Thursday, 24 March 2011

Earth Hour, Penang 2011

Yesterday while out on Penang island, I received a timely reminder from my mobile service provider on this year's Earth Hour event which is just two days away! For the past two years, I have been writing about Earth Hour on this blog and I know that I have been late in doing it for this year. Hope to make up with it with this post.

So this Saturday, 26 Mar 2011, I'll be asking my family to switch off the lights in the house again for one hour from 8.30pm. We'll be plunging the house into total darkness, save for the light we always maintain above our house altar. Even then, we have always been using "green" bulbs that do not consume much energy at all.

But Earth Hour is not only about saving electricity. In the bigger picture, it is about going green, conserving all our energy resources and saving the environment from global warming. I know that whatever we do this Saturday evening can only be symbolic but every little way we can play to contribute towards this event and make more people shed off their apathy will go to show our seriousness to make the world a better place for ourselves.

Unfortunately, we shall still be voices in the wilderness if the main perpetrators of environment rape do not heed our actions. The biggest culprits among them are the governments of the world. For example, we hear so much about illegal logging and illegal wildlife trading; all these are controllable and yet, they are not. By not doing anything or doing too little, it is a clear sign of a passive approval of such illegal activities. These activities must stop and I would urge my federal government to stop them as long as they are within their control.

I don't know about the other states but I do know that there is an on-going green campaign in my state Penang. For instance, since the beginning of this year, every day is a "no plastic" day. You'll be hard put to find supermarkets and most outlets in shopping malls willing to provide you with plastic bags now. Yesterday when I was at a bookshop at the Gurney Plaza, all that the counter staff did was to encircle a strip of paper around my purchase to signify its "sold" status.

Incidentally, the Gurney Plaza is one of the many shopping outlets in Penang that is actively promoting Earth Hour. After knowing that they were already doing their part last year, I wasn't surprised to see this big banner hanging from the mall's centre court. Unless anyone is blind or oblivious to their surrounding, this banner cannot be missed.

And just a final word about Earth Hour in Penang. If you happen to be around the Esplanade field near the waterfront this Saturday evening, please drop by the Penang state's symbolic Earth Hour event at 8.30am. Lights will be turned off at the Esplanade as well as at many iconic government buildings statewide (Komtar, City Hall, Town Hall, etc) and candles will be distributed to all participants.

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