Impressions of Earth Hour 2009

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  1. #1

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    Impressions of Earth Hour 2009

    Having witnessed Earth Hour 2009 on Saturday, I have to say while there was significant buzz about it, I was quite disappointed in the effort made at 8:30pm...especially in the office towers on HK Island, where the most public impact could have been made...many of the big signs and accent spotlights were off (thank you IFC and HSBC!) but too many were not, as were many interior lights as well..come on guys, this was 8:30 on Saturday night...get a life and go home lol!

    What were your impressions?


  2. #2

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    I forgot and didn't notice anything unusual.

    While that is a good thing it takes a lot more than those nights to change wasteful behavior. BC Hydro (the power supply company in British Columbia) developed a Power Smart program that educated and incented people to save electricity as they knew the government was not about to let them build the dam they have now on the drawing boards again.

    It worked and power use reduced per household (other than marijuana grow-ops) significantly. They hired college and university students to promote this at schools, shopping malls and with businesses. Hong Kong could do the same thing especially now with high unemployment.

    Universities in Canada in the 1970s were faced with governments not providing growth in funding and it was before they followed the American example with fund raising in a big way and one way they saved money which they put in new programs was cutting power costs. My university saved some half million CAD in the first year by turning out half of the lights and this remains today. They simply did it quietly and never got complaints as that place had too many lights as it was built in 1965.

    Guangzhou's river tour with all the bridges and buildings lite up ends at 10 pm and by the time you are off the last boat and heading towards your cab all the bridges and many of the excessive building lights are off.

    It takes the same approach as it did in the western world to get people to wear seat belts which they do in Canada about 92% or so of the time now.

    Last edited by Football16; 30-03-2009 at 09:36 AM.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Football16:
    It takes the same approach as it did in the western world to get people to wear seat belts which they do in Canada about 92% or so of the time now.
    I don't know about you, but the reason I wear seatbelts is the avoidance of paying a fine, not the fear of dying a grisly death as portayed in the government advertising of the day (speaking of MPIC in Manitoba now)

    Are you suggesting we fine those people who waste electricity, to get this message across? Not sure how this would play out in Hong Kong, where the government is paying US in the form of a rebate, to keep using all the power we need...a serious hike in rates might finally make a difference...

    Anyway, Earth Hour was less about 'Let's see how much energy we can save or effect on climate change we can make in 1 hour" (as one academic put it, it would be the equivalent of shutting off China's pollution output for 6 seconds) and more about sending a message to world leaders that we (people around the world) stand united in the cause and are aware of what needs doing.

  4. #4

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    I went up to my office to check out the view of HK on Saturday night. Central was eerily dark- it was pretty cool. I was very surprised at the number of buildings that turned off their lights.


  5. #5

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    At least Hong Kong did better than California:

    Greenspace | Earth Hour: A bust? | Los Angeles Times


  6. #6

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    i wish they would do the same for noise pollution...i.e. silence for an hour including jack hammer, phone ringing, etc


  7. #7

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    At 830 we switched off the lights and looked out the balcony and can safely say that our apartment complex ignored the whole event.

    I think you would need to raise rates a lot to get a behavoir change. And, rather than just raising consumer's rates, I would like to see a carbon tax based on the fuel being used. World needs to move away from coal, and this part of the world needs to move away from dirty coal.


  8. #8

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    i did not think it made much difference.

    firstly, use of lights can be wasteful, but hardly the end of the world when we use them espcially as a growing number use green lightbulbs which are more energy efficient.

    secondly, why at 8:30 pm when it is dark? just for photo opportunities? using light at night is hardly "wasting" electricity. we need light to see what we are doing, whether it is for driving, for doing work, for cooking, for reading etc. who are we to say that whatever that person is doing has is not important and has to wait. Why not tell everyone to switch off their lights at midday, as there is enough natural light for most places to be wasting electricity if they are turned on.

    thirdly, everyone is looking out for themselves. there is no incentive to change their ways and go green unless it benefits them. Electric cars are not successful yet, as they only go about 60 miles on a full charge, and then there are not enough recharging stations to make it a good purchase for most families. Whereas energy efficient air con, light bulbs, etc. have tangible savings on electricity bills.


  9. #9

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    I totally forget as well, luckly i only had my TV on, all lights were off anyways.


  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by UK/HKboy:
    i did not think it made much difference.

    firstly, use of lights can be wasteful, but hardly the end of the world when we use them espcially as a growing number use green lightbulbs which are more energy efficient.

    secondly, why at 8:30 pm when it is dark? just for photo opportunities? using light at night is hardly "wasting" electricity. we need light to see what we are doing, whether it is for driving, for doing work, for cooking, for reading etc. who are we to say that whatever that person is doing has is not important and has to wait. Why not tell everyone to switch off their lights at midday, as there is enough natural light for most places to be wasting electricity if they are turned on.

    thirdly, everyone is looking out for themselves. there is no incentive to change their ways and go green unless it benefits them. Electric cars are not successful yet, as they only go about 60 miles on a full charge, and then there are not enough recharging stations to make it a good purchase for most families. Whereas energy efficient air con, light bulbs, etc. have tangible savings on electricity bills.
    1. True that energy efficient bulbs are a better (more practical) way to save electricity than turning of the lightry.

    2. There wouldn't be much of a dramatic impact statement in turning off lights at mid-day would there? How many exterior/advertising lights are burning at midday? That's why if you look at the Earth Hour message, it was 'turn of all unneccessay lights for one hour"...clearly street lights (among many others) are an exception. Again, it was meant TO SEND A MESSAGE, not to save a certain amount of energy...

    3. Agree it will always take some incentive and it's human nature to think 'how will I PERSONALLY benefit from doing (insert helpful behaviour here)?' So things like jacking up rates to encourage people to save electricity (and therefore money), rebates for upgrading to energy efficient heating/cooling/insulation and carbon taxes may be the quickest solution...

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