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Sunday, April 19, 2009

My thoughts on Earth Hour 2009

Earth Hour 2009 was almost a month ago and I had previously blogged about it on what had I done during that one-hour blackout period.
(Yeah, nothing much since I was at home, but I did more than just sitting at home; which is to observe the houses around my neighborhood during the light shower to see how nature-conscious my friendly residents are)

I was rather punctual; turning off all the lights sharp at 8.30p.m.; actually, I believed I was earlier than that - probably 1-2 minutes earlier.
I stood at the balcony of my condo and looked out; enjoying the pitter patter sounds of the falling rain on my rooftop and started watching out for all the houses nearby.
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I was initially happy with some of the houses which turned off their lights; and although I was hoping for some kind of domino-effects kind of scene, nevertheless, I am still happy at how this has progressed.
Some of the houses, as I have mentioned, turned off all the lights but left the TV on. Well, it is still an effort, and I praise them for at least giving it a try to support this meaningful campaign.

I waited patiently for the rest of the houses and also at the nearby apartments to turn off their lights.
I waited, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes

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They did, some of them took a while to switch off their lights, but at least they did.

Some of the houses actually left their porch lights on and there was 1 house which waited for their son to come home, to which I hoped they would probably switch off the lights after that.
Alas, they didn't, upon the return of their son, they switched on even more lights and the whole house actually lighted up.
Talk about support for the campaign:)

At the same time, I couldn't help but wonder, how could big cities like Australia do it?
Some retort saying that Australia were early sleepers anyway, and they do not really have night life in the city to which I thoroughly disagree.

Then, how about KL city?
Our very own capital was a metropolitan city, and guess what, from all the accounts of friends, family and relatives in different areas at that time during the Earth Hour, they have all borne witnesses to the obedience and quick response to switching off their lights and electricity on the dot at 8.30pm.
My whole neighborhood in my place, according to my mum, switched off their lights on time.
I am proud of them, the people whom I have grown up with over the years were such environmentalist-wannabes:)

Some of my friends in KL city, witnessed how the whole KLCC turned off the lights for 1 hour. Imagine our beautiful and bright twin towers being covered by total darkness for 1 hour!
I am amazed by their dedication; bravo and cheers to KLCC management for their great support!

(Wrong time for tourists if they want to snap a picture of our magnificent structure, eh?)

Anyway, although I had a spur-of-a-moment disappointment with the low support from my own residential area in Penang, I have come to terms that we can't force and at the same time, we can't judge why some people don't turn off the lights.
It is not a requirement when we talk of campaigns like these, it is a voluntary and it must be reflective.
We must know what are we doing and whether we are willing to participate.

For those who did and even reminded themselves to do it, well, good for you.
For those who didn't, they may have their own reasons which is not for us to judge whether they are reasons or excuses, for they are the only ones who know.

For those who knew and just refused to take part, well, it is a choice, it is not a force.
For those who didn't know and would've taken part if they knew, glad to hear it and hope to see you in the next round.

Fundamentally, a person needs to know, what is the whole purpose of this whole Earth Hour thingy and not just merely brushing it off as a clear publicity campaign.
Listen and understand, for it is not one hour that makes the difference
It is that one hour that reminds you
And for you to make the difference in the long run

So Earth Hour is not about the publicity folks
It is about YOU

Now, are you willing to take that extra step to switch off lights and electricity when not in use?