Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour 2009

NTU is participating in Earth Hour 2009 and Hall 5 has all its corridor lights switched off in support of this event!

The corridors are really dark, with only the fluorescent green EXIT signs lighting them faintly. It almost feels that people are going to start coming out of their rooms screaming and cheering (yes, university students have such tendencies), but as it is a Saturday night, most of Hall 5's residents are away at home.

Just a little background on Earth Hour from


This year, Earth Hour has been transformed into the world’s first global election, between Earth and global warming.

For the first time in history, people of all ages, nationalities, race and background have the opportunity to use their light switch as their vote – Switching off your lights is a vote for Earth, or leaving them on is a vote for global warming. WWF are urging the world to VOTE EARTH and reach the target of 1 billion votes, which will be presented to world leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009.

This meeting will determine official government policies to take action against global warming, which will replace the Kyoto Protocol. It is the chance for the people of the world to make their voice heard.

Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. In 2008 the message had grown into a global sustainability movement, with 50 million people switching off their lights. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome’s Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square all stood in darkness.

In 2009, Earth Hour is being taken to the next level, with the goal of 1 billion people switching off their lights as part of a global vote. Unlike any election in history, it is not about what country you’re from, but instead, what planet you’re from. VOTE EARTH is a global call to action for every individual, every business, and every community. A call to stand up and take control over the future of our planet. Over 74 countries and territories have pledged their support to VOTE EARTH during Earth Hour 2009, and this number is growing everyday.

We all have a vote, and every single vote counts. Together we can take control of the future of our planet, for future generations.

VOTE EARTH by simply switching off your lights for one hour, and join the world for Earth Hour.

Hope that you're having fun with your lights off in support of Mother Earth too!


KJ said...

Hi Kevin,

First of all, I am not here to argue with you. I would only engage you in an intellectual debate or war of English ONLY if I wish to die a long painful death. However, I just want to share with you about what I think about Earth Hour.

I have been taking part in Earth Hour ever since 2007 as I thought this awareness campaign was a good idea as it could saved a few thousand gigawatt-hours of energy worldwide and prevent the emission of at least a few thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide. Most importantly, it shows that the whole world can be united in the cause to halt in global warming.

However, this year I contemplated on whether or not I should switch off the lights and just enjoy the peace and tranquility in darkness. Why so?? To me, Earth Hour has lost the real message, the perversion of the spirit of it, all for the sake of some elitist idea that saving the planet can be cool. Yes, Earth Hour has its purpose, but I think it has become twisted with its real message lost.

I know many people in my neighbourhood took part. But what sickened me was that most people took part because they thought it was cool without actually understand the reasons and motives behind it, aside from “it’s for the environment”. I find it silly when people believe that small things will make a bigger difference than they do. But what happened after 9:30pm on 28/3/2009? They still pollute the air with their car fumes, throw out plastic bags in the tonnes. They are no where near the zero eco footprint! Man, the pretentiousness sickens me.

I know some supporters would P.O.I. me by saying that if conservation activities like this are portrayed as ‘cool’, it is only one small step for them to find out what other things are important and put them into action. Earth Hour may make no difference in the short term, but on a psychological level, it makes a world of a difference in the long run.

My reply would be simple. Yes, take part in Earth Hour but not just one hour of the year but every day of every year. PS: Remember the aim of the original Sydney Earth Hour in 2007. Reduce wastages by turning off the electrical equipment that is not needed.

In conclusion, I support earth hour. I just don’t support how it has been carried out. I don’t support the big concerts, I do not support the unnecessary printing of T-shirts to commemorate the event, and I do not support the money spent on those videos and leaflets. The star support for this year's Malaysian Earth Hour has been amazing. (I saw a video on YouTube of Alex Yoong and Sheikh Mustapha promoting Earth Hour.) What I'm trying to point out is that I do not support its what-I-call superficial blown-up marketing approach when there are other people out there who can benefit from all those advertising money.

But there again, everything has two sides of the coin. And I am really in no position to say whether Earth Hour is really effective or not.

Well, I took part in Earth Hour again because I am for saving the world from climate change. I mean why spoil it for the few people who finds meaning in Earth Hour?!! But my point is that we should be saving energy every minute instead of just symbolically for an hour. Aye?

Sorry for the long comment. I look forward to reading your posts. Your words hold wisdom, so to speak and I appreciate all your insights.

Best wishes.