Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Earth Hour 2009

As Big Ben’s illuminated face went dark on the evening of Saturday 28 March at 8.30 pm, so did the lights in many WI members’ homes; and as a gesture of support Cambridge Federation hosted a supper for members and friends in its office, lit with candles and light jars.

Now, some might say it was a waste of time because the emissions of the cars that brought the people there cancelled any saving made by turning off the lights. I think this can be offset though by the knowledge that was shared between the participants. Many more will now take further actions in their homes to lessen the effect they have on the changed climate. Some will make alteration to their lifestyle as a consequence of hearing of what other people do.

There are so many facets to this climate change issue. The food we ate – pineapple, strawberry, melon – enjoyed by all, but it was brought into this country by airfreight. We now expect exotic fruit to be available all year round and for that to be so it has to be brought into the country by some means. If, however, we do not buy such fruits then what of Fairtrade and the livelihoods of those in the countries where these commodities come from? And recycling was an issue also spoken of at length – all very much to do with the changing climate which was at the heart of this event.

We showed The WI film “A World Without Jam”, which looks forward to a world 20 years from now. Interested? Anyone reading this blog, please do have a look at the film – you can even download it without going leaving this site!

People who did not know each other before this evening will now make a difference to their lives but, not only that, they will make a difference to the changing climate.

Whatever ways we choose to alert people to the necessity of doing something urgently to slow down climate change can only be good – and if Big Ben can do it, so can the WI.

Ruth Bond