No Matter where you are or what you are doing you – as an individual or group – can show that you mean business about conserving energy and being more sustainable. Join up for Earth Hour! | Learn From Nature
At 8.30pm local time on Saturday 31 March, Earth Hour 2012 will see hundreds of millions of people around the world cross borders of race, religion, culture, geography and society to unite in a single moment of contemplation for the planet and celebration of their year-round commitment to protect it.
Now in its sixth year, the annual lights out event has grown from a single-city initiative in 2007 to become the world’s largest display of environmental action, with citizens of 135 countries and territories across every continent coming together for Earth Hour 2011 indicating a growing global movement of positive change in environmental attitudes.
WHAT: Earth Hour 2012
WHEN: Saturday 31 March at 8.30pm in your local time zone
WHERE: Across the globe WHY: To celebrate your commitment to the planet with the people of the world
HOW: Switch off your lights, register your support and get more details at earthhour.org
The 100-day countdown to Earth Hour 2012 has now begun, the iconic ‘lights out’ event that has seen some of the world’s most recognized landmarks, including the Forbidden City, Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace, Golden Gate Bridge, Table Mountain, Christ the Redeemer statue and Sydney Opera House switch off in a global celebration of the one thing that unites us all – the planet.
- Earth Hour (nanawithtwodogs.wordpress.com)
- Observations On Earth Hour (pm27.wordpress.com)
- One Lightbulb at a Time (masonhomes.wordpress.com)
- Action for the planet : Earth Hour is March 31st …. (environmentaleducationuk.wordpress.com)
- Lantern Making (roncy.org)
- Switch Off Your Lights for Earth Hour | Video (icountformyearth.wordpress.com)
- Green News Weekly – Ryan Gosling, 10 Places in Most Need of Water, Sustainable Shanghai Hotel, and Countdown to Earth Hour 2012 (planetforward.ca)
- Earth Day too committed for you? Celebrate Earth Hour instead (grist.org)
- Action for the planet : Earth Hour is March 31st …. (shadowwolf32.wordpress.com)
The editorial of Church of England newspaper
‘It is savage irony that Haiti was the richest agrarian economy for her Spanish and French slave masters, producing immense wealth from its sugar plantations as well as goldmines. Haiti is indeed a stain on the conscience of the West.’
Haiti’s earthquake have put the country into the headlines, of course for all the ‘wrong’ reasons. But it has raised many questions and issues that needed to be asked; more than the answers, our discussions, deliberations and ethical responses are what are important.
Haiti seems to be one of those countries, like many other Carribean and Pacific islands, refereed in case studies of primary or high school geography. Though I am a geographer, I knew near-t0-nothing about Haiti. Before, of course, the earthquake made it front page news. Are we, using this tragedy, to understand from the past and learn to better assist in helping the Haitians themsleves shape their own future.
A quick check regarding background:
‘The French colony, based on forestry and sugar-related industries, became one of the wealthiest in the Caribbean, but only through the heavy importation of African slaves and considerable environmental degradation.’ http://geography.about.com/library/cia/blchaiti.htm
So what now? What should be done?
* The world, esp the US and the West needs to assist Haiti – with aid food, water, medicines now; with medium and long term support of the economic and political structures.
* Tourism is vital for the island - see Simon Calder’s aricle below.
* The west needs to work with the future Haiti government, to help it to realise its own, very real potential.
Simon Calder In The Independent this week
Guilt makes awkward baggage for the holidaymaker. From self-reproach about the impact on the planet of a flight to the sunshine, to the twinge of remorse about supporting human rights abuses by visiting China, many of us would prefer to leave our consciences at home. But in a part of the world that has fallen victim to a humanitarian disaster, should the very notion of tourism be abhorrent? One in five respondents to an online poll conducted yesterday by CruiseCritic appears to think so. They described the return to Haiti’s Labadee Beach of cruise ships as “in poor taste”.
Now, from an ethical perspective you can criticise cruise lines for reducing tourism to a caricature. A vessel the size of a housing estate drifts around the Caribbean, her kitchens serving up absurd quantities of food in a region where many go hungry. She destabilises communities by delivering thousands of visitors at the start of the day then scooping them up before dark, before embarking on the next futile arc in the never-ending circle of indulgence.
Avatar is about our battle for earthly resources reflected in how we view the natural world, its cultures and ourselves. As a film experience, it uses latest special effects to show a adventure ‘about’, ‘in’ and ‘for’ the environment; however it does so much more than this, in the way it very intelligently develops a series of themes on a number of levels.
A US Marine, Jake Sully, is tasked with finding out about what seems at first an alien environment, getting to know its inhabitants, and thereby enable his military bosses to discover how to conquer it for the precious mineral and so rescue Planet Earth from an energy crisis.
With the help of his new companion Neytiri, a girl of the Na’vi people, he struggles, but eventually succeeds, in learning about the natural world around, how he can not only tolerate it, but work and play within it, and gain to respect it. Animals and plants that at first are appear hostile, are shown to be defensive, just as he was first. Through gaining and consolidating his skills and knowledge, Jake learns how to source the basics – food, water and warm – by a growing understanding of the rhythms of nature. There are strong resonances here with regards to children’s desire to ‘be outdoors’ and the bush experiences encouraged as part of outdoor education, so often lacking in what has become known as ‘nature deficit disorder’ in many highly urbanized young people.
This ‘fish out of water’ feeling is highlighted when he comes across animals and plants that glow at night, when disbelief and uncertainty are replaced by wonder and ‘being’ in the moment. Disbelief makes way for ‘taking charge’ when Jake must choose his own animal to ride. Here the animal might kill if he shows fear, but accepts his rider when they none. An animal in the natural state can ‘smell’ fear and reacts negatively to it; a false move – running – might mean death for the person, as a mistake!
These experiences give way to a fresh awareness of the fragility and sacredness of all life, so values now come to the fore. When killing an animal, Jake is seen to make peace with its spirit – acknowledging a new concept that he had likely not considered before he came to Pandora.
With all this new-found awareness, of the natural world, all of its many aspects and the tribe’s connectedness to it – Jake realizes that the very people who brought him to Pandora, and their technology, seek only to take what they want and move on with it.
This same technology, which provided the ‘way in’ to this other world by way of the Avatar Programme, now threatens its very existence. The invasion of men and machines – for the minerals and resulting wealth, and against the indigenous peoples and their sacred lands – is no less a metaphor than a historical truth. Whether it is the American Indians versus the US Government, or the prospectors going into the Amazon Basin – or indeed, some would argue, the Iraq War – this game of White invader going after local people for their natural resources, is a pattern all too familiar. However, familiarity does not breed contempt as some have argued, since history keeps on repeating, yet we are not listening!
Despite reaping deep and massive destruction to the landscape and ecology – if not unlike a nuclear, than certainly similar to the Amazon burning! – an invasion is ostensibly halted with Nature’s help.
Avatar holds a candle to our entire approach to the natural world, drawing in historical presumptions that block our potential understanding of the future us and our relationship with the planet, and through this, everyone who calls it home. Only those with the true and growing understanding of Nature and our range of responses, can we see our way forward to a life lived in harmony on our planet.
If the world of Pandora is so easily likened to our burning habitats, invading countries and displacing indigenous peoples now, Avatar – for its make-believe take – is uncomfortably more real than we would like!