Turn your lights off. Unplug your appliances. The Earth needs you now.

Be prepared to be bombarded with ridiculous photos of Mother Earth weeping/herniating on several social media platforms, namely Facebook and Twitter, because ‘Earth Hour’ is upon us once again. Earth Hour, an annual event organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature, asks individuals to “take responsibility for the ecological footprint” by turning their lights off for an hour a year.

(Image via Tumblr)

If you’re in Lebanon, picture this: you’re sitting in the dark, eagerly waiting for the clock to strike noon so you can plug your phone in, charge your laptop, watch some television, and turn the water heater on. Instead, when the power finally turns on, you turn it off for an extra hour because…Earth Hour!

With an average of three hours of power cuts in Beirut and up to twelve hours across different areas on a daily basis, we say to Mother Earth: "you’re welcome."

You’re welcome because every hour is Earth Hour in Lebanon. We’ve even had “Earth Days,” “Earth Weeks,” and for a brief period in 1996, we even had “Earth Month."

Back in 2012, former President Michel Sleiman participated in Earth Hour 2012 by switching off the lights at the Baabda Presidential Palace, and urged the Lebanese citizens to follow suit. I am not sure if this was part of some elaborate joke or not, but I find it hilarious. No really, Mr. Former President, have you considered a career in comedy?

Earth Hour is beginning to feel a lot like taxing the poor. Are we going to impose “Hunger-Awareness Hour” in Eritrea next, where we tell them to cut back on meals for a few days to shed light on the food shortage problem in Africa?

Here are some alternatives we can try implementing in Lebanon: “Don’t Be An Asshole Hour,” “Try Being On Time Hour,” or maybe “Try Not To Drive Like a Dick Hour” – a wonderful hour where we all take personal responsibility for the huge penis-shaped footprint we are leaving on this country and on our collective psyches.


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