In this case, however, it isn't so much about the effect as it is the awareness; about sending a message throughout the world in regards to the need for action. It encourages people to remain thoughtful of climate change and take the necessary actions, everyday, to reduce our impact on the climate.
Honestly, I believe that is what's really at the heart of things like "gas outs" as well. I think everyone knows one day of not buying gas isn't going to make much of an impact on the oil companies, however, it does send a powerful message: we are aware and we will take the necessary steps to reduce our consumption.
A lot of people get hung up on the thought that "gas outs" don't work because one day of not fueling up doesn't hurt the oil companies, but, the true symbolism is lost...When the e-mails start going out about gas outs, everyone is aware of the problem, and, even if only for a short while, the gas situation is at the forefront of our minds. People start using alternative methods of transportation and doing what they can to reduce their consumption of gas. In that respect, I don't find it futile. We cannot even attempt to change anything if we are unaware of the problem.
--The member formerly known as Demonica
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
- Mahatma Gandhi