I must have had my head in the sand for a while or just been too involved with my own things to have only just heard of Earth Hour, but apparently it’s been happening for the last four years. Essentially it’s an effort to make everyone more conscious and aware of climate change by encouraging people, businesses and organisations to turn of their lights for an hour at a predetermined time. In the past, the Eiffel Tower and Empire State Building have both turned off all lights in support of this cause, but this year, a slightly different campaign has developed.
There is a growing call for Facebook to ‘turn off its lights’ during this one hour period, started by an ‘Earth Hour Enthusiast’ named Angie Bird – no, not the massively successful smart phone app, but an actual human being. The campaign has seen a groundswell of support coming from various blogging sites and now even the mainstream media are getting involved. The viral nature of Bird’s effort will have no doubt been aided by her personal plea to Mark Zuckerberg in the form of a video which is harmlessly humourous enough to warrant sending on to people, but also does enough in terms of delivering its ‘saving the planet’ message.
So is there any reason for Mr Z to not pull the plug for an hour? Obviously there are people and organisations that use Facebook for business purposes, who will quite legitimately point out that a one hour shut down at 8:30pm local time for Facebook (which we assume would be GMT -8:00, given that the HQ is in California) would be disruptive to their working day. Either way, there will be a sizable number of people who would oppose Facebook being shut down for a period – even an hour which is a relatively short period when we’re talking about the earth as a whole (I seem to recall being told that the earth is around 4.5bn years old).
So if people are getting irked at the idea of not being able to access their Facebook pages for one hour of planned closures, how would they feel if it suddenly dropped off the map altogether, or if they were to lose their account without warning? Some things are better off not left to chance, and if there is an option to safeguard what you have, then you’d be a fool not to take it.