Earth Hour Is Upon Us

Tonight at 8:30 PM citizens around the world will turn the lights off for one hour as a symbolic gesture.  This is the Lenten season when many people are voluntarily fasting or giving up something as a sign of repentance and humility.  Unplugging for one hour is what I call a “coal fast.”

Will it change the world?  Symbolic gestures don’t change the world in themselves.  What they do is raise consciousness.  And a change in awareness could make us take other actions.  Here is what people in other countries are doing:

In Switzerland, the city of Geneva plans to switch off the lights on its theaters, churches and monuments. Among these are the Reformation Wall, where floodlights normally illuminate 10-foot (three-meter) statues of John Calvin and other leaders of Protestantism. The city’s motto engraved on either side of the statues is:

“After darkness, light.”

Romania planned to turn off lights at the massive palace built in Bucharest by the late dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.  (more from Yahoo News)

Last night I attended a Care of Creation seminar.  I learned that one in four mammals is endangered, and one in three mammals, and half of the world’s frogs.  Half of the world’s forests, wetlands, and grasslands are endangered or already gone.

Turning off the power for an hour and meditating on what we can do individually and collectively, might be a good way to spend the evening of the fifth Sunday in Lent.