A French organization, L’Alliance pour la Planète, is spearheading an interesting initiative to draw attention to energy use and global warming. The group is proposing that everyone in France turn off anything relying on electricity on February 1st from 19h55-20h00 (7:55pm-8:00pm). The impetus of their advocacy seems to come from their wish to make energy management and climate change larger issues in the French Presidential elections. February 1st was also selected because it precedes the unveiling of an intergovernmental report on climate change to the United Nations in Paris. Information about and encouragement to adopt the initiative has apparently spread beyond France to the rest of Europe and other parts of the world.
It should be interesting to see just how much, and what type of attention this “event” attracts. As well, it is unclear how the group will measure its success. It is often easy to be skeptical about one-off events. However, it is important to recognize that L’Alliance pour la Planète, is balancing their February 1st initiative with the call to everyone that 5 minutes of energy saving is not enough in and of itself. Rather, they hope that it can be a springboard for better awareness and inspire people to think more carefully about energy use in the future. Also, their website has information that seems to suggest there are other events planned to coincide with the 5 minutes of respite. Hopefully actions and information are well balanced and people become properly informed and motivated, even if it is just to make some little changes.
The five minutes will be from 10:55-11:00am Pacific ST, 1:55-2:00pm Eastern ST, (3:55-4:00am in Korea on Feb 2nd). You can also go here for a somewhat okay on-line English translation of L’Alliance pour la Planète’s website.