Earth Hour…March 31, 2012, 8:30 pm…the one time each year where hundreds of millions of people from around the world join together to disconnect from the grid in support of action on climate change.

Some would say that it’s a powerful symbol.

Some would say that it’s a feel good gesture.

Some would say that with the Leafs not making the playoffs (again…sigh…), there’s nothing better to do on Saturday night.

Some would say it’s the start of a long overdue conversation for some.

Some would say it’s a great excuse for a party.

Some would say that if it’s a clear Toronto night’s, you should see Venus and Jupiter if you look west in the evening sky.

Some would say that we should be using the time to celebrate human achievement instead…but some people will say anything to get attention.  (It’s not that I’m against human achievement or its celebration – hey, I like reality TV as much as the next person – it’s just that there are 8,759 other hours to choose from.)

And your mother?  Why, she could very well say something like, “I evolve you for 200,000 years, give you fresh air, water and food…and all I get is a day and an hour?”

And here at UHN we’re asking people to please make sure to power down this Friday afternoon before heading home (as we know they do every other Friday afternoon) or, if working during Earth Hour, to try to find an empty room with the lights on and give a flick…

Because it’s a powerful symbol, a feel good gesture, a good start to a conversation, a great excuse for a party, a sign of what humans might just possibly achieve…and because our mother would want us to.