Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lights Off For Earth?

I’ve been seeing lots of people pushing for Earth Hour, Earth Day, Save The Earth etc. lately, due to the approach of Earth Hour 2009. If you haven’t got a clue, Google is a good place to start.

Most seem intent on spreading a fastidious message in getting anyone and everyone to switch off their lights, be it in their homes or offices on a particular day, at a particular hour.

Personally, I find it perhaps at best symbolic but utterly useless and ineffectual otherwise. Why just the lights? Why not more? If they’re so into using less energy, they should know electric lights in our homes aren’t really the energy guzzlers. And this is just going to give most people a little impression of “oh I feel so good I’m helping to save the earth”, before they go back to being part of the problem. Driving around in a gas guzzler with a bumper sticker to say “Save the Earth” or putting a tag in Facebook makes people feel good. But it’s as helpful as taking a picture of you giving canned sardines to some homeless dude, and walking away after that, thinking you have made an impact on his life.

Let’s just look at Singapore, since different countries may have different extreme energy usage. The villages in certain regions wouldn’t be bathed in electrical lighting anyway, besides various factors and locations.

Imagine looking at Singapore with the lights in the buildings switched off for an hour. Of course HDB flats would still have corridor lights to provide a little consolation. Others may not be so lucky, and it could turn out to be a great time for burglars and other miscellaneous criminals to have a field day or hour. *LOL*

It looks good probably on the outside. But I can imagine the very same people who were made aware of this movement (mostly via the internet), still sitting at their PCs. Guess how much energy the PC uses, compared to that light on the ceiling? Others are probably watching TV. Perhaps the lucky ones will be fucking in the dark for an hour, and probably in a room cooled by another energy guzzler, the air-conditioner. Maybe a bunch of friends or family will be sitting around for an hour in the dark amidst candles having a nice time. And most likely, drinking cold beer or drinks, straight from the (energy guzzling) refrigerator?

How about we tell Mediacorp or Starhub and their ilk to stop broadcasting? That should stop people from watching television for an hour. Then again, someone may get the bright idea that they can watch a DVD anyway.

Or hey, how about we get the Singtel, Starhub and every other ISP or IAP to cut off access to the internet? I imagine some people will still be playing single player games, or working on some office shit they brought home, to save energy in the office.

Hmm, how about we start promoting preserving our foodstuff with salt, or perhaps a huge trough of earth to bury our food? That should save lots from those energy draining refrigerators. But do it wrong and lots of people will be driving energy guzzling cars to the hospital.

Just a few suggestions I guess, and way more useful in saving energy too, but still ultimately impractical.

Don’t ask me for solutions, people are paid to do that (I'm not, so I'll whine for free), and I think they should come up with better ideas. The amount of money spent on these ideas and their promotion thereafter, is just a staggering waste, in my humble and inconsequential opinion.

Fossil fuels (and deforestation) are the driving forces that are leading to global warming. At the same time enriching oil countries and their leeches in the form of multinational companies, with finances and resources that are probably mostly used for more research into how they can continue destroying the earth, be it on a mass scale like the destruction of earth’s environment behind a friendly face, play political games or funding suicide bombers (oh don’t deny me the joy of exposing a little nugget of truth). Ever wonder why many of the countries with the most oil, also have only hot arid deserts as a natural landscape?

People are going to continue with their lifestyles, and even a small change in saving energy isn’t going to solve the problem. At all.

How about spending those massive funds on research and harnessing solar energy? I’m sure current research can do with that money. Expensive perhaps, but isn’t it more worthwhile when the end result is more meaningful than a temporary symbolic darkness?