Electrical towers over downtown Toronto

HD Video Captures Need for Earth Hour Action

Last March, 2.2 million residents and 2100 businesses in Sydney, Australia turned off their lights for one hour, WWF's Earth Hour 2007, resulting in an energy consumption of 10.2% for that period of time and making a major statement about what collective effort can build out of seemingly minor individual actions.

Mayor Miller and WWF Canada recently announced Toronto's participation in this year's Earth Hour, teaming up with cities such as Chicago, Tel Aviv, Copenhagen, Manila and even Suva (Fiji) in joining an expanded set of Australian cities to make Earth Hour 2008 a global event.

The Toronto Star has positioned themselves as the primary local media outlet for the event and is making various attempts to use their reach to call attention to it - including the recent posting of a striking new video created by one of their photographers.

The Earth Hour video that is sitting front and centre on both the international Earth Hour site and Canadian Earth Hour site is designed to be an introduction to the concept and background of the event and is worth watching for that reason, but that isn't the one I want to share with you.

Intended for a global audience, that spot does include some visual impressions of the current ecological state of the world, but their focus on the changing landscapes of other continents can make it hard to integrate that message into life in non-desertified-Toronto, which is exactly where we need to be creating reminders for ourselves if we're going to remember Earth Hour at 8 p.m. on March 29th and apply its lessons across the rest of the calendar.

In contrast to that video, the Toronto Star's Lucas Oleniuk has created the less informative and more artistic "Airsick," a video assembled from 20 000 still black & white photographs. The Star is showing this as a small flash video on their site, but don't watch it like that. Because the video was created from high-quality still photos, they're also offering it as a large-size, high-definition version of the video that is much more beautiful and powerful.

If you really don't want to bother with the HD version (although you really should!) then you can now catch the squishified low-quality one on YouTube instead:

Airsick's high speed stop-motion imagery depicts the state of the local Toronto ecosystem by conveying the immense impact of our simple day-to-day living habits, mostly overlooking the easily-noticed massive construction projects and drawing our focus to the little details that add up so quickly and that are the main target of the Earth Hour event. It does this in a way that is visually stunning, helping to solidly imprint its message on the viewers in a way that will hopefully carry over into their interaction with Toronto in the real world.

Photo: Texture Towers by blogTO Flickr pool contributor ~EvidencE~.

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