Jaqui's Daily Blog

Earth Hour, Essential Lighting and Our Iconic Building

Mr B and I were among the millions of individuals from a record 178 countries who marked Earth Hour on Saturday evening. Though, in our case, it was Earth Forty-Five Minutes as I didn't get my act together in time.

Mr B was less than enthusiastic about the whole exercise. He was particularly vocal over the requirement to turn out all our non-essential lights between 8.30 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. to raise awareness of Climate Change. The gist of his argument was this: by what criteria can a light be classified as essential and when can it be deemed to be non-essential? According to Mr B, who can be very definite about such matters, a light is essential if it enables him to see the buttons on the TV remote control. He is prepared to concede that I may dim the light a tad - but not by too much. We spend a bit of time with me turning the dimmer switch up and down before we reach a Fair Compromise, light-wise.

Did you know that more than 28,300 people altered their Facebook profile to reflect the fact that they were observing Earth Hour? Now why didn't I think of that? I could have taken a dimly lit photo of Mr B, peering crossly at the buttons on the TV remote control. It might even have gone viral. This is the kind of thing the Climate Change lobby needs - a touch of reality. Mr B and I can always be counted upon to bring people down to Earth (Hour).

Mr B is kind enough not to challenge me on my somewhat ambivalent approach to climate change. Turn the lights off for an hour and there I am, up for the challenge, zealously turning lights off all over the house with just the one, single exception. Given the far greater challenge of accepting the need for a massive wind farm off our coastline and I am bewailing the loss of our beautiful horizon. I really can't have it both ways. Can I?

Siddarth Das, who has the excitingly daunting title of Executive Director, Earth Hour Global, comments: "Every light switched off represents a call to switch on our collective power and be the first line of defence for our planet as we form the frontlines of climate change." Mr B, when I consult him on this worthy statement, makes the fair point that, at that particular moment in time, he was rather more concerned with the collective power and frontlines of the English Rugby Team who you may (or may not) remember, were fighting it out against the French during Earth Hour. I wasn't aware that anyone was dimming the lights illuminating the pitch but possibly, like the light illuminating our TV remote control, these were deemed essential.

I took a sneaky look along our road while Earth Hour was underway but most of our neighbouring houses had several lights blazing. I returned to our living room feeling vaguely virtuous. I should, of course, have been feeling disappointment at how few of our neighbours were switching on their collective power and manning the front line of climate change. Perhaps they were all too busy watching the rugby? Mr B says, who can blame them, it was a very exciting game.

The trouble is that my efforts on behalf of our planet - leaving aside Earth Hour - are small stuff indeed. I collect my stamps and the tops off our milk cartons. I do my best to recycle - regular readers will remember that I am ever so keen to be awarded a gold star by our refuse collectors for ensuring that all the items in our bin are (i) clean and (ii) dry. If they also happen to be recyclable it will be a bonus.

Apparently it was Lights Out during Earth Hour at more than 400 iconic buildings, including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building.

I'm not sure our house qualifies as an "iconic building" but I think it should be registered that it was Lights Out chez the Ball Family too.

With just that one essential exception,..


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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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