WWF-Canada Blog:

Earth Hour 2015: 10 reasons why climate change is the issue of the year

Earth Hour is nearly upon us (Saturday March 28, 2015 between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. in your local time zone) and this year, more than ever, we’re thinking about why we turn off the lights.

© Jeremiah Armstrong / WWF-Canada

© Jeremiah Armstrong / WWF-Canada

On Saturday, we turn off the lights as a symbolic gesture, the first step toward taking action for our planet. In doing so, we make a powerful, visual statement of our concern for environmental issues and show support for meaningful action on climate change. Last year over 12 million Canadians participated in Earth Hour with 350 cities and towns across the country. And this year, to get you into the spirit once again, we want to share 10 reasons why now is the time to take climate action.

1. “Man-made climate change is one the biggest threats the world faces today.” It is not just us saying this but also Barack Obama…David Cameron…UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Pope Francis, WWF, Leonardo Di Caprio and Emma Thompson…you get the idea! Watch them in our video.

2. Climate change will have major and unpredictable effects on the world’s water systems, including an increase in floods and droughts, causing in turn, an impact on food supply, displacement and conflict.

© WWF / Simon Rawles

© WWF / Simon Rawles

3. Seasonal shifts, extreme weather conditions, change in precipitation patterns caused by climate change will impact farming and agriculture, a source of food and livelihood for more than half of the global population.

4. The world has warmed by 0.8°C since pre-industrial times. Reports by NASA, the MET, Japan’s Meteorological Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) indicate that 2014 was the hottest year on record.

5. At the current rate of degradation, the iconic Great Barrier Reef could be dead within a human lifetime.

Variety of fish swimming in the Great Barrier Reef. © Troy Mayne

Variety of fish swimming in the Great Barrier Reef. © Troy Mayne

6. A report released by WWF and leading meteorologists shows that human-induced global warming was a key factor in the severity of the 2002 drought in Australia, generally regarded as the worst ever.

7. This year, winter sea ice in the Arctic hit a new low. Loss of sea ice habitat has already been observed to have negative consequences on animal populations and the communities that depend on them in the north.

Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) coming out of water up onto the Arctic sea ice, Canada. © Paul Nicklen/National Geographic Stock / WWF-Canada

Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) coming out of water up onto the Arctic sea ice, Canada. © Paul Nicklen/National Geographic Stock / WWF-Canada

8. Rising sea levels threaten entire nations on low-lying islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.​

9. In December this year, world leaders will be gathering in Paris to make commitments to fight climate change and ensure a sustainable future for our planet. We think we should all be aware of what the discussions will be- don’t you? Stay informed on what your government is doing to fight climate change and share your stories with us on Facebook or Twitter. ​

Candleit panda logo,  Earth Hour, Toronto, Canada © WWF-Canada / Merle Robillard

Candleit panda logo, Earth Hour, Toronto, Canada © WWF-Canada / Merle Robillard

10. Climate change might seem too huge or too abstract a challenge but real impact can be achieved – all it takes is the first step. Join Earth Hour to help deliver tangible environmental outcomes and use #YourPower to help change climate change!

Visit earthhour.org for more information on Earth Hour or to find an event near you!

  • Valewood

    “To influence the masses, start with the weak-minded” was a famous quote circulating back during the 1940’s. Along with “If you’re going to tell a lie, don’t tell a little one, tell a BIG one” creates the perfect conditions for a lot of people who know very little, believing in something that they have zero understanding of, because it makes them feel important and knowledgeable.

    That lack of scientific probity was taken as license by the Climate Change guys (Global Warmingists as they were called) and so they built this lovely house-of-cards, based on the idea that CO2 (which makes up about one 25000th of the Atmosphere’s mass) was a more significant “Greenhouse gas” than everything else.

    This is based on the claim that CO2 absorbs IR (InfraRed radiation) and re-emits longer wave IR, so it gathers the heat that the Earth, warmed by the sun, radiates, and radiates it back at the Earth.

    This is a crock:

    a) for CO2 to absorb and reradiate in this fashion, it would have to be at temperatures found on the surface of the sun;

    b) this ‘mechanism’ relies on 1-dimensional thinking, while the movement of convective air currents is a 3D phenomenon;

    c) Fourier, who is claimed to have supported the original Greenhouse Effect stated that the only way it could work would be if the atmosphere were to become motionless [not just currents and winds, but vibrationally as well] and _its optical qualities not change_, a physical impossibility.

    So now we have politicians and media talking heads going on about the Greenhouse effect, which is based on science that was discarded (for very good reasons) over 100 years ago, and which has not been proven, bolstered by taking characteristics of gasses in the atmosphere that they could not possibly exhibit while _in_ the atmosphere, and mishing it together to create the Ultimate Political Crow Bar.

    Because, after all, the only real change that Climate Change has brought has been from peoples’ pockets to governments.

  • Raf Ollivierre

    The “Human Achievement” you are celebrating is really the result of scientific progress. So why do you then deny the fact that science has established that human activity is causing global warming, loss of habitat, and species extinction. I detect some selfishness and cognitive dissonance in your actions.

  • Valewood

    We recognize Earth Hour by celebrating Human Achievement. We turn on all the lights in the house, the tv’s, the computers, put up the outside Christmas lights, etc. Then when Earth Hour comes, we go outside and sit in the driveway with our cars running and the music playing. Others on our street have started doing the same and it’s almost like one big community party. And the street is lit up like a Christmas tree.

  • mememine

    How is Earth Hour not a CO2 death threat to the lives of billions of innocent children?

  • Fran Rametta

    Now’s our big chance! let’s turn out our lights this Saturday at 8:30 pm and show the world South Carolina rocks!