Monday, 7 March 2011

Is there any point in the Earth Hour?


Berita Kampus asked me a whole series of questions about Earth Hour but I chose to answer just one : "From your opinion, is there really any point to Earth Hour?"

This is what I said in reply :
My response is that Earth Hour by itself, in the long run, is not going to get us to resolve the issues of climate change.

What it has done effectively is to capture the imagination of the people across the world to pay some attention to the issue of climate change. But I am sure many who participate do it just to be part of the "gang"; they are probably not focussed on intentions of the campaign.
I have never, personally, taken part in Earth Hour. For some reason, I was out burning carbon, somewhere else on Earth. It is not that I don't support the effort to get people to symbolically turn of the lights for one hour (a year!). I do, I do. But, to put it sarcastically, or perhaps rudely, Earth Hour is "kids stuff". I know, 2009 more than 4,000 cities in 88 countries switched off their lights. In 2010, 128 countries joined the band wagon. That's amazing persuasive advertising.

Millions of people took part, but the Earth is still in deep shit! If we don't cut the carbon emissions by 80%, we're going to get fried (well sort of, 'cos the Earth will get hotter but the end result is Ice Age!). We need to see results within the next 3 or 4 years, or else is too late ... we would have tipped over to the point of no return.

Do you think anybody is feeling anxious about it? Some people do, like at the top of this post ...

Who's she? A famous Aussie with a secret (Google her yourself)
What I do like is the list of things she says we should do everyday ...she "recommends" them, she didn't say whether she practices them (I don't mean to insult her) ....
  • Buy local produce from markets thereby reducing food miles
  • Walking or riding the bike wherever possible as opposed to driving
  • Ensure the car tyres are always inflated to the correct level as they use less fuel
  • Use fuel with Ethanol
  • Turn off the lights and use organic or beeswax candles a lot of the time
  • Unplug appliances when they are not in use
  • Use heating and cooling when absolutely necessary
  • Wash in mostly cold water
  • Use chemical-free dish washing, washing powder and cleaning products
  • Recycle, recycle, recycle
  • Buy products with the highest recyclability
  • Purchase clothes that are ethically made, not mass produced
  • Dress in Organic clothing
  • Install water-saving nozzles on all taps including showers
  • Compost scraps whenever possible
  • Prepare food plans so as to avoid food wastage
  • Grow herbs and spices
  • Have timed showers to use less water
  • Water the plants of an evening
  • Bury food scraps in the garden bed to feed the earth worms or compost
  • Collecting grey water from bath and use it to water plants
  • Using Certified Organic personal care products (avoid using chemicals)
  • Wash the car on the grass with environmentally friendly car wash
  • Buy Certified Organic or Farmers markets produce. I understand that certified organics can be expensive, but local farmers markets for the most part are usually reasonable. On my blog ( I include a list of Farmers Markets from around the world so that people will have ready access to the same.
 Quite doable, right?

Hhmmm, I would say that I am in "compliance" with maybe 75% of those items. At least in spirit if not the letter.

So, do remember Earth every day. Switch off the lights when you don't need them.


cafiena said...

Hello sir,

During earth hour, i see my friend realising that by switching light off when they does not need them, nothing bad are going to happen. some of them grow up with the thought of " bad things happen in the dark, so never switch of your light at night"

When i first come to USM, i notice another habits of switching on the light in the middle of the day. not because the room is not lighted sufficiently, it just a habit. when someone enter a room, they switch on the light and fan. and when i switch it off, they does not feel the need to switch it on again, because they did not need the light at the first place.

After few earth hour events, I notice that they have acknowledge global warming, climate change and found another reason of switching the light off, beside paying less electricity bills.

Lik Meng said...

Good to hear the success stories.

And thank you for switching off the lights, even when others switch it on.

Anonymous said...

Kids in the dark, accident happens. Adults in the dark, kid happens.