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Earth Hour/G20 and doing somethig real for the environment

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These pictures of various landmarks all over the world during last Sunday’s Earth Hour are quite breathtaking.

But can someone tell me why is it necessary to keep the lights on at that swimming pool Water Cube thingie in Beijing for the remaining evening and all the other evenings in the year (unless some event is on)? Or why the Eiffel Tower needs all those lights (as if some Parisians or tourists would bump into it accidentally at night) ?

I always get pissed off by these gimmicky let’s save the environment by doing doing something symbolic for a short time movements.  Why switch of lights for just that one hour ? Be sensible, and switch off whatever lights/fans/AC is not necessary every day; replace all your incandescent bulbs with fluorescent ones; don’t leave your desktop running overnight; drive less, walk more. There are quite a many ways in which you can contribute to saving the environment, and save yourself some cash while doing so.

Which brings me to the G-20 summit currently being held in London. One of their agendas is to do something about the environment. Dudes, just do your discussions via tele-conferencing and save the environment by not flying world leaders and their entourages (to say nothing of the press, or the emissions from all those protesters making their trip to London) halfway around the globe for meaningless photo-opportunities. And the countries save money as well. Would be such a better gesture, if symbolism is what you are looking for.

Finally, in context of the G-20, wanted to point out this recent remark by British PM Gordon Brown: “The option of doing nothing is not available to us” ( heard on the Bugle podcast), in essense admitting that governments were doing nothing previously !

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

April 1, 2009 at 9:11 pm