Yeah, right, you say, it’s so 2007 and when are we going to do more than turn off the lights for one hour a year? Except it’s still a novel concept in many places and one waking up the Rip-Van-Winkles sleeping with their lights on.
I’m talking about Hong Kong. The most brightly lit place on Earth apart from Las Vegas, IMO. It’s a neon wet dream. Strolling the streets after dark here is, well, the lure of a sci-fi siren, deadly and gorgeous with light.
Still, Hong Kong’s per capita ranking of CO2 emissions falls well below the US: Hong Kong #72; US #10. And both are far shy of #1 Qatar, The Sheikdom of Squander.
Andy Cornish, Director of Conservation WWF Hong Kong, tells me that Hong Kong has not yet officially joined the 1,429 cities and towns in 80 countries (and counting) that will go dark for one hour starting 8:30pm Saturday 28 March. [Correction: Andy tells me Hong Kong IS onboard, Macau is not… yet.] Three hundred Hong Kong companies and countless individuals are already down with the plan.
The hope? That one billion people all over Planet Earth will flip their switches this year. But, hey, use protection, please, if that’s your orientation. We don’t need an Earth Hour baby boom nine months from now.
As for some of the pyrotechnics lined up in the dark:
- Sydney (where it all started): every ferry in the harbor will sound its horn at 8.30pm
- Melbourne: people will pedal-power a concert in Federation Square
- Athens: a circle of percussion will be held at the Acropolis, people given instruments and led by a conductor
- Oslo: people will peddle-power light bulbs
- Lisbon: the city will go outdoors for candlelit dining
So, yeah, it’s kind of 2007. Only the hour is later and bigger and DARKER.