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Earth Hour

Posted by THEPOGG on Apr 05, 2019

Having already taken a close look at our reliance on the earth’s forests and oceans, it seems only fitting to round off the month with our nod to Earth Hour.

Organised by the WWF, Earth Hour will take place this Saturday, the 30th of March at 8.30pm your time. To take part in the process all you need to do is to turn everything off. For that one hour no electricity should be used in your home. Plunge yourself into darkness, silence and embrace the skull-rattling boredom.

It will be an hour for candles, conversation, paperback books, warm jumpers and blankets.

During those 60 minutes some of the world’s most iconic landmarks will throw their hats into the ring and do what comes least naturally by hiding in the shadows. If you are taking part and live near the Sydney Opera House, Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace, or Edinburgh Castle, you’ll either need to look out the window or check the internet at 9.30 to see if they have done as promised.

Why Earth Hour?

Some will argue that one hour a year has little impact on the damage that those of us (all of us not living in the third world) who are reliant on electricity cause over a 12-month period. It is hard to argue with this and difficult to see those 60 minutes of 19th century toe-dipping as anything other than a token gesture or a fleeting novelty.

The WWF would argue that if you are thinking this way then you’re missing the point. They argue that “… Earth Hour is so vital – it gives a powerful voice to people everywhere who want to put the world on the path to recovery.”

They say that Earth Hour is each person’s opportunity to make “…pledges to help our planet, and by being part of a movement of hundreds of millions more around the globe, we can show we’re fighting for our world.”

In other words the WWF believe that as an isolated endeavour Earth Hour will have no long-term benefits for the future of our planet. Turning off our lights at 8.30 and turning them back on at 9.30 is not really the point. Earth Hour is not about those 60 singular minutes but about what they symbolise. They give those who want to make a difference something to do, a way to engage, a chance to speak out about something that they feel is important in a world of Brexit, Premier League Football and Kim Kardashian’s eyebrows.

Earth Hour gives people the chance to look out of their windows to see who else cares. To see how many people feel the same way they do about saving our planet. It is, like a march on Whitehall, a show of solidarity, a way to connect with others by turning off those connections that we now depend on so much. Above all else, Earth Hour gives those who care about our planet’s future a chance to mute the likes of Jeremy Clarkson and Donald Trump who waste no time in calling out anyone who wants a bright future for the next generation a snowflake.

For those who take part out of novelty it gives them an hour to think about why they are doing so and what small changes they could make in their own lives to reduce the size of their own carbon footprint. That time, that uninterrupted time, with no distractions, no channels to change, feeds to update and no boxset to binge on. That is what is important. That, and the reflection that it brings.

After having written articles on deforestation and ocean pollution, Earth Hour feels like the perfect opportunity to bring all that together before we inevitably move onto something more frivolous next week. Looking at our trees and oceans, the animals and resources that fill them, the benefits they bring and the damage that we have caused them in isolation could have us thinking that they are separate issues, that some people might want to care about one but not the other. Earth Hour leaves no room for separation and brings together everything that we hold dear on our miraculous little blue and green speck in the universe.

There are inevitably thousands of statistics that can be used to highlight the devastation that decades of human ecocide have caused and the ensuing harm that is waiting just around the corner for us, but the WWF have chosen these 6 simple bullet-points to spearhead their campaign:

• Wildlife population sizes have plummeted by 60% in less than 50 years.
• One in six species is at risk of extinction because of climate change.
• There could be more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050.
• We lose an area of forest the size of a football pitch every two seconds.
• Food is a major driver of wildlife extinction. The food we eat in the UK alone is linked to the extinction of an estimated 33 species at home and abroad.
• Nature provides our life-support system – from the air we breathe, to the water we drink and the food we eat. We cannot survive without it.

These warnings are prefixed with the following: “We’re destroying forests, choking the oceans with plastic, decimating wildlife population sizes, and causing devastating changes to the climate.

The problem is we think we have time. But nature needs life support right now.”

How Earth Hour Can Help?

As I have already mentioned, the key to Earth Hour is the sense of solidarity it creates. That if we sense that others are like-minded we are more likely to believe that we can make a difference. The WFF claim that the collective voice of those taking part in Earth Hour has helped to influence climate policy in “Russia, Argentina, Ecuador and Wales.” Laws, like the ban on plastic in the Galapagos, an Earth Hour protected forest in Uganda and, perhaps most significantly, “90% of people who take part in Earth Hour say it inspires them to do more to protect the planet.”

Earth Hour is about much more than just turning off the lights. It is about turning ourselves onto the damage that our own actions cause. It is not just about climate change, it is about humanity’s exploitation of the planet that we live on and the changes that we need to start making to preserve a fruitful existence for future generations.
Instead of me trying to sum all of this up I will instead turn to the wisdom of Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International, who said:

“Science is showing us the harsh reality our forests, oceans and rivers are enduring at our hands. Inch by inch and species by species, shrinking wildlife numbers and wild places are an indicator of the tremendous impact and pressure we are exerting on the planet, undermining the very living fabric that sustains us all: nature and biodiversity.”

Slots

To fit with this particular I’ve decided not to apply too many constraints. Earth Hour is a celebration of the planet’s natural beauty and resources but it is also a warning to us, that our actions need to change. As such, I’ll looking at games that encapsulate those two elements and I’ll be trying not to repeat too much that we’ve looked at in some of our other lists already.

You can expect to see games that are set in beautiful, natural surroundings but you can also expect to see visions of a dystopian future, where we’ve lost sight of what is really important. I’ll be including games that are linked to electricity, whilst also looking at games that at involving one of the natural world’s great blights, mining. There may be a few unexpected inclusions but I promise that I will explain the addition of all games, along with what we think is so good about them (even the ones about mining).

Jungle Spirit – Call of the Wild

Jungle Spirit – Call of the Wild is a game that I feel should have been included in the last feature article but I just could not find space for it on the short 5 game list. This Net Entertainment release scored an impressive 9 out of 10 from us on initial review and is quite simply a stunning looking slot. You enter the jungle and spend time with some animals, some of which are critically endangered, each one drawn with exquisite precision. There are a good number of features to keep things interesting, some random and others, like the Free Spins, earned through symbol combinations.

Play the game here for free

Planet of the Apes

The Planet of the Apes film franchises and the TV show are a message to humanity about our manipulation and maltreatment of nature. The apes revolt against us because we treat them as a commodity, as something to be exploited for our own gains. The world that the franchise is set in is far too large and complex for us to describe all of the themes and ideas that the writers wrestled with, but there can be no doubt that one of the key messages was the need for us to start treating the other inhabitants of our planet with the respect that they deserve before disastrous consequences transpire. As for the game, this is another from Net Entertainment and given the 10 out of 10 it received at the time, there really isn’t much here that could be improved upon. It looks fantastic and has an array of features that made it one of the standout releases of 2018.

Play the game here for free

Dr Watts Up

Dr Watts Up is a tenuous attempt to include a game that contains an electric theme. There you go, nothing to hide here, no lies to tell and least you can now understand why it made it onto our list. It’s not just electricity that Dr Watts uses to experiment on animals with, as a quick inspection will reveal a whole host of mad science equipment is used to terrify the slightly fat looking lab rat. When it was first released by Microgaming we rated Dr Watts Up an impressive 8 out 10, essentially because it looked great, offered great value and had some great features to keep things exciting. A few years down the line and this is all still the case.

Play the game here for free

Rumble Rhino

Rhinos have had their own special place in our themed articles but when we first published our list of the 5 best Rhino games Rumble Rhino had yet to be release by PariPlay. I hope the reasons for including this game on our list is self-explanatory, that during Earth Hour we consider the human damage that is done to our planet and that few animals exemplify this quite like the Rhino. It does not suffer because we indiscriminately destroy the rhino’s habitat. It does not suffer because we drill for oil or dig for coal. It dies because we have attached arbitrary material and medicinal value to the horn on its head. Rumble Rhino is a great game, not just because it looks good and has good features but because PariPlay are using it to try and make a difference to lives of our planet’s rhinos by offering up 10% of any profits it makes to Save the Rhino International.

Play the game here for free

Ragnarock – The Fall of Odin

Ragnarock – The Fall of Odin takes its inspiration from Norse mythology and might have a few of you scratching you heads, wondering why on earth it has made it onto this list. It will likely make it onto a Viking themed list at some point, given the full 10 out of 10 that this Microgaming release gained when we first reviewed it a few years ago. The purpose of Earth Hour is to wake us all up, in order to preserve our future from our every own Ragnarock. Whilst the Vikings believed in a celestial war that would see the full destruction of the entire cosmos, we need to start believing in our own capacity to do the same to all life as we currently know it. The game is outstanding. Visually stunning and filled with excellent features that will keep you engaged through every spin.

Play the game here for free

Dwarf Mine

Dwarf Mine is, at the time of publishing this article, the most recent offering from Yggdrasil. The title speaks for itself, with Dwarf Mine managing to achieve an 8 out of 10 from a style of game that I normally don’t like. Mining games tend to look a little on the dull side as developers use the theme as an opportunity to fill the reels with bland crystal shaped symbols, set against a brown, underground background. Its inclusion reflects our reliance on fossil fuels and other precious items that we need to dig out of the ground. The game looks so much better than most mining games and there are some interesting features on display. But the thing that impressed most with this game was the value for money that it was offering.

Play the game here for free

Conclusions

Having exhausted many of the games that could be added to this list in recent weeks I have decided that a list of 6 games is enough for us to fulfil our Earth Hour themed feature. Any of the games from our International Day of Forests and our World Wildlife Day lists could be added here and if anything, this article has served as a chance to round off a month that has been heavily influence by environmental issues.

If you can take an hour on Saturday and turn everything off. If you can’t manage it on that day, at that time, then why not do it on another day?

Until next week, happy Earth Hour.

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