Al-Avalathi's Life (Al-Avalathi is the last Mallu to go to the Gelf)
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Earth Hour, what a joke!

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It’s 8pm now. In sometime, as per the wishes of WWF and various other (non)governmental organizations, thousands of “urban upper and middle classes will turn their lights off expressing solidarity for a pressing global issue like climate change“.

I wonder why the so called custodians of enivronment do not promote Bachat Lamp Yojana of the Govt. of India. Is that because that’s a government scheme and is not targetted at the Urban upper and middle classes? Isn’t it so because no corporate will come forward to chip in as the target audience is the bulb using citizen who can’t afford the fancily designed flouroscent lamps? I can’t blame WWF. A BLY scheme does not have a Fairfax’s media muscle or a Leo Burnett’s advertising skills to bank upon. More importantly, there is no glamor, leave money(for a WWF).
Isn’t Earth Hour a symbolic attempt, annually repeated? Can complex problems like Global Warming have such a simple solution? Okay. Earth Hour is not about solving, but raising awareness. Assume that every single household and organization that falls under WWF’s target group gropes in darkness for an hour. How many of these people will turn a light off when not in use? How many of these organizations,leave domestic consumers will listen when the SEBs ask them not to use high-wattage appliances during peak hours? Think about it. Ask your conscience. Aren’t you just getting carried away into a farce?
Isn’t this symbolic act laced with hypocrisy, linked to the heavy promotions, the celebrity endorsements and such? A lot of carbon must have been burnt publicizing the event, enough to reduce the impact of the energy saved. Do you want me to believe that a Junior Bachchan lives in the most energy efficient way as much as he can? It is a great opportunity to see the stars. Haven’t you always dreamt of seeing the stars, counting them, identifying the constellations? We live in a country urbanized and blinded by the lights that we never get to see the stars. Do we?
Lighting candles during the Earth Hour do not increase our carbon foot print? You may have forgotten that, WWF. Just reminding.
Participating in Earth Hour and turning themselves blind for an hour would end up being nothing more than feel-goods for them. After an hour, it’s back not just to normalcy, but a meteoric rise in consumption to overcome the sacrifice they did, the abstitence they had to undergo. A sudden heavy load on the grid.
An extravagant annual event will not make energy saving an everyday practice.
Wishing the urban upper and middle classes an hour of darkness.
Afterthought: After the Dark Ages, there came an age of Enlightenment.
An interesting bit here.
Let’s face it, Earth Hour is fundamentally about Romanticist aesthetics – the thought of being able to see the stars because all artificial lights are turned off and the idea of a retreat to an idyllic past that never existed when cavemen and cavewomen sang kumbaya around a fire. It’s not about efficient energy use (which can be achieved simply by paying attention to your electricity bills and turning off unnecessary switches, something that has always been driled into my frugal self from a young age) or carbon dioxide reduction.
PS: Probably related to the BLY scheme, see what KSEB is doing. 2 CFLs each to 75 Lakh households and subsidized rates in return of 2 incandescent bulbs each. Makes better sense. What happens to these bulbs isn’t known to me. Still, way better option at this hour.

PPS: I did not get into the units saved during earlier EHs as those numbers are all fudged as per my understanding.


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March 27, 2010   8 Comments