Photography by Rhett Morita: giveadamnproductions.com
“The world is run / history is made / decisions are made by those who show up.”
Thirty-strong at peak, Earth (Emergency) Hour Toronto 2010 was the climax of our All-March Long ecoACTathon and our biggest public volunteer mobilization yet!
We approached the occasion as an opportunity to stage and photograph a large group display that would both communicate the urgency of our message, and help promote the value of / fun to be had hang’n with eco-S.
It was windy and cold when we arrived, so we decided not to break out the inflatable globe on a stretcher that had made such a great centrepiece last year.
Surrounded by cement towers, electric billboards and the corporate, consumerist overkill of Yonge-Dundas Square, street performers and musicians touched on a good energy at times. For the most part, though, I think the majority of us found the event to be pretty empty and, well, just plain disturbing.
Planned material on stage fell 10 minutes short and the hosts scrambled to fill time with vacuous nonsense before the final countdown to lights out at 8:30 pm.
Most of the area had already dimmed over the course of what seemed like about half-an-hour, but one huge ad by the main intersection and some other lights remained on throughout. This made for a very anti-climactic switch-off because it never quite felt like things were shut down and, for various reasons, they couldn’t do it all at once. An hour later, the square returned to its full, wasteful intensity.
Several of you traveled from far out of town to be with us. A few of you endured physical challenges, and some overcame reservations or introversion to participate.
The whole process to mobilize for Earth Hour increased traffic to our website, expanded our email list and allowed us to connect with many potential volunteers, whether they were present that night or not.
ecoSanity had the largest, highest profile display, the public snapped a lott’a pics of our message and no one anywhere, on stage or off, spoke to the accelerating EMERGENCY, threat and injustices posed by the climate crisis but us! ecoSanity’s All March-Long ecoACTathon was a busy four weeks and a lot to conceive, post and organize, with very little money or resources.
Some of you volunteered, donated, promoted, or offered free spaces for use. Others have long been — and are always — there for us. Many more were new to eco-S and one generous and talented person devoted several weeks of time, energy and expertise to implement core enhancements to our website.
Willingness to contribute through written, resource or financial support is essential and, by all means, please don’t hesitate to donate. But in many ways, the most impressive and empowering contribution any individual can offer is actual, enthusiastic attendance because it is uncommon, often courageous and always impactful.
In these crucial times that require EMERGENCY climate action at EMERGENCY speed before it’s too late, we can’t overemphasize how helpful and influential it can be to participate, make noise, expand our numbers, fill the frame and inspire an even greater turnout in the future.
Our deepest gratitude to all of you who have, at one time or another, taken part in ecoSanity’s volunteer activities. And to those who haven’t, we invite you to join us next time and see what we mean.
Until then, thanks to everyone who helped make our All-March Long ecoACTathon the most it could be:
(Alphabetical) Adriana MH, Alex T, Andreea I, Angela B, Anne P, Brant O, Brenda R, Brett R, Caitlin B, Chai K, Charlie H, Chester Y, Clayton T-M, Dan D, Dave F, Dave L, Dave V, Dewan A, Duncan M, Dylan R, Ellen M, Emily H, Eryn W, Genna B, George M, Hayley T, Jeff B, Joshua KR, Josh T, Joy G, Judy D, Julie J, Kathleen N, Katy D, Keith T, Laura S, Lesley S, Linda Y, Liz R, Lyn A, Maria H, Maryam A, Melodie M, Nadine S, Neil & Charmaine M, Osmond S. & the staff at U of T’s International Student Centre (ISC), Patricia W, Pawl T, Peter C, Peter P, Pieter B, Rene E, Rhett M, Risa Z, Rita B, Rose K, Sappho M, Sarah F, Science for Peace, Sharon H, Shawn K, Sherry O, Soo Luen T, Taylor F, and a guy we don’t know who wore one of our shirts in pics at Earth Hour.
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