March 26, 2022

Earth Hour 2022

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Tonight was my 14th year commemorating Earth Hour, and my plans changed at the last minute as I scrambled to get into position.  It had drizzled earlier this evening so I had planned to stay at home with the lights and aircon off, just setting my camera up on our balcony. But as I thought the rain had stopped, I quickly grabbed my gear and rushed over to East Coast Park Precint, which is thankfully around 10 minutes away on foot.

I set up the camera on the waterfront at the near corner, trying to capture sweeping views of both sides of Victoria Harbour from Wanchai to Tsim Sha Tsui East. My tripod would stay in this spot for the next hour and a half.

Sankala was out walking CC and I managed to convince them to join me. Well, it's not often that we get to spend so much time together under the stars, although the lights at the park remained on all night. We hung out while lots of people were skateboarding, rollerblading, or jogging around.

Every year I am amazed at the buildings who don't get the memo, or just plainly refuse to participate. They certainly stood out in the darkened skyline during this period. The giant LED board on top of Block C of Sea View Estate kept doing its job of advertising for its paying customers. The two towers on top of Shun Tak Centre kept their LEDs on for some reason. Cellars of National Treasure 1573 (囯窖1573), Invesco, Sasa, CATIC, China Pacific Insurance signage all stayed on, as did the "Christ Is Lord" sign on top of Bay View Mansions. Oh and that giant LED wall at K11 Musea. No idea why that stayed lit while the rest of the block went dark.

I'm not sure that the Earth has gotten better since the last Earth Hour. The pandemic means we're still using and throwing away masks on a daily basis. While Sankala and I continue to avoid ordering takeout food, many people around us prefer the convenience. This was not helped by the Hong Kong government's ban in dine-in dinner service, which has been in place since the first week of January.

The one potential bright spot comes from the war in Ukraine. Western countries - particularly in Europe - are now looking to wean themselves off of Russian oil and gas. This renewed interest to move towards being energy self-sufficient is giving policy makers a push to evaluate renewable energy. My hope is that the world will get more serious about it.

1 comment:

Markus Schmidt said...

Unfortunately a number of European countries (incl. Germany) are considering to bring coal-fired power plants back onto the grid should they stop Russian gas and oil deliveries next winter....... the solar and eolian energy sectors would not be able to fill the gap, and in France some 20% of the nuclear power plans are off the gird because of maintenance and security issues...


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