What's possible in just one hour?
Posted by Oisín Coghlan on March 24, 2017 at 04:27 PM
This Saturday is the 10th annual Earth Hour, when people turn off their lights in a "a global moment of solidarity for climate action", as President Michael D Higgins called it today.
As a supporter of Friends of the Earth you know that symbols can be important, but they only get you so far in the struggle to shift Ireland to a more sustainable path. Our fight for a fossil free future is fought week in, week out against political indifference, bureaucratic inertia and vested interests.
So I know that there are those that feel that Earth Hour gives people the impression that climate change can be solved by an annual gesture. Who worry that nothing can be accomplished in an hour. Who know that we need to make every hour Earth hour.
Then I remembered something that I learned just a couple of months ago: enough sunlight hits the Earth every hour to power the world for a year. Each and every hour.
And now solar technology is cheap enough to make sense in Ireland. The future can Run On Sun. So, we want to spark a rooftop revolution. Right now you have to give away any solar electricity you generate for free to the ESB. We're campaigning for the Government to guarantee that you'll get paid. Then people and communities can turn the roofs of their homes, barns, parish halls and sports clubs into locally owned power plants.
And we're teaming up with Solar Without Frontiers who want to put a solar system in the local hospital in Mwimba, Tanzania, to power lighting, refrigeration for medicines, and equipment such as x-ray and ultrasound.
Anything you donate over the next 72 hours will be split 50/50 between our campaigning work in Ireland and helping put solar power on the roof of the hospital in for a fossil free future and the project for solar power for a hospital in Tanzania with our partners, Solar Without Frontiers.
Michael D ended his statement today by saying "Earth Hour is a symbol for the collective power that our individual actions can unlock".
We couldn't have put it better ourselves. Let's make it count.
P.S. Whatever you can give now will go 50/50 to powering our campaign for rooftop solar here in Ireland and powering the project to install solar panels on the roof of a hospital in Tanzania. Thank you.