Tonight at Chez Kosher Whine we participated in Earth Hour 2009. At 8:30pm we turned off our lights along with a billion or so other people around the world to help raise awareness and vote for more action on climate change.
I have no idea if it will change anything, but it would be nice if it did.
What I do know is that it was completely confusing to turn all the lights off right after Shabbat ended. It was even more confusing because KosherCop and I watched a dvd on the computer (via battery power - since flashlights were okay I figured the laptop was okay too).
So there we were in the dark, watching a movie - the power wasn't out so if we wanted to we could turn on the lights and they would have worked. We chose not to turn on the lights yet anything we could manage to do in the dark without breaking our necks was perfectly permissible - cooking, cleaning, writing, etc. Very confusing.
KosherCook and I always experience this same confusion on secular American holidays, especially Thanksgiving when there is a "festive meal." We always walk around all day reminding ourselves its okay to write, phone, cook, and no - we don't have to wait until sundown to eat or light candles.
But, tonight our self-imposed darkness only lasted an hour - an hour that a very tired KosherCop couldn't even make it through. He has a cold - complete with fever - and was begging to go to sleep by 9:15 - which is obviously well past his bedtime. Luckily, flashlight teethbrushing is one of KosherCook's many talents and KosherCop was too tired to ask for a story. Although KosherCook could probably have managed that as well, since he was perfectly happy to read by hurricane lamp candlelight for an hour.
What was interesting was that we talked to my Aunt this evening and KosherCop told her all about how were going to be turning off the lights and why. When I got back on the phone I clarified a few details and her answer was okay, I guess I'll turn my lights off at 8:30 too.
Now this is an 80-something year old woman who lives alone, and yet she was willing to participate in this brief bit of activism with absolutely no convincing. Pretty cool of her, and more importantly, it shows how easy it is to get people on board with this line of thinking.