Sunday, March 30, 2008

Does Earth Hour Mean Anything to You?

Yesterday millions of humans all over the planet joined an 'initiative to raise awareness' called Earth Hour and turned off lights and other electrical equipment for 60 minutes. Mention was often made in most news reports of the lights being turned off at the Sydney Opera House. I know it's notable as the location is a widely known landmark. I'm not sure that an unlit Opera House qualifies as a sacrifice.

I understand the goal was to 'raise awareness' or 'educate' folks about the issues of energy usage.

Still, I wonder what the typical response would be if, say, that TVA decided they would 'raise awareness' by eliminating all electrical power to every customer they serve for one hour. Howls of calamity and forced suffering would likely follow. But such an effort would seem to be far more educational than voluntary electrical reduction.

1.6 billion humans live without any electricity every day - here's a link to a satellite image of the planet at night.

Granted, fewer people live without electricity today than ever before.

And perhaps it is worthwhile to break through those protective cocoons of affluence for sixty minutes and hope that folks begin to consider life beyond/without gadgets and luxuries. Perhaps.

Having had the luxury of my own life which has lasted now for decades, I can recall when the idea of enviromental awareness began to emerge and I witnessed the beginning of what we now call Earth Day. They used to give away free 'ecology stickers' in boxes of Super Sugar Crisp cereal. (Thanks to the mighty electrical memories of the internet, these trinkets have been preserved.) If science could somehow harness the energy created when an 11-year-old consumes a box of sugar-laden cereal .....

Back then I decided I would build an energy-independent house, an underground home lit by a central atrium and by solar panels so I would not have to pay for or waste energy.

Yeah, I should definitely do that.

And I want my personal anti-gravity vehicle too.

Like so many others who share this wee spinning planet, I have good intentions.

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