What started as an energy-saving tactic at the behest of the World Wildlife Fund in Sydney, Australia in 2007 to highlight the urgency of climate change, has spread across the globe to hundreds of cities and millions of people. Earth Hour is a simple, and some cynics would argue, silly, collective measure to freeze our energy use for yes, an hour. But, behind the gimmick is something more valuable: a shared expression of empowerment and the ability of humans to change their circumstances – if only for an hour. This is finally good news.
This piece promises not to be a diatribe against the banking establishment for the current financial crises. After all, inappropriate things were done by the many in the sub-prime mortgage flood, but many were also not involved in negligent profiteering. And lest we forget, unless you live in one of the few communist holdouts on the planet, the motive for a capitalist free market is: profit and growth. We are all supporting that directly or indirectly.
Just when you thought that money ruled everything, along comes a story that gives you hope. It seems the age-old gripe against the pharmaceutical industry of inflated prices and restricted patents for third world health care has just had a volte-face – and it doesn’t seem like a PR stunt! The Guardian newspaper reports that a new initiative to rid the poorest countries of antiquated diseases that still kill millions is moving briskly ahead, thanks to the philanthropic pursuits of the Bill Gates Foundation and the World Health Organization.