Illuminate the problem (Earth Day)

‘A different world cannot be built by indifferent people’ ~ Peter Marshall.

A post dedicated to Earth Day:

Did you turn your light off for Earth Hour? Guilty as charged, I didn’t. It slipped my mind. Even at 3am there are blocks of corporate buildings and offices ablaze with light on a nightly basis. In some areas the light pollution can be so bad that it’s impossible to see the twinkling stars nestled in the velvety night’s sky. Light might make the city sparkle but it sure isn’t abiding by any of this energy saving talk we’re hit with telling us we need to be ‘greener’. I still think Earth Hour is badly publicised, I don’t think it takes presence in people’s memories. Earth Hour and Earth Day don’t even coincide on the same day, wouldn’t it be more effective to combine the two?

If this is really going to be a global phenomenon it needs to be mentioned outside the environment & science sections of your newspapers. Away from Discovery channel reminders and into the conscious of the wider public. But then comes the question, what does it matter anyway? It’s an hour. An hour won’t cut carbon emissions. Some even argue that the start-up power to restore all the energy-draining devices and lighting after Earth Hour is greater than the energy saved during the light off hour. Especially fluorescent lights that are most energy effective when hot and running. I think the main aim is to drum up an obvious connection between energy use, the environment and climate change. Hoping for a small, temporary change to morph into a long-standing care and consideration for the planet. Remind us we are responsible for our environmental footprint. Illuminating the problem by a green gesture.

Across the world switches were flicked. Plunging famous architectural landmarks and city centre megastructures into darkness. Boston Globe (2009/2010) covered the Earth Hour action, it’s worth visiting just to see the stark contrasts and how mysterious the black-out areas are, almost unrecognisable in some cases.

Here are my favourites:

Hong Kong Island

Above: Sydney skyline. Below: Toronto highrises.

Above: Eiffel Tower, Paris loses its glow. Below: Mohammed Ali mosque creates a silhouette in the Egyptian capital Cairo.

Top: Las Vegas devoid of its lights alive charm Below: The central business district of Singapore during Earth Hour.



Filed under Life, Nature and Planet Earth

11 responses to “Illuminate the problem (Earth Day)

  1. zeldagirl

    These r fun pictures! It’s interesting to see the differences. Have u visited them? By the way, I like that u spell ur name Nikki. That’s how I spell mine, too.

    • I love the contrast, in some cases I love how much more mysterious the structure looks without being flooded with lights.

      Sadly I haven’t been to them 😦 I stopped over at Toronto once but I won’t count it as it was a matter of hours. Every single place above is on my ‘must see in my lifetime’ list. Which would you love to see the most?

      Hip-hip hurrah for a Nikki with two K’s. And ending in an ‘i’ that’s important!

  2. Julie

    these are cool pictures! I remembered doing Earth hour in college but unfortunately not a lot of places in my apartment building did it. If it weren’t for a facebook invite, I don’t think I would’ve participated in Earth hour.

    • I love Boston Globe they always pull off amazing shots. Even their series on swine flu was interesting!

      They really need to bring it into the public conscious more, maybe even TV stations announcing it and then going ‘offline’ for an hour.

      I think it’s a perfect time to bring out the candles and Monopoly!

  3. I find initiatives like these a mixed bag. In some ways, it is great that any sort of environmental issue is getting some attention. On the other hand, sometimes I feel like people feel as though taking such simple actions are enough, as though it gets them out of making larger scale life environmental changes in their lives.

    • Your points are really important and I’m nodding my head in agreement here.

      It’s a shame that for the rest of the year the majority of environmental issues fall off the radar. Same when an environmental crisis happens, such as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the news is all over if for the first few days then it becomes ‘old news’ even though the problem is nowhere near to being sorted.

      I’m good with the recycling and electricity usage year round, my boyfriend laughs when I go round making sure the stand by lights are off. I would love to be able to make a bigger contribution, it’s a bit frustrating when many can’t make the minimum changes that add up if everyone makes that change.

  4. Ray

    ooh I remember Hong Kong island. Been so long since I went back to Hong Kong. I only ever went to ocean park once. Never felt the need to go back again. Although, I would have imagined the place would be different. Hmm should go visit Hong Kong Disneyland when i go back again.. hehe

  5. Sophie

    I actually was one of those that did take part in it…just my boyfriend made sure he put alllll his lights on in his flat to make up for it! I know it wouldn’t make a big change for one hour, but during that time I did think and reflect on the ways I still use energy needlessly and have tried to cut back even further. First result: 2 months’ worth of gas bill in credit! Let’s see if the electricity one is the same, fingers crossed!

    • Trust the pesky boyfriend to sabotage your eco-warrior plans. Go go green lovely lady!!

      Great news of the bills, next time someone says ‘what has saving the environmental done for you?’, hit them with your stats!

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