Monday, March 30, 2009

Disappointing Earth

On Saturday, the hour from 8:30 to 9:30pm was designated "Earth hour". The idea started in Australia, and its purpose is to cut down on energy consumption for that hour. In most cases, this means shutting off extra lights, computers, and other unused appliances in one's house.

We lit a few candles, shut off all our lights (we use the non-incandescent bulbs anyway), the network computers in our house, and did not turn on the TV, even though one of the programs we regularly watch was scheduled for that time.

I looked out our windows during that hour. Sad to say, I noticed absolutely no difference from the normal situation. All our neighbours' lights were on as usual, the highrises in our neighbourhood were lit up like Christmas trees (as usual), and the sky did not look one whit darker (it was as light-polluted as ever). If I want to be charitable, I'll say that most people did not even know about this hour; otherwise I have to assume that people around us just don't give a damn.

As it turns out, our city, along with many others, saved less energy this time than last year. What does that say about individual people's attitude towards "Global Warming" and climate change?