a Windows Management software and services company in the U.K., said they feel "zero pressure to reduce power consumption." These people have their own special day, April 1, aka Energy-wasting Day.

Toasty undercrackers, anyone?

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