What to say? Just heard this on the FM4, an Austrian internet radio station, about Earth Hour. “We’re encouraged to switch off all non-essential lighting for one hour”.
“VOTE EARTH: your light switch is your vote.”
Welcome to Kathmandu, where Earth Hour has been going on for many years. Currently the zealously green government has been giving the citizens of Nepal an enforced buy-one-get-16-free option on these votes and stuffing them in the ballot box for on their behalf.
Every day, for 16 hours the government turns all of your switches off – both inessential lighting and everything else with it. Additionally they topped up the Earth Hour manifesto with turning off non-essential street lighting, traffic lights, mobile phone company power supplies, all industrial machinery, my local bakery’s ovens, power supply for kidney dialysis machines, ECG machines and anything else you can think of that has a cable with a plug at the end somewhere.
Long after the world switches its non-essential lighting back on and starts wasting energy again like there is no tomorrow (and that is looking increasingly more likely), we here will be sitting in the dark. Either that or burning Olympic-size swimming pools of imported diesel in generators to keep normal life going.
The irony is that the power we are missing would be hydro-power. But due to years of incompetence, rampant theft of power and some dry weather, the system is more than a little creaky.
Here’s a tip for all Earth Hour participants: at 8.30pm, go the whole hog (not the half hog), flick that big red switch on your fuse box. Enjoy!