March 25, 2017

Earth Hour 2017

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It's late March, and that means Earth Hour is once again upon us.  Tonight is my 9th year taking part in this global event.  I know the event is only 1 hour in duration and is largely symbolic, but I believe it sends an important message, and is a reminder to everyone that we need to do what we can to be kind to the earth, as it is our only home.

Our early dinner started late, which wasn't a surprise given our company.  Thankfully dinner was relatively simple and we finished quickly, so Hello Kitty and I rushed out of the Sheraton and crossed the street to the harbor front.

In a matter of a couple of minutes, the normally bright and vibrant Victoria Harbour went dark.  Half an hour before, one of Hong Kong's most well-known tourist attractions - A Festival of Lights - had been cancelled to mark Earth Hour.  Gone were the colorful flashing lights prancing around skyscrapers, and giant neon and LED billboards went napping.

Every year, someone inevitably fails to get the memo and leave their lights on.  Last year it was the People's Liberation Army, who kept their lights on the whole time.  They finally got the memo this year and went dark.  A couple of buildings were a little behind - some because of their internal clocks were slow, but pretty much everyone except for a couple of buildings around Times Square got with the program right on the dot.  And then even these guys got around to it eventually.

Even when looking at the skyline during Earth Hour, it's not hard to see that there is still a certain amount of light pollution - just look at the haze in the sky.  That's pretty scary if you think about it.

It was pretty chilly out tonight and we were both underdressed thanks to the warm temperature during the day.  So we left a few minutes early and didn't wait for the lights to come back on, although a couple of buildings decided that turning out the lights for half an hour was good enough for them.

I overheard a few tourists talking amongst themselves, and even they realized that the lights were out because of Earth Hour.  People are becoming more aware of this event - which is now in its 10th edition.  That's a very good thing, especially in the age of Trump.

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