Saturday, March 28, 2009

Our Earth Hour

D6_27 MacKerricher sunset trees1

I confess that although we will participate, I don’t really get the point of Earth Hour. What is turning out the lights in your house for a single hour actually supposed to accomplish? The “Vote Earth” theme for this year doesn’t help explain it in any way. At least not to me. I get that it’s supposed to be symbolic but it’s much too vague. Here in Vancouver we have hydro power so there is no burning of fossil fuels to keep our light bulbs burning anyhow. Plus most of the lights in our house are the fluorescent energy-saving ones. Not that I’m totally convinced that they are the wonderful things touted by all and sundry, including environmentalists. They contain mercury which is a nasty poison. At least there are places to drop them off when they don’t work anymore. But please don’t actually drop them! And do not get me started on where to recycle my long fluorescent tubes. I’ve been trying to find a convenient place to do so and can’t find one. We’ve been collecting them for years rather than throw them in the trash. But I digress.

So please inform me if I’m wrong here. Wouldn’t it make more sense to stop driving your car for an hour? Or turn the temperature down on your furnace? Or if the point is saving electricity, how about turning off other things as well as the lights, such as the computer, the TV and anything else you can unplug? And what about businesses? Shouldn’t they participate too? Most probably use more power than my little house does. I guess they don’t want to inconvenience anyone too much or make it too complicated for Average Everyday Folks to participate. But really, what’s with the weird 8:30-9:30pm timing of this World Event? Is it supposed to be significant or something? Or just a random choice? Questions, questions.

Nevermind. We go to bed at 9pm around here anyway so we’ll just turn out the lights a few minutes earlier than usual. And then peek out the windows to see if anyone else in our neighbourhood is following suit.

“We’re all individuals!”
“I’m not.”
       from Monty Python’s Life of Brian

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