This Saturday night Perth will be asked to turn out the lights for an hour. Ultimately the purpose of this international campaign is to raise awareness of global warming. Many cities are involved in this, including Tel Aviv as the only participant in the Middle East.
Around the blogosphere, it would seem that most people have taken a cynical attitude towards this. It is fair to question what difference our actions will really make, but I’m not sure that this is the main point. My own opinion is somewhat mixed. On the one hand I see Earth Hour as a prank style initiative, in a campaign that is heavily sensationalised. I hold by the view that global warming is not the result of producing electricity or driving cars. Some 70% of carbon in our atmosphere comes from humans and animals breathing. Over-consumption may be an issue, but it is not an issue in isolation. On the other hand, what harm can it do to be aware that our use of resources in a finite world needs to be rationalised, and we need to express this by showing we do not take commodities such as electricity for granted.
With this theme in mind, it is worth considering that there is something beautiful built into Judaism, that is like having Earth hour every single week. It’s not only Earth Hour, but its Earth Day. Our Shabbat is spent by seggregating our dependence on technology. We do not drive our vehicles. We do not activate our electrical appliances. We utilise commodities with predetermined care and in a manner that distinguishes them from everyday consumption.
If we really want to save the world, we need to do more than think about global warming as a crusade in isolation.
Wishing Jewgle readers a Shabbat Shalom.