Can’t climate change be fun?

It’s a nice prompt for Earth Hour. The mechanic is great. But would it be very effective outside the novelty of an annual event? And how about creating habitual, everyday behaviour?

It would be marvellous if we all cared about the planet. And if a questionnaire were stuck under our noses perhaps we’d think that we do. Perhaps we’d acknowledge that given food shortages because of drought, we’d be suffering first.

But at weekday lights-out time we care about going home. Or rushing to the gym, or that dubious post we made on social media.

We care that we’re hungry. Or there’s a party to get to. That there’s nothing for dinner. We care about the presentation that isn’t ready. Or the match that’s just starting. That we’re the last one in the bloody office. Again.

On our way out of work we care about lots of things, but climate change?

Of course, firstly, it’s not the planet we should be worried about — it’ll be better off without us. And secondly, the message here brings little awareness of context.

Yet the clever yes/no mechanic has lots of options to encourage habitual behaviour if we forget persuasion towards being an earthy custodian.

How about asking: Do you like donuts? Had a hard day? Had a great day? Is it time for a beer? Did you laugh today? Is your boss great?

You can’t help the planet with donuts? Who said that? Get out — of course you can. If the printed message were swapped for a small white board and marker it could inspire interaction, has the possibility for fun, the ability to be more in tune with its local… dare I say it, environment.

It does the same job, and yes, people might leave the lights on because, grumpily, the answer is no, it’s not time for a beer, or whatever. But engagement goes hand in hand with frivolity faster than worthiness.

The important stuff few of us read can go underneath. But to keep things Earth Hour all year and for global appeal, forget, ‘the planet’.

This year’s Earth Hour is on Saturday 19 March at 8.30pm #EarthHourUK