Sunday, March 30, 2008

Earth Hour

We did it! We survived a whole hour without electricity... I wonder what the No Impact Man would think of that? He and his family lived a whole year in NYC without electric lights and all kinds of other conveniences. He logged the whole experiment in order to show that by changing our behaviors and habits of consumption we could reduce global warming actually improve the quality of our lives. He re-discovered a whole heap of exciting things about life, family, etc...
We did it for just one hour!

Time to switch it all off

What did we do for Earth Hour?

Instead of trying to decide what appliances could remain plugged in and which things we would have to switch off I though I'd simply flick every switch in the fuse box.
We burned candles which for an hour was enough to entertain both kids and myself, Sam wasn't so easily amused.
I charged up the wind-up torch, which we used to check our wax burns after goofing around with the candles.
I have to say Sam made a far greater sacrifice than I did. She forfeited watching her favorite show, Doc Martin. Instead we all sat outside in the carport and watched as lightening flashed in the distance.
We didn't use the car or anything that required the burning of fossil fuels, trees or any carbon emitting substance besides wax and air...

It was rather nice to have a quiet hour at home. It's still quite warm up here in Darwin so it got a bit sticky without the fans running but for one hour it was quite tolerable. My daughter loved the opportunity to observe flames. She still hasn't had a proper camp fire so the candles were quite a novelty and she got to blow them out.
The noise and lights of our suburb became glaringly obvious when we sat outside with the lights out (there were plenty of people around town who didn't participate).
One set of neighbors also took part in Earth hour it felt nice to be in solidarity with them. However our nearest neighbors seemed to be oblivious to the whole thing. It was business as usual for them. As we sat outside watching the remains of a thunder storm we often found it difficult to know if the flashes of light were lightening or being emitted from their plasma screen TV and if the deep rumbling bass sounds were thunder or their surround sound stereo. I often wonder when I see them fussing over their high powered utes, that appear to have never carried a load, or when I look at the the new 4X4 sitting idly in the driveway while the weekends are spent watching sport on TV; Will they ever take notice of the world around them? I hope so...

The fascinating awe of the flames... and subtle light of candles

Earth hour was a great success! It gave our family an opportunity to sit quietly together and enjoy the moment. It prompted me to contemplate the possibility of reducing my emissions on a more permanent basis. It sent a message to millions of people that change is possible and that people are prepared to take action and make sacrifices for the sake of our future!

This is a very positive step towards a global approach to climate change.

Congratulations to all that participated. We will join you again, and thousands more next year.

Candle light


Judy said...

It seems our family spent the hour similarly to you, and made similar observations and resolutions. We ate our meal outside and noted that:
1. The neighbour's lighting amply lit our area;
2. It was much quieter without the airconditioner running;
3. The neighbourhood is full of people busily, but noisily, going about their business;
4. A blanket of darkness brings the family closer together;
5. The food tastes even better in the dark!

I have been extremely busy lately and hadn't been keeping up with current affairs, so nearly missed this Earthhour event. Thanks to you I read about it on this blog in time. I tried to register on Earthhour via your link (four times in fact), but was unsuccessful. Perhaps the server couldn't cope with the number of people attempting to register on the day.

I thought it was a great, meaningful event, marred only by the fact that Sydnyesiders felt the need to pat themselves on the back by blowing away vast dollars in a concluding polluting fireworks display.

David J said...

Hi Judy,
Yes it's great to read and hear other people's experience of Earth Hour. I liked your list very much and from other people I've spoken to their experience was similar. Isn't it funny how just one hour of enforced simplicity can do wonders for your piece of mind. Just to shut down all the noise generated by our modern convenient lifestyles. It had a rather southing effect.

I didn't know about the fireworks...
Isn't it terrible how the noblest of ideas can be perverted into just another spectacle for the masses.
However there appears to be a growing desire to reduce our overall impact and simplify our lives that is beginning to resonate in the community.